Parenting Style: Proactive & Reactive ~ Part 2

“Asian Family” by tuelekzaHere’s our second part of the parenting series – on Parenting Style: Proactive & Reactive by Freyaz Shroff, the founder of KurNiv.

Each child has different strengths, different styles of learning, different living environments. Parenting all children the same way, inherently, is not a sound theory. The best parenting style is one which allows you to be able to connect with your kids, to understand them and to love them unconditionally. Your parenting style should allow you to tackle each situation with your children in such a way that you are able to accomplish two things when the situation, at hand, is finally resolved:

  1. Form a closer understanding with your children
  2. Form a deeper level of trust with your children

When we parent proactively we are planning deliberately how we want to raise our children, what values we want to impart in them, what sort of adults we want them to become and ultimately we are pre-defining the kind of relationship we want with our kids.

When we parent reactively there is no deliberate and thoughtful plan of action. We are just moving through the motions of the day and living life on default. In other words we allow our children to raise themselves and occasionally react to the choices they make in hopes that next time they will make a proper choice, without giving them the tools to make better choices or without even helping them think through what those better choices may be.

There is a place for both proactive and reactive parenting when raising a child. If a child is about to put her hand on a hot stove and you are across the kitchen you might “yell” to get her attention and when you reach her you might react angrily for the choice she was about to make may have caused her harm; however, if left at that the child may not necessarily be able to make the connect between your anger, the hot stove and her harm; however, if, once things calm down, you are able to sit down with her and walk her proactively through the thought process of why you got upset she will be able to make a better choice next time. The conversation may sound something like this:

Parent Mommy is really sorry she yelled at you in the kitchen. I should not have done that. Do you know why mommy yelled
Child {Nods her head No} or gives an unrelated answer like ‘mommy did not want me to eat the snack right now’
Parent Darling what was mom making in the kitchen?
Child My snack?
Parent That’s right, mommy was making a snack for you, so why would she not want you to have it?
Child I don’t know
Parent Was the stove hot or cold?
Child Hot
Parent What happens in the bath when there is only hot water and no cold water?
Child I get burned.
Parent What would happen then if you had touched the hot stove?
Child I would get burned?
Parent Yes!! Darling! And mommy did not want you to get hurt and she couldn’t protect you from across the kitchen so she shouted to get your attention. I’m sorry!
Child It’s okay mom. I’m sorry
Parent Next time what should you do if you want the snack mommy is making for you?
Child Ask You!
Parent Perfect!!! I know you are my smart child! I love you! Are you okay? {Kisses & Hugs}

Have a conversation, such as the one above allows the child from a very young age to develop the pre-frontal cortex, the logical reasoning side of the brain. This then begins to lay down the foundation for teaching the children about making wise choices even as they get older. Talking through things with a child allows them to develop independent reasoning which also builds self confidence. This has been shown to have a direct impact on improved academic performance, more like minded friendships and deeper more trustworthy connections with parents.

Proactive Parenting allows you to deal with your child’s misbehavior, in a more subtle but firm way and allows you to develop solutions along with your child. Reactive parenting on the other hand, simply is as the words suggests, you React to your child’s behavior. Reactive parenting only allows you to gain a temporary reprieve to the current situation at hand.

In the midst of moulding our children to become respectful and responsible adults in the future, parents who react to situations inadvertently end up thwarting their child’s growth, by not allowing them to realize which behaviour is bad(inappropriate) and which is good (appropriate), nor do they allow the child to fully understand why that behavior is productive or unproductive.

Helping your children to find reason and meaning in actions is of utmost importance; and, a skill required in aiding them to successfully conduct themselves in social situations, academic realms and of course in time the workplace.

A quick KurNiv Snapshot on the difference on the difference between Proactive & Reactive Parenting!

1.Creates an open relationship with your kids 1. Creates distance between you and your kids.
2. Develops a Conscience in children 2. Develops Fright – no correct sense of right & wrong.
3. Requires Self-control & Consistency from Parents. 3. It’s a mixture of impatience, no self control, inconsistency and Overpowering control over children.
4. Takes time, energy & effort, but delivers long term success driven results 4. Takes less time & energy, but teaches children to lie in an effort to protect themselves from the consequences
5. Creates an openness and trust with a sense of independent thinking 5. Creates dependence and a cycle of unproductive choices

About the Writer – 

Freyaz owns & operates KurNiv Success Solutions & KurNiv Kids, organizations which specialize in creating leaders and leadership driven mindsets for corporates, Freyaz Shroff - Founder of Kurniv Success Solutionsschools, parents, teachers & children.

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Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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