The Power of Positive Parenting

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 05:22pm
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What comes to mind when you hear the phrase Positive Parenting? Sweet kisses as you lay your sleepy baby in her crib? A heartfelt round of applause when your toddler finally takes to his potty? An enthusiastic cheer as your preschooler sails off on his two-wheeler for the first time?

While these examples are certainly clear demonstrations of positive, loving and supportive parenting, the kind of parenting that children surely respond to, the definition of Positive Parenting digs much deeper than that. 

Positive Parenting is the approach to parenting that we believe best supports all aspects of healthy child development. It is based on decades of research into the links between parenting and how young children respond to life's challenges.

What does it mean to be a Positive Parent?
In our terms, a Positive Parent is a loving, understanding, reasonable, protective teacher and model. Each of these words holds special meaning.

A Positive Parent is LOVING.
Research clearly shows that parents must be warm and nurturing, and show unconditional love for their children to flourish. This kind of love is based on listening for and responding sensitively to each child's needs and showing empathy with and respect for each child.

A Positive Parent is UNDERSTANDING.
A Positive Parent is understanding of each child's temperament, and is able to build on the strengths of each child's nature, yet be flexible as time and circumstances dictate.

A Positive Parent is REASONABLE.
A reasonable Positive Parent is consistent and predictable, sets and communicates clear limits and expectations and constructs consequences for irresponsible behaviour that are natural and reasonable, but not punitive.

A Positive Parent is PROTECTIVE.
Because infants and young children are so helpless, they need adults to provide a safe and secure base. To be protective parents must be actively involved with each child, and provide not only a physically safe environment, but also an emotionally safe atmosphere where children can experiment with emotions, relationships and ideas.

A Positive Parent is a TEACHER.
Each parent, in his or her own style and manner, provides opportunities for each child to learn in an atmosphere of acceptance, encouragement and with expectations of success. Positive Parents offer each child choices and encourage children to learn to solve problems and make decisions.

A Positive Parent is a MODEL.
Infants and young children are consummate imitators, constantly looking to their parents for guidance in how to handle life's challenges. To be an excellent role model, parents must know themselves, both internally, regarding their emotions, values and beliefs, and how they appear to others in the family, on the job and in their community.

Do you have questions about Positive Parenting? Visit our Positive Parenting FAQs page for more information or Ask and Expert

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Reflective Parenting

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 05:28pm
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"Mirror, mirror on the wall; who’s the fairest of them all?" Wouldn’t it be great if your mirror could talk back, offering you wisdom and advice on how to effectively parent your child? Although your mirror cannot reflect words and ideas, there are mirror-like skills you can use to accomplish the same task—Reflective Parenting.

What is Reflective Parenting, exactly?
To be a Reflective Parent is to look in an imaginary mirror from time to time and ask yourself if how you are parenting is the best way to help your child learn.

The Core Strategy of Reflective Parenting - ask yourself these types of questions to help move to new and more positive solutions.

  • Do I feel good about what I just did?
  • What would help my child learn from this situation?
  • How does my child feel about what just happened?
  • If I watched someone else do this, what would I think?
  • What was my child’s goal in what she just did?
  • What was my goal in what I just did?

Steve is watching his 9-month old son, Todd, move towards the china cabinet. When he pulls himself up to grab the handle on the door, Steve scolds, “Bad Todd! Bad!  Don’t touch Daddy’s things!”  Todd stops.  But he looks frightened and confused.

As Steve picks Todd up to move him away from the china cabinet, Steve reflects on what just happened. First, he didn’t mean to call Todd “bad.” Secondly, Todd probably has no idea why Steve is upset.
Steve then takes Todd back to the china cabinet and sits on the floor with him. Steve points to some of the items inside. He tells Todd how special they are, but explains “Don’t touch.  No touching.”  Then, Steve cuddles Todd as he takes him to his play area.

In this situation, Steve used Reflective Parenting. He thought about his first negative response to Todd, and then, upon reflection, created a new positive parenting interaction.

When should you apply Reflective Parenting?

  1. Prior to a situation: ask yourself some reflective questions before you intervene with your child.
  2. During a situation: sometimes you can see you’re really off track in being a Positive Parent when you are in the middle of a parenting situation. When this happens, slow things down and use reflective questions to get yourself back on track.
  3. After a situation:  evaluate how you’re feeling about what happened. If you decide that you really don’t feel good about what just happened, “revisit” and redo things in a new way—just as Steve did in the example.

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Parenting Styles

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 03:59pm
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What's your style of parenting?  Barbara Coloroso, a creative parenting expert, came up with clear labels for the 3 basic styles of parenting.





Also referred to as authoritarian,This style of parenting is inflexible, controlling and relies on discipline with punishments.




This is the permissive of parenting. It's supremely flexible and sets very few limits.





This style mixes flexibility with clear limits. This style of parenting allows children to form a moral sense of right and wrong. It allows them to think for themselves and to take responsibility for their actions. It also gives them options for solving problems. For many middle-class North American families, the backbone style of parenting is generally linked with children who do well in school and are able to resist peer pressure.


Positive Parenting and Parenting Style

Positive Parenting is based on the Backbone style of parenting. The Positive Parenting approach requires consistency rather than rigidity. Your child's temperament, as well as your own, will make the Positive Parenting approach unique for your family.

With each unique family, Positive Parenting will look and feel very different. It isn’t a cookie cutter approach to parenting.  Let's look at the Positive Parenting approach with children who have different temperaments.

The Passive Child:

If you have a fairly undemanding or passive child, you may not need to set very many limits. On the other hand, this child may need you to pay attention—even if he does not seem to need it. You will need to provide a much more stimulating environment to help him realize his potential.

The Active Child:
With an active child, you may find you need to provide a lot of limits and many more physical activities to take advantage of your child’s nature.

The Sensitive Child:
If you have a sensitive child, you may need to set your limits with quiet controls. An example of this is putting your finger to your lips when you want your child to settle down. Remember to keep your own emotions at a low level. Sensitive children often stop listening and are easily wounded when harsh tones or loud voices are used.

Here is some more information about using parenting styles

What parenting style do you typically use? Do you and your partner use the same parenting style? Share your comments by leaving a comment below! 


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Your Parents' Parenting Worksheet

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 04:14pm
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In thinking about how you want to parent your child, it is helpful to review how your parents parented you. Each parent would have treated you differently. This worksheet helps you reflect on how you were parented as a child.

Try to have each parent of your child complete this worksheet. Sharing your ratings with one another is a good way to start talking about the kind of parenting each of you wants to provide for your child.

Download the Your Parents' Parenting Worksheet (PDF)

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Take Your Temperament
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You can use a variety of Comfort, Play & Teach strategies that are tailored to different temperament traits.
Read More »
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase Positive Parenting? Positive Parenting is the approach to parenting that we believe best supports all aspects of healthy child development.
Read More »
Although your mirror cannot reflect words and ideas, there are mirror-like skills you can use to accomplish the same task—Reflective Parenting.
Read More »

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