Unconditional positive regard is the acceptance and love of a child for who they are, regardless of their behavior. It’s essential for a child’s healthy development, including their self-esteem, self-determination, and motivation to succeed.
When parents and teachers show unconditional positive regard for children, they’re communicating to the children that they are worthy of love and respect, even when they make mistakes. This helps children develop a positive sense of self-worth and to believe in themselves.
Children that receive unconditional positive regard, are more likely to view challenges as opportunities for growth and development.
They become receptive to constructive feedback, as they know it is given with their best interests at heart. They understand that making mistakes and facing setbacks are part of the learning process. This helps them develop a growth mindset characterized by a desire to learn, improve, and continuously strive for success.
Ways to express
unconditional positive regard for children:
- Expressing love and affection.
This can be done through words, actions, and physical touch.
- Setting clear expectations. Children need to know what is expected of them in order to feel safe and secure. However, it is important to convey these expectations in a loving and supportive way.
- Positive reinforcement. When children behave well, let them know that you are proud of them.
- Being responsive to children’s social-emotional needs. When children are feeling stressed or upset, take the time to listen to them and support them.
- Avoiding conditional love. This means remaining positive and loving even when children make mistakes or exhibit challenging behaviors.
Unconditional Positive Regard is one of the most important gifts that parents and teachers can give to children. It will set them up for lifelong self-confidence and resilience.