Positive parenting is an approach that is built on mutual respect and treating your child as a person with feelings and the ability to think and make decisions. The positive parenting approach means saying good-bye to “because I said so” and instead, modeling good communication skills. The power of positive parenting is that if we show our children how to communicate effectively and handle conflict, they will learn how to do it for themselves. These five positive parenting tips will help you teach your child to be a better communicator and make home life easier and happier for all parties.
5 Useful Positive Parenting Tips
1. Talk to your child at their level
Get down on their level and talk to your child eye-to-eye. Not only does this show compassion and respect, it helps your child focus on what you’re saying. As an added bonus, it teaches them to look people in the eye when they talk to them.
2. Enforce consequences
When your child understands that their actions have consequences, they’re more likely to think and act accordingly. There are good consequences, like complimenting someone and making their day. And bad consequences, like saying something mean that hurts someone’s feelings. All actions and words have consequences and your child needs to understand that so they can use their words and actions better. Of these positive parenting tips, this is very useful to helping them chose their best behaviors all on their own.
The consequence should match the action so that your child can easily relate the two things. For instance, if they don’t pick up their toys that they were supposed to, the toys can be taken away for a bit. If they push another child, they can apologize and comfort the other child.
As long as there are consequences for bad behavior, your child will start to learn better behavior. And likewise, if you catch them doing something good like sharing a toy and you compliment them, they will be more likely to repeat that behavior.
3. Explain why
Telling your child to do something or to stop doing something isn’t enough. They don’t understand why they need to do or not do it. Once they understand there’s a good reason, they can accept what you’re telling them better. For instance, “don’t stand on the chair, you don’t have enough balance and you could fall and hurt yourself” is better than a simple “get down.”
The “why” is the teachable moment for your child so explain your decisions and requests when possible . This positive parenting tip will help produce responsible children that reason out their own actions before they do them.
4. Talk to them like a person
Don’t talk down to your child. Instead, use age-appropriate language when communicating with them and talk to them as you would an adult. If you’re running errands, tell them about where you’re going and why, what you need to get, and how long you think it will take. This allows them to feel part of what’s going on instead of just being dragged along. It will also allow them to predict what’s happening and what’s expected of them, eliminating tantrums over being confused.
5. Give children warnings
Of all the positive parenting tips, this one makes things so much easier for both the child and the parent. Instead of springing a change on them, give them a “heads up” type of warning to allow them to mentally prepare. “Dinner will be ready in 10 minutes so you will need to clean up your toys soon and go wash up.” “We need to leave soon so you have 5 more minutes to play.” Giving them information and time to adjust to what they need to do will help eliminate the tantrums that come with sudden change.
The positive parenting tips will help children learn to communicate better, understand what they need to know, and reduce outbursts of frustration. Simply put, treat your child as you would want someone to treat you, communicate on their level, and be clear about what your expectations are. Be sure to share your own positive parenting tips in the comments! Do you have any stories to share about your experience with putting positive parenting tips into practice?