Positive Parenting With Jade Gandey

Posted on December 12, 2017

Words: Jason Eybe

Feature Image + Image 1: Gypsy Westwood
Image 2: Aida Matei

Jade Gandey has lived in Ibiza for eight years, five of which with her daughter, who was born here. A researcher of Positive Psychology, a subject that has inspired her so deeply, Jade is now sharing her findings with other parents, both in Ibiza and across the world. Her research is helping support them raise resilient kids in today’s modern, pressure-filled society. We caught up with Jade to get an insight into her research, what inspired it and how it can help you become a positive parent…

What made you become a Positive Parent?
I always knew that when I had my own child I would use positive language like “tread carefully” rather than “don’t fall”, that I would reason with my child where possible and teach her skills to regulate her own emotions. Then in 2012 when I finally had my first child, I got a shock. My personal life was a bit of a challenge and I was a self-supporting single mum by the time she was a year old. It is so easy to have a short temper, be dismissive and unengaged, when you, as a parent, are having a hard time. I also knew that was not the parent I wanted to be, so I started researching how I could be a better parent and that’s when I started learning about Positive Psychology. I studied ‘The Science of Happiness” and I realised if I applied the techniques to myself I could test them out. I then start using them on my daughter and the results were incredible. That’s when I realised I wanted to share what I was learning.

Positivr P-44

We have heard great things about your days of outdoor learning for parents, what exactly is it you are teaching them?
I love to empower parents who want to help their children grow! I share tips, advice, help and great ideas all backed by scientific research, much of which comes from cutting-edge Positive Psychology studies. It is so hard to fit everything I want to share into just a day. However, I have created a course titled “Easy Positive Ideas for Parents” – it really serves as an introduction to get people thinking in a different way. The areas I introduce are Growth Mindset, Proper Praise, Gratitude, Regulating Emotions, Mindfulness – Exercise – Nutrition and Self Control. There is overwhelming evidence, from detailed studies all over the world, that clearly shows that we really can make a huge positive influence in our children’s lives if we understand these areas.

What does it mean to you to be a Positive Parent?
It is important to start by saying a few things about the word POSITIVE. Being a positive parent does not mean you can’t get frustrated, cry, shout or be mad. It just means that, where possible, you will try and use positive techniques to support your child to grow. Recognising that all emotions and experiences (including the negative ones) have some value and can be learned from. If we can learn to name these emotions and experience them for what they are, without hanging on to them for long periods of time, then they will ultimately serve us.

We live in a happiness-obsessed society, where we may have forgotten that it’s Ok to be sad, angry or miserable sometimes. These perceived negative emotions and experiences have both benefits and drawbacks, which eventually lead to our growth even if sometimes painful. Our less mature parenting moments should not drag us down, we should recognise our weaknesses and grow from them. Use them to become better parents. Being ‘a positive parent’ is hard, there are times I get frustrated and do not behave like ‘A Positive Parent’ but I know not to beat myself up. I recognise these are the challenges of parenting and appreciate that applying these various Growth Parenting techniques I can be a better parent in the long run. A key part of being a Positive Parent is to understand the principles of Positive Psychology.

Image by Aida Matei

What are the principles of Positive Psychology and how do they relate to parenting?
The PERMA model was created by the father of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman. PERMA stands for Positive Emotions (feeling good), Engagement (finding flow), Relationship (authentic connections), Meaning (purposeful existence) and Achievement (a sense of accomplishment). Researching each of these areas and applying them to our home life is scientifically proven to make us happier. I think that learning about these techniques and using them with our kids is one of the best opportunities for personal development there is.

What is Growth Parenting?
Growth Parenting is a technique that I am forming as a result of my extensive research. I believe that by combining elements of Positive Parenting (such as using relative consequences, encouraging kids to be problem solvers and not overusing the word no) and Positive Psychology whilst recognising that challenge plus support will ultimately help our children grow. With these three elements, I hope to support parents to use gentler parenting techniques with strong positive exercises that bring more fulfillment and happiness to their and their children’s lives. I believe that parenting is the ultimate personal development opportunity and by understanding what will make our children flourish it will in turn make parents flourish too.


Where can we learn more?
Those who live in or visit Ibiza can join one of my days of outdoor learning, where I take parents on breathtaking walks. I share some of the incredible research I have found in the areas of Growth Mindset, Positive Praise, Gratitude, Regulating Emotions, Mindfulness, Exercise, Nutrition, and Self Control. I have just completed my winter dates and will announce the spring dates in the new year on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/apositiveparent but as demand is high and not everyone can make it to Ibiza I have now launched an online course – Easy Positive Ideas for Parents – which shares lots of amazing information that could really change any families life for the better. You can find the course here… http://apositiveparent.clickfunnels.com/optin

What is next?
Lots of studying and sharing – I feel very happy as a seeker, researching and compiling all this incredible information into easy understandable language for parents! To mentor in the best possible way, I want to use the next few years to study extensively with a view to sharing my findings in an easy to understand language that busy parents can adopt and use in their day to day life. I plan to go to Geelong Grammar in Australia in 2018 to study Positive Education, it’s one of the very few in the world offering such a course – I would love to bring these findings back to share with parents. Then ideally, I would like to join the University of Pennsylvania Penn Resilience Program in 2019 but, at the moment the course is only open to groups of 150+ people but that is looking to evolve over the next couple of years and I will be able to enroll as an individual. Around this studying I will continue to share these findings and inspire parents to empower them to help their children grow, building both my Ibiza based and online courses… and I have plans for a book but that is a little further down the line.

w: www.apositiveparent.net
i: www.instagram.com/apositiveparent
fb: www.facebook.com/apositiveparent

A postive parent FINAL Logo website