11 Positive Parenting Techniques

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Positive parenting is based on the assumption that children are inherently good and that they want to do the right thing. Positive parents are empathetic. They understand that every child is unique, so they listen to, praise, and encourage them. Above all, they lead by example. 

Positive parents look to the future to decide what personal values they want for their children. They create an environment where the children feel loved and safe as they learn to become responsible adults. 

Encouraging good behavior

Positive parenting techniques encourage good behavior rather than punish misbehavior. It is all about mutual respect between parents and their children. 

The idea of positive parenting is based on the notion that your relationship with your children is all-important. Positive parenting is not the same as permissive parenting, where parents allow their children to do just as they please. 

The goal is to raise your child to respect people and rules, not through fear but through self-discipline and respect for others. As a positive parent, you focus on desired behaviors rather than on bad behavior, meaning that coaching is continuous. 

Positive parenting techniques

Positive parenting is not a firm course; it’s a set of techniques and principles that you can install at your own pace.

1. Spend quality time with your child

Spend focused, quality time with each of your children every day. Allocate at least ten minutes a day to do whatever it is your child wants to do. You may find the older children will resist spending time with you at first. Persevere and find the time to bond over fun events. Quality time spent with your children will help you build a connection. You’ll get to know your children better, and they’ll learn to trust you and talk to you. 

2. Find the cause of poor behavior

Children misbehave for a reason. Focus on the cause of the behavior and address the problem. Speak to your child. Actively listen and address the cause. In understanding the underlying reasons, you may avoid future incidents before they occur. 

Some of the reasons that children misbehave include the following

  • Sibling jealousy
  • They want attention
  • They’re anxious about school or playschool
  • They’re hungry or tired.

3. Lead by example

Children learn by copying others. Your children watch your behavior and follow your example. If you shout at your child or humiliate him in any way, he will learn to do the same when he is angry. The opposite is also true. If you are always kind and respectful, no matter how angry you are, your child will learn to treat others with equal respect. 

Kindness will also help your child to calm down and cooperate. 

4. Set boundaries

Set boundaries, and agree on them with your partner. Then stick firmly to these boundaries. Make as few rules as possible and make them clear and simple. Your child must understand the limits and know the consequences of not respecting them. 

Children will always push boundaries. It is their way of testing their independence and seeing what they can get away with. This is why boundary infringements must be consistently and diligently managed. 

It is often difficult to decide when the time has come to set new boundaries. For this, look to yourself. If you are frustrated with the current circumstances, it may be time to set new limits. This can sometimes create a power struggle. When explaining the new boundary to your child, keep it simple and stay calm. 

In setting new limits, you show your child that you, too, have needs. This is an important lesson. It will help your child to empathize with others and teaches him that he too can set boundaries. 

5. Build routines

Children like routine. Routine helps to build trust and develop connections. Develop routines for all the daily processes in your life. When you have routines, children know what to expect, so it is less likely that they will push back. 

Make sure that there is a bedroom routine that makes allowances for plenty of sleep. Children need a lot of sleep to support their emotional and physical growth. When they don’t get enough sleep, they may be irritable and badly behaved. They will also find it difficult to focus. Smaller children may also need a good rest during the day.  

6. Gentle discipline

Punishment and discipline are different. Discipline should help your child to learn from his mistakes rather than suffer for them. Punishment focuses on the parent’s control over the child rather than the child’s control over his actions. Discipline teaches self-control.

Children must understand that bad behavior brings consequences. The positive parenting approach calls for creative ways to discipline children. The aim is to teach good behavior rather than punishing the child for bad behavior. 

Positive parenting requires that you don’t react emotionally but rather respond appropriately to the child’s actions. As parents, we need to remember that the aim of discipline is to teach better behavior rather than showing who’s in charge. Bad behavior should result in reasonable and natural consequences. The consequences must relate directly to the misdemeanor. 

Dr. Jane Nelsen is an expert on the work of Dr. Alfred Adler, the man who created the principles of positive parenting. She describes the four r’s that result from punishment. They are: 

  • Resentment
  • Revenge
  • Rebellion – through worse behavior
  • Retreat – becoming sneaky or loss of self-esteem

The aim of discipline is to show children how to behave well rather than to punish them for poor behavior. It is a necessary part of parenting that should help your children to control their impulses. 

Positive Parenting Techniques

7. Development age considerations

Your parenting strategy must be age-appropriate. Toddlers, for example, may not understand the concept of consequences. If a toddler misbehaves, it may be more appropriate to redirect his attention to something else rather than discipline him. 

Ensure that your home is childproof so that your young child can safely explore. Part of growing up is learning independence and pushing boundaries. You can help your child by allowing him to do things for himself. Let him dress and feed himself and choose his own toys. When your child succeeds with your encouragement, he will learn independence and gain self-esteem.  

As your child grows, your approach to parenting will have to change. However, the principles remain the same. The boundaries and limits that you set for a toddler will be different than those you set for your preschooler or adolescent child. 

8. Encourage communication

Communication is central to positive parenting, and it’s a two-way street. You should spend as much time listening to your child as you spend talking to him. Let your child know through your discussion how their behavior can influence outcomes and emotions. 

Encourage your children to speak about their feelings. Help your child to find ways to tell you how they feel. You can develop trust and care with your young child through your body language, eye contact, and tone of voice. 

If you tell your child no, give them an explanation on why they can’t do what they want to. “You can’t wear that summer dress today. It’s cold outside.” 

9. Learning from mistakes

Positive parenting is about learning from mistakes. So, it makes sense to create a learning opportunity from misbehavior. Teach your child to find outlets for anger and frustration rather than acting them out. If, for example, your child breaks a toy when she throws it in a tantrum. Explain that she can now no longer play with her toy. Next time she may think twice before damaging her things. 

10. Reward good behavior

Parents often ignore their children when they behave. This can result in bad behavior from a child who wants more attention. For children, negative responses may be better than no response at all. 

Praise and encouragement can help to boost self-confidence and reinforce good behavior. Children are eager to please, and they are more likely to behave well if you notice and reward that good behavior. If, for example, your child offers to help you clean up, praise and thank him for the help. He is likely to offer to help again next time.

11. Be consistent

When it comes to parenting, consistency is all-important. Inconsistency will lead to confusion. It is also likely to tempt your child to push the limits to see how you react. 

The Benefits of positive parenting

Positive parenting offers benefits for the children and the parents. We’ve listed some of them below:

  • Fewer behavioral problems – harsh parenting tends to create behavioral problems. Children brought up by parents who lack empathy often battle with self-regulation
  • Enhanced self-esteem  
  • Close relationships with parents – positive parenting improves communication and trust between parent and child. This will become increasingly important as your child enters adolescence and her social interactions become more complex
  • Better school performance helps children to regulate their emotions
  • Reduction in childhood depression
  • Children feel more connected to their parents, so they want to please them. 

How to start positive parenting

You can start on the road to positive parenting, whatever your child’s age, but it begins with you. It isn’t easy to change habits but learning calm parenting techniques will pay dividends – a happy family with connected, well-adjusted children. 

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