What is Unconditional Positive Regard and how exactly would that effect learning? Does it effect learning?
I am sure everyone has heard the term, but what does it mean? Unconditional positive regard or Unconditional love means that the person or in this case the child is loved without any strings attached no matter what they do. Now that does not mean that the child can get away with harming himself or anyone else or destroying things in his environment. He is still accountable for his behavior, but he is still loved and valued as a person. This brings us to another concept.
Behavior needs to separated out from who the child is intrinsically. Have you ever heard a parent say you are a bad boy for doing what ever he just did that was “bad”. Not true. His behavior may be bad in the eyes of the parents or society and perhaps even to the child. However the child is not bad. His behavior was. He was not. Does he need to be reprimanded for what he did. Perhaps. Probably, but—–He also needs to be assured that HE is good and continue to be loved for who he is.
If this is carried out, how freeing would this be? If a child knows this he could go on to greater heights. He will kinow that he can try new things without worrying about how his parents will perceive and accept what he is trying to do. He will, also, know that if he fails, his parents will still be there. It does not mean that he has total freedom to do anything he wants to do. He still needs to listen to others, but in the end it is his decision, and he has a soft place to fall if he fails. If he succeeds he will have enough faith in himself and others to try the next step.
So why don’t all parents do this all of the time. I am sure there are many reasons such as the fear of losing control of their children, the fear of how others will feel about your parenting skills and many more. Does that matter? Who is more important–your child or strangers around you? I hope it is your child.
Give him this Unconditional Positive Regard. Give him the freedom to learn and grow. It is going to make the world of difference in his world. He is not going to take advantage of you. He is going to thank you for the chance to become that person that he and you kinow he can become.