How To Turn Positive Psychology Into Positive Parenting
Charlotte Parent|January 2020
How To Turn Positive Psychology Into Positive Parenting
Homing in on your strengths in times of stress pays off for the whole family
Michele Huggins

Should your child play a team sport? Is it time to budget for private music lessons? Does your teen need to see a counselor for their anxiety? Parenting comes with a slew of questions and no set answers because every child is different. We worry about doing all the right things, but the constant thinking, researching, and wondering can wear any parent down.

According to psychologist Michele Mannering of Charlotte, the answers may be as simple as looking inward at our own strengths and talents and observing the strengths of our children. This mindset is called positive psychology, and she shares how to turn positive psychology into positive parenting.

Charlotte Parent: Let’s start with the basics. What is positive psychology?

Michele Mannering: Dr. Martin Seligman launched the positive psychology movement 20 years ago. The tenets of positive psychology were not simply looking at a glass as half full or learning to make lemonade when life gives you lemons. Research had long put forth ideas suggesting that people had to fix something that was wrong and that if nothing was “wrong” then there was nothing to do. The goal of positive psychology is to tap into the innate strengths that reside inside every individual. It is not trying to create something new but instead releasing the potential that is already there. The goal is to expand what is right and enhance well-being. There is no status quo in positive psychology. The goal is to flourish.

CP: So how does positive psychology fit into parenting?

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January 2020