Positive Parenting and Comfort, Play & Teach FAQs

by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 03:26pm
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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. We have based our working philosophy around Positive Parenting.

Here are some questions you may be wondering about as you learn more about Positive Parenting and Comfort, Play & Teach.

Why is Positive Parenting important?

Invest in Kids' National Survey of Parents of Young Children, showed that although 9 out of 10 Canadian parents believe that parenting is the most important thing they do, nearly a third of parents could increase their Positive Parenting, a third could be more effective in their parenting and nearly two thirds could decrease their punitive parenting.

Why do we believe Positive Parenting is the best approach?

The Positive Parenting approach reflects the learning from decades of research on parenting style and the impact it has on children's development. Positive Parenting is the most important predictor of children's mental health and success in life. Equally important, Positive Parenting helps create a lifelong warm, respectful and loving relationship between parent and child.

Is Positive Parenting just about being nice to your child?

Absolutely not. Often being a reasonable parent does not feel very positive at the time. Take, for example, setting limits or disciplining appropriately. You may not feel very positive at the time. However, the long-term impacts of Positive Parenting are positive for children, and their relationship with their parents.

Being a Positive Parent seems overwhelming. How can I be that perfect?

While as a concept, Positive Parenting may look challenging, we created Comfort, Play & Teach®: A Positive Approach to Parenting. Comfort, Play & Teach® are the three main how-to's of Positive Parenting. Each is a tried and true, yet simple, way of relating positively to your children.

This sounds too simple. Will it work?

If there's anything that's come out of the scientific literature in the last 25 years, it's the importance of Comfort, Play & Teach with your children. Comfort is clearly supported by the research on attachment, depression, parenting style and discipline, which shows over and over that children do best in environments with high levels of warmth and positive regard and low levels of punitive/angry behaviour. Play, as documented in the research literature, is a critical aspect of learning to talk, becoming creative and getting along with others. And Teach is demonstrated over and over as crucial, not just for intellectual development, but for moral and ethical development as well.

Do I need to buy any special equipment?

Comfort, Play & Teach builds on the activities that you do every day with your child—no special equipment is required.

What specifically is Comfort, Play & Teach?

The Comfort, Play & Teach approach shows how each comfort, play or teach action by a parent leads to a predictable response from your infant or young child. And this is so much fun! You start something, your child picks it up, mulls it over, responds, and what a thrill for you! These Comfort, Play & Teach activities are geared to your child's age from birth to kindergarten. So you enrich your child appropriately as he grows and develops.

But I don't know what to do.

We have developed a whole series of practical, easy-to-do Comfort, Play & Teach activities and videos for you, based on the age and capabilities of your infant, toddler or preschooler. They turn everyday moments and routines into enriching experiences. Best of all, they help forge a strong bond with your child.

Is this complicated?

No. Comfort, Play & Teach are straightforward activities that can be applied across the board. You will quickly connect the dots and learn so much about how children grow and mature. Not just physically, but socially, emotionally and intellectually, too. You will be enhancing all aspects of your child’s development, with ever increasing knowledge, skills and confidence. And it is so easy!

Do I need to set aside time each day for Comfort, Play & Teach activities?

No. Thankfully, the beauty of Comfort, Play & Teach is that it is built on the naturally-occurring activities you already do with your baby, toddler or preschooler. It takes daily activities, such as eating, commuting, or bathing, and turns them into Comfort, Play & Teach moments.

What if I am not very good at comforting, playing with or teaching my child?

Most of these activities are so simple you don't have to be very talented at any of them in order to be successful. Anyway, most children are not harsh judges of their parents, and will likely be delighted with your efforts.


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Temperament Trait Strategies: Distractability

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 04:34pm
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Distractibility : On The Temperament Wheel, is your child high or low? 

Low Distractibility – this child doesn’t notice much.  These children don't easily stop what they're doing—no matter how enticing the distraction might be!


  • Give your child comfort when you interrupt his concentration. For example, say, "I know that you love playing with your new truck, but we have to go to story time at the library now." This helps your child feel that you value him—even if he doesn't like being interrupted.


  • Give your child many different types of activities, such as blocks, clay, jumper swing and pull toy. This encourages her to break her concentration and move on to new things. This helps her learn to transition more easily from one activity to another—even though she concentrates greatly on each one.


  • Help your baby maintain a balance in his activities—from heavy concentration to a variety of stimulating activities. This helps your child become more well-rounded.


High Distractibility – these children are easily sidetracked from one thing to another.  In extreme cases they have Attention Deficit Disorder.


  • Acknowledge your child when he completes one task before moving on to the next. This helps him feel proud of his accomplishment.


  • Reduce the distractions among your child's playthings. These children are easily overwhelmed by clutter and volume of toys. This will help your child be more likely to play and learn successfully with one or two things.


  • Give lots of guidance and support to help your child maintain her attention on the task at hand.  This helps your child learn that paying attention is valued by others.


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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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Temperament Trait Strategies: Intensity

by Maxine
Posted July 30 2010 04:39pm
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Intensity: On The Temperament Wheel, is your child high or low? 

Low Intensity – this child is mellow and calm.


  • Provide lots of bonding time. These children need it, even though they don't demand it.  This helps your child become more attached to you and want to please you.


  • Provide plenty of opportunities to read about big emotions from stories. For example, "The Billy Goat Gruff ROARED, "Who’s that trip-trapping over my bridge??"  This helps your child learn to delight in high intensity emotions, too.


  • Teach your baby to snuggle, kiss and hug friends and family. Not all babies do this naturally.  Have people express their love back to him, which will please him and others around him.


High Intensity – these children are the big responders.  They squeal delightedly with happiness and shriek with despair.


  • Stay calm in the face of your child's out of control emotions. This helps your child feel safe enough to start to calm down herself.


  • Act out and read stories that resolve big emotions with calm endings. For example, "Goldilocks was afraid of the wolf! But the hunter was calm and strong."  This helps your child learn that intense emotions can be resolved with calm emotions.


  • Show patience when your baby's emotions are running high. This will help her calm down.  This will help her learn from her most influential role model that returning to calm helps her cope with situations.


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One of our temperament traits, our innate reaction to the world, is First Reaction. Some people love novelty and change while others react with caution to new situations.
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You can use a variety of Comfort, Play & Teach strategies that are tailored to different temperament traits.
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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.
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