The positive parenting approach is focused on building a mutually respectful relationship between caregivers and children that’s based on clear communication. This approach is proven to reduce behavioral problems, increase children’s self-esteem, and more.
At its core, positive parenting assumes all children are born with the desire to do the right thing. Setting realistic, age-appropriate expectations can help children learn what the right thing is. When we clearly communicate our expectations to children and why they’re in place, children are better able to meet our expectations and feel successful.
Positive parenting comes with a lot of great benefits for you and your child. Decades of research has shown that positive parenting can result in increased emotional growth in children. It builds a strong, mutually respectful relationship between children and caregivers, as it eliminates power struggles, yelling, and other unwanted behaviors. Children raised through positive parenting have increased self-esteem and mental wellness, and they’re more likely to believe in their own abilities.
You can start using positive parenting techniques as early as infancy. Research has shown that babies under one year old benefit from positive parenting because it helps develop a secure bond between caregivers and infants. No matter your child’s age, you can always start adding positive parenting to your caregiving approach. Try out these tips to get started:
In positive parenting, there’s a reason behind every behavior. Focusing on your child and their emotions can give you valuable information about why they acted in a particular way. This will help you talk with them about their emotions and remind them of your expectations when the situation comes up again.
This approach is about maintaining boundaries in a calm way when children are upset. It’s not easy to do, especially in high-stress moments. But just like any skill, it can grow with practice.
Consistency, consistency, consistency. Talking with your child about the expectations and boundaries that you have set will help your child remember them. Children often test those boundaries, and that’s normal! If you keep communicating what the rule is and why it’s in place, it will help your child meet your expectations.
Every situation is a learning opportunity for your child. A goal of positive parenting is to help children think about what can happen in the future. When your child misbehaves or breaks a rule, it’s an opportunity to teach them what the expected behavior is when they face that situation the next time.
Consistently communicating your expectations to your child and why you have those expectations provides the stability that helps children thrive.