Positive Parenting

Having consistent and supportive experiences with your child as they grow can help you create memories together and allow you to form a strong bond. This solid connection between you and your child may encourage open and honest communication and may support your child’s willingness to come to you for help and reassurance as they face new challenges and life experiences. The consistency and support you exhibit with your child can serve as a foundation that can help shape them as they grow into independent adults.

Positive Parenting

The use of positive parenting techniques can aid you in your efforts to create loving connections with your child. The concept of positive parenting is described as “…the continual relationship of a parent(s) and a child or children that include caring, teaching, leading, communicating, and providing for the needs of a child consistently and unconditionally” (Seay et al., 2014, p. 207). Positive parenting is consistent, empathetic, empowering, nurturing, and guiding (Lonczak, 2019).

By using positive parenting techniques, parents can establish clear and consistent guidelines and expectations for their children. Through collaborative communication and guidance, children learn boundaries and expectations while understanding the consequences of their actions (Institute for Educational Initiates, 2021). Approaching parenting in this manner may increase a child’s success as they enter adulthood because they understand these important concepts of actions and consequences.

A misconception about positive parenting may be that this type of parenting is too permissive. However, through positive parenting, parents use clearly defined rules and guidelines to implement expectations for their children while continuing to meet their child’s needs in a consistent way.

Positive Parenting Techniques

Zero to Three (2018) lists several parenting behaviors that foster children’s growth. The following selected parenting behaviors and habits can help guide healthy development for children:

  • Viewing situations from a child’s point of view.
  • Providing consistent age-appropriate guidelines.
  • Being able to recognize one’s own feelings and being able to regulate them.
  • Celebrating the child’s strengths and abilities.
  • Responding with sensitivity and interest.

In addition to the general parenting behaviors and techniques listed above, there are also specific actions that a parent can take with their child, depending on the age of the child (CDC, 2021). Those actions include the following:

Age (In Years) Ways to Practice Positive Parenting
0-3
  • Take care of yourself mentally and physically.
  • Talk to and respond to your child, even before they are able to use words.
  • Praise your child for their positive behaviors, and limit your reactions to defiant behavior.
3-5
  • Use clear and consistent language, especially when disciplining your child.
  • Speak in full and clear sentences so your child understands you and learns how to speak.
  • Help your child through problem-solving, especially when they are upset.
5-10
  • Help your child set goals that are achievable and supportive.
  • Discuss what is going on in your child’s life with them. Help them verbalize their emotions and feelings.
  • Help your child understand and develop a sense of right and wrong.
10-18
  • Help your child make healthy choices as they learn to make their own decision.
  • Communicate clear expectations and goals to your child while allowing them to share their input.
  • Be honest and direct with your child about topics like drinking, smoking, drugs, and sex.

Moving Forward

Practicing and participating in positive parenting are conscious and intentional processes that continue throughout your child’s life – even when they are an adult. As you and your child navigate your parent-child relationship and the joys and challenges it may bring, try to incorporate positive parenting techniques and strategies into your parenting approach in order to nurture a solid base that is built on trust and mutual respect.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, February 22). Positive parenting tips. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/childdevelopment/positiveparenting/index.html

Lonczak, H. S. (2019, May 8) What is positive parenting? 33 examples and benefits. PositivePsychology.com. https://positivepsychology.com/positive-parenting

Seay, A., Freysteinson, W. M., & McFarlane, J. (2014). Positive parenting. Nursing Forum, 49(3), 200–208. https://doi.org/10.1111/nuf.12093

Zero To Three. (2018). Positive parenting [Infographic]. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/2240-positive-parenting-infographic

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