What’s Positive Parenting and How Can it Help Your Family?

There are so many approaches to parenting out there, sometimes it can be hard to even decide which ones appeal to you, let alone start practicing them. Positive parenting is a method that can help foster trust, respect, and healthy boundaries within your home and family. It relies on parents or adults being able to control their stress and emotions, even when their children can’t so that by modeling calmness, acceptance, and consistency, parents can teach children how to regulate their own emotions. Check out these tips on how to use positive parenting with your own children, and see the difference it can make to the atmosphere in your family home.

Focus on the Praise

Throughout a single day, children can exhibit many different forms of behavior—sometimes they’ll be desperate to help you load the dishwasher, and the next moment they will be picking a fight with their sibling. As far as possible, focus on and praise the positive behavior. This doesn’t mean ignoring them if they’ve just hit someone—behavior like this needs to be addressed by sitting down with them and calmly explaining why that behavior is not acceptable. It’s important to focus on not raising your voice or threatening your child with consequences for what is seen as ‘bad’ behavior, as this can break the trust between you.

Consistency Is Key

Make sure you have regular discussions with your kids about the house rules and boundaries you have set in place. These can be open, honest conversations—if your kids feel that a rule really isn’t working, or is unfair, listen carefully to their ideas. This doesn’t mean the rule has to be changed, remember that the adults are the ones setting the boundaries—but you can explain clearly to them why the rule needs to stay. By having these regular chats, when something does go wrong and a boundary is overstepped, your kids will understand why this is an issue and will be better able to reflect on their behavior.

Model The Behavior You Want To See

It goes without saying, no one can be a saint all of the time. However, if you want your positive parenting to work, it’s important to demonstrate to your kids that you are also adhering to the family rules. Make sure to model calm, respectful conversations with your partner or other adults, as children will pick up a lot from overhearing these conversations. Remember to own your own mistakes—if you have broken a house rule, explain what you’re going to do to make it right, as again your kids can learn from this.