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Positive Parenting and Soma Parenting: Nurturing Approaches for Holistic Child Development


A young girl sitting on a bed taking a picture of her father, mother and newborn sibling who are also sitting on the bed. Mum and dad are smiling.
Positive Parenting and Soma Parenting

Both Positive Parenting and the Soma Parenting approach aim to foster a supportive environment for children's growth, they differ in focus and methods. This article delves into the core principles of Positive Parenting, explores the unique facets of Soma Parenting, and compares the two to help parents make informed choices for their family.


Understanding Positive Parenting


Positive Parenting, a term popularized by parenting experts, is a philosophy centred around developing a strong, deeply committed relationship between parents and children. It emphasizes mutual respect, communication, and understanding. Key elements include:


  1. Empathy and Respect: Understanding children’s feelings and perspectives.

  2. Effective Communication: Fostering open and honest dialogue.

  3. Non-Punitive Discipline: Using guidance and teaching moments instead of punishment.

  4. Encouraging Independence: Allowing children to make choices and learn from consequences.

  5. Unconditional Love and Support: Providing a secure emotional base.


Positive Parenting aims to empower children, helping them develop self-discipline, responsibility, and self-esteem.


Exploring Soma Parenting


Soma Parenting, developed by paediatrician and mind-body expert Dr. Jivasu, is inspired by the principles of somatic awareness Soma Parenting takes a unique, body-centered approach to child development. It focuses on understanding a child’s physical cues and nurturing their bodily awareness. Key aspects include:


  1. Bodily Awareness and Intuition: Encouraging children to be in tune with their body's signals.

  2. Physical Expression of Emotions: Using physical activities as outlets for emotional expression.

  3. Tailoring Environment to Somatic Personality: Creating spaces that resonate with a child’s physical and emotional needs.

  4. Physical Interaction and Touch: Emphasizing the importance of physical contact for emotional and physical development.

  5. Respecting Natural Rhythms: Adapting to the child's inherent rhythms in daily life.


Soma Parenting recognizes the body as a vital aspect of a child’s identity and development, promoting holistic growth.



A smiling blonde woman holding a laughing young boy in her arms.
Soma Parenting- Body Based Parenting


Comparing Positive and Soma Parenting


While both Positive and Soma Parenting approaches share the goal of nurturing well-rounded, healthy children, their methodologies differ:


  • Focus: Positive Parenting is more behaviour and communication-focused, while Soma Parenting emphasizes the physical and somatic aspects of a child’s development.

  • Discipline: Positive Parenting uses non-punitive, teaching-focused discipline methods, whereas Soma Parenting approaches discipline by understanding physical and emotional cues, often through physical activities and expression.

  • Emotional Development: Both approaches value emotional intelligence, but Soma Parenting uniquely encourages physical avenues for emotional expression and processing.

  • Environment: Soma Parenting places significant emphasis on tailoring the child’s environment to their somatic personality, a facet less pronounced in traditional Positive Parenting.


Conclusion


Both Positive Parenting and Soma Parenting offer compassionate, nurturing frameworks that recognize the child as a whole being with physical, emotional, and psychological needs. Whether you lean towards the empathetic communication of Positive Parenting or the body-awareness focus of Soma Parenting, the core intention remains the same: to raise happy, healthy, and well-adjusted children in a loving environment. Remember, the journey of parenting is not about perfection, but about growing and learning alongside your child in a way that enriches both your lives.

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