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Positive Parenting

Whatever your goals for positive parenting might be, here are a few guidelines to keep you on track to being a positive parent.


Give Your Children Choices:  Allowing your children to make choices fosters independence and confidence. It also helps children make good decisions for themselves when they’re on their own.

When they’re young, allowing your children to choose what they wear can be very empowering. Of course, very little ones can be overwhelmed by too many choices, so pick out two t-shirts and let them choose from the two.

As your children get older, they can have more decisions. Even if you have your heart set on your daughter being a piano player, if she wants to explore the violin or even hockey instead, encourage that. 

You can also help your children make good choices by helping them consider all the factors involved in that choice. If they want to play hockey, they’ll have to consider the early morning practices and loss of free time. They’ll also want to think about the skills they will learn, the teamwork they’ll benefit from and so on.

Be a Role Model & Teacher: Demonstrate how your children should behave and relate to other people with your own example. If we are constantly angry and yelling (which we’ll talk about a bit later), how can we expect our children not to use anger in their interactions with other people?

If you want your children to choose healthy foods, make sure that you follow a healthy diet as well. If you want them to read each night, make sure they see you reading regularly as well.

You can be a role model by telling your children about your experiences that they may not have seen firsthand. Be honest, don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes and let them learn from your sharing.

Play & Interact with Your Children: Be involved with your children. Play games together, go on outings together and have fun. Even if your children are older and more independent, find things that you can do together. Interacting with your children deepens your family connection and allows you to demonstrate yourself as a role model for your children.

Have tea parties with your little girl. Attend your older children’s sporting events and get together to talk about it afterward. Do art projects together. Get involved with school project (but don’t take over)!

There are many opportunities throughout each and every day to be involved with your children. Make sure you take as many of them as you can. Sometimes we can get involved in household chores or other things that need to be done. Try to set a schedule for these activities, so you have plenty of time afterward to interact with your children. Or better yet, get your kids involved in the household chores. Prepare meals together, reorganize closets or clean out the garage. Even if the tasks aren’t fun, keep the conversation light and enjoy your time together.

Praise Your Children: Praise them for the things they do well, improvements and efforts they make and encourage them to pursue their interests. Do what you can to make sure your children are surrounded by people who praise including older siblings, relatives, educators and friends. Be sure to fill your child with praise.  Tell them that you love them, tell them when they do a job well.   Don’t forget hugs and kisses too! Remember, there doesn’t even have to be a specific reason to share praise. Share it liberally just because.

Helpful Resources:

Better Behavior Wheel An upbeat, fun, and totally unique approach to child behavior management.

Parenting An Only Child The Joys And Challenges Of Raising Your One And Only: Looks at the advantages and disadvantages of the single-child family, and offers tips on raising an only child.

Vicki Lansky's Practical Parenting Tips: Over 1,500 Helpful Hints for the First Five Years. A treasured classic of time-tested tips and advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics and from parents "in the trenches."

Free Subscription to Baby Talk Magazine Babytalk has all the information expectant and new parents want and need – from health and safety issues to the latest and greatest products for baby.

Reading Solutions for Kids

Zoobooks Turn a youngster's love of animals into a love of reading!





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