5 Tips for “Positive Parenting”
On February 4, 2012. By Megan Baker, M.A.
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Early Childhood Development Associates

No matter who you are, and whether or not you’re engaged in a program to correct your child’s behavior, there is a great deal that you, as a parent, can do to reduce or prevent social, emotional, behavioral, and adjustment difficulties. These tips may seem to you like common knowledge, and you may have already heard the same information from numerous experts. However, we can all use a refresher course and a gentle reminder once in a while.

Here are five helpful tips for Positive Parenting:

  1. Instruct calmly. By modeling calmness and reasonableness, your child will regard you as a resource rather than someone to steer clear of. When teaching important lessons or talking about difficult issues, make a point to sit on the couch together or try taking a walk rather than trying to instruct during your child’s tantrum or when other children or parents are around.
  2. Listen to your child. Listening attentively to your child not only improves their self-esteem, it represents a healthy exchange that will help your child with interactions later in life. When children feel comfortable coming to parents to ask questions, the parent is considered an “askable” parent. Being an “askable” parent is particularly important because children and adolescents would honestly rather discuss touchy subjects with their parents than with outside sources like school friends or the media.
  3. Solve problems together.  Become clear about your behavior goals for your child. Try making a list of all of the unwanted behaviors as well as their positive opposites, and work with your child toward the desired outcomes.
  4. Be generous with affection.  Physical contact with your children throughout life is vital to their development, to their ability to respond to stress, and increases both physical and psychological comfort. A simple hug, kiss, or gentle pat on the back can also make praising your child more effective.
  5. Take care of yourself.  Being a bit selfish in your daily life is actually beneficial for both you and your family. If you are too burnt out, the negative effects of that stress will show in your interactions with your children and your primary relationship. So, take some time to recharge and refocus your energy. Make a list of the things you enjoy doing that help you feel more calm and relaxed and post it in a noticeable place. Do these things as often as you can….your family will thank you for it.

Suggestions Summarized from “The Kazdin Method: for Parenting the Defiant Child” by Alan E. Kazdin, Ph.D.

For support with parenting and any other early childhood questions  give us a call at the early childhood development associates (323-655-5580) on melrose.