Positive parenting involves raising your kids in a way that focuses on their strengths and abilities. This doesn't mean you ignore problems or disruptive behavior. All parents have to deal with issues of discipline and placing certain limits on their child's behavior. However, the parenting skills we'll be discussing in this article are ones that encourage and reward positive behavior.
One of the most important aspects of positive parenting is giving praise to your child. This has to be done in the right way, however, or the message won't be properly communicated. For one thing, while it's fine to tell children how great they are in general, you also have to focus on specifics. Whether it's a good grade on a report card or toys that have been neatly put away, make sure you praise the particular action. Of course, you don't want to use praise so much that it's meaningless. You should use praise consistently, but only when it's appropriate, so your child will know that you are being genuine when you offer it.
It's important to correct inappropriate behavior, but you should avoid doing so in a way that criticizes the child directly. Focus on the undesirable behavior and explain why it's not acceptable. If your child comes home with a low grade on a test, for example, you should emphasize the importance of studying harder. What you should avoid, however, is calling your child names or saying that he or she is "bad" or "stupid." When rules are broken, explain the reason for the rule and how you expect the child to behave in the future. Putting a negative label on the child, however, is only going to reinforce the unwanted behavior. You should always criticize or correct the behavior rather than the child.
You should always be aware of what your kids are doing and who they are with. This has become more complicated in the age of the internet and cell phones, as it can be just as important what they are doing online as where they go when they are outside the home. This doesn't mean you have to look over their shoulders every minute. However, you should be aware of your child's activities online and who they communicate with. If your child has a cell phone, the same rules apply. Nowadays, you can't assume that a child is safe just because he or she is at home in front of a computer screen.
Positive parenting is not always easy, and no parent can expect to be perfect in every way. Being a good parent doesn't mean your child never has problems or that your patience is infinite. It does mean that you take an active interest in your child's life and activities. The tips on positive parenting that we've shared in this article can help guide you towards being a more effective and conscientious parent.