As Bhutan strives to address an increasing number of youth-related issues, the practice of positive parenting emerges as a powerful tool to guide and support our children’s growth and development. Today, being able to clothe and feed our children alone is not enough anymore. 

Positive parenting is based on principles that prioritise the healthy and holistic development of children. It centers around building strong bonds with our children through love, communication, and consistent support. 

Emotional intelligence is a crucial life skill that enables children to understand and manage their emotions effectively. Positive parenting provides ample opportunities for parents to engage in open and empathetic conversations with their children. By actively listening, validating their emotions, and helping them identify and express their feelings, we equip them with the tools to navigate relationships and develop resilience.

In Bhutan, the advantage we have is that we can draw inspiration from our own values of compassion and interconnectedness to nurture emotional intelligence in our children.

Positive parenting emphasises the importance of setting clear and age-appropriate boundaries for our children. However, these boundaries are established with love and understanding rather than through fear or coercion. By explaining the rationale behind rules, parents enable children to internalise values and develop self-discipline. This approach fosters a sense of security and trust in our children, allowing them to make informed choices while recognizing the consequences of their actions.

Effective communication forms the bedrock of positive parenting. Encouraging open and non-judgmental dialogue with our children creates a safe space for them to express their thoughts, concerns, and aspirations. By actively listening to their perspectives, we foster a sense of mutual respect and understanding. This practice not only strengthens the parent-child bond but also enables children to develop critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and the confidence to express themselves.

Experts say that our children learn from the actions of parents and caregivers. Leading by example is demonstrating the values and behaviours we need to instill in our children. By modelling empathy, kindness, and resilience, children will be inspired to embrace these qualities and incorporate them into their own lives. Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage provides a wealth of values and traditions that can serve as guiding principles for positive parenting.

Implementing them all at once, though, would be challenging but making a start in the positive parenting month would be a step in the right direction.