Positive Parenting Tips

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positive parenting tips

What is Positive Parenting?

Positive Parenting Tips for infants (0 to 1 year old)

Positive Parenting Tips for Toddlers (1 to 3 years old)

Positive Parenting Tips for Preschoolers (3 to 5 years old)

Positive Parenting Tips for Middle Childhood (5 to 11 years old)

Positive Parenting Tips for Teen Years (11 to 17 years old)

What is Positive Parenting?

Positive parenting is a way of raising kids where parents focus not on punishments for bad behavior, but instead they encourage good behavior. It is wrong to think that positive parenting is spoiling children by letting them do anything they want and not being punished for it.

  • The main principle of positive parenting is to help child control his emotions in an acceptable manner.
  • Parents try to teach kids to solve problems without punishments (especially physical).

To get the best out of positive discipline you need to understand your child and his developmental milestones.

  • It gives you hints and tips about your child's behavior, possible alternative approaches and ways and times to best foster good behavior.
  • It enables you to choose the best and most positive discipline techniques.
  •  It also lets you find the best activities that your child will enjoy the most.
  • Child development stages and milestones are thus part of the foundation that makes active and positive parenting possible.

Here are some positive parenting tips according to their age.

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Positive Parenting Tips for infants
(0 to 1 year old)

Positive parenting during the very first year of your child’s life is just bonding and building close and secure attachment. Make sure your relationship is based on Love and Trust.

  • Talk to your baby. He doesn’t understand much in the beginning, but he sure likes your voice.
  • Respond, Talk BACK to your child, when your infant makes various sounds. Answer him by repeating and adding new words.
  • Sing to your baby. Not a good singer? Who cares... Definitely, not your baby.
  • Play music. Playing classic music at least for 1 hour a day, will boost your child’s IQ later and of course your kid will have a good taste for music.
  • Read books to your baby.  It will help with his language learning process and will get a good habit of reading books later.
  • Adore your baby and give him all your love and attention.
  • Cuddle and hold your baby as much as possible.
  • Take good care of yourself. It is much easier to be positive, enthusiastic and simply happy when you are rested, calm and feeling good. Don’t forget your spouse and the things you used to enjoy before baby came into your life.

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Positive Parenting Tips for Toddlers
1 to 3 years old)

A lot is happening during this stage. Your child starts walking, talking, exploring, being more independent and having his own mind. It can get quite hectic at times with toddlers at home. A lot of people call this stage ‘terrible 2’s” or “terrible 3’s”, but if you follow these positive parenting tips, I am sure you might actually enjoy the toddler years a lot more.

  • Leave the time-outs alone. Or take them yourself.
  • Stop being bossy. If we always act bossy and tell kids to ‘just listen to me’ they will automatically follow our example and will want to act the same way - be bossy. With us. That’s where all the arguing and talking back is coming from.
  • Be a guide. While you certainly cannot make your child a boss, you have to find a middle somewhere in between. Try to be like a guide to him, help (not order) him to behave well.  Giving him chance to make a decision himself. It is actually very easy to accomplish. When you want something done, always try to provide a choice for your child. For example:

 “We need to leave the park soon. Would you like to go now or in 5 minutes”. OR “Rice is for dinner. Would you like carrots or broccoli as a vegetable?”

That way they feel that it is their choice to leave the park or eat broccoli for dinner.

  • Provide consequences of misbehavior.

 “If you don’t clean up (if you don’t help me clean up), we can’t go to the play date tonite”.

The key factor here is you have to be CONSISTENT, KEEP YOUR WORD and BE STRONG (don’t buy into their tears and all other begging stuff).

  • Give compliments all the time.  Be original though. “Good job cleaning up”, “Nice drawing” are dry, not personal and kids can feel that after some time. Try to be more specific: “I like how you organized your toys” or “This drawing reminds me the beach we visited last year. You did really good job on the colors”.
  • Expressing feelings is good. Teach your child to show his feelings even if they are bad. Daily activities should involve: reading books together, exploring nature, letting (teaching) him (un)dress, feed himself, increase their imagination by playing pretend play, teach new songs and do different crafts.

To get more ideas - read Child Discipline.

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Positive Parenting Tips for Preschoolers
(3 to 5 years old)

Preschoolers sound much more serious.

  • They want to do a lot of stuff including touching, tasting, testing, climbing, smelling, trying. They mostly learn from play. So play is very important during this stage.
  • Preschoolers tend to be more independent.
  • They develop some fears.
  • 3-5 year old kids might still have trouble getting along with other children. Sharing is still a common problem at this age.

Preschoolers need clear and simple rules so that they know the boundaries of acceptable behavior.

Usually they are capable of controlling their emotions much better at this time. However, occasionally you will hear this annoying sound called:

  • Whining...That’s how preschoolers express that they are sleepy, tired, bored, hungry or just need your attention. Be patient, understand where does that whining come from and try to help them go back to their normal behavior. What works for me best is:

“I just love your beautiful voice, the one that you usually use. I wonder what happened to it. Do you think he is playing hide and seek? Let’s find him.” Then some tickles and some hugs and kisses and you hear that beautiful laugh. “Here, I found it! Let’s continue our shopping with your beautiful voices.”

  • They are very curious, so you will hear a lot of why and why and why. Be patient to answer his questions, because it is better for him to ask you then not to ask.
  • Daily routine should involve: reading books, making child responsible for some house chores, playing with other kids.
  • Be careful with saying ‘no’. Research shows that kids, who heard ‘no’ too many times are less intelligent. Let your kids explore, learn, feed their curiosity. Provide them with the environment where you wouldn’t need to say ‘no’ as often. For example, move the things away in your house if you don’t want your child to touch them. Reserve ‘no’ for emergencies only. Try redirect their actions by starting a new activity, giving them a different toy or simply pulling away. Believe me, when ‘no’ is used only sometimes it is much more effective.  
  • Unfortunately, TV, computers, tablets, smart phones are a big part of preschoolers life these days. But It shouldn’t be.

There are a lot of research done to prove us that these things should not be in young child’s life because:

  • It slows down and damages child’s brain development. 
  • It shortens attention. Kids have hard time to focus on goals later in life.
  • It raises aggression.

Recommended by many pediatricians

  • NO TV before 2 years old, limited TV for kids over 2 years old. Do your best to avoid as much TV as possible for toddlers and preschoolers. No TV - is the best!
  • Try NO TV for a week or so. You will see the difference. Kids who don’t watch TV (or watch very little) are: very creative during play, can control their emotions better, they can easily entertain themselves.

  • Not sharing is common issue between toddlers and preschoolers. Kids do not want to share. Period. It is not natural to them. It is against their will. It causes a lot of stress for kids. So do not force the sharing at this stage. Instead try this ‘taking turns technique’, which works almost always for me.

 “Sweetie, I know you like this doll, but it is your friend’s turn. After she plays for a minute, then you will have your turn.”

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Positive Parenting Tips for Middle Childhood
(5 to 11 years old)

Well, you did it. The sleepless nights with newborn are over, the embarrassing moments at supermarket while your 3 year old is having a tantrum also are behind (hopefully) - you are now a proud parent of a school-age kid. Usually they are capable of controlling their emotions much better at this time. They are more independent from family.They admire friends a lot more.

  • Spend time with your child. Make sure to meet all of his friends and know the surroundings she is at every day. Talk with him about his goals and winnings. Mention that he will face some challenges as well. Have dinner nights with the families of his friends.
  • If your kid is in school - be very involved. Not to mention go to the school events, keep close relationship with teachers.
  • Establish nice family routines. They will help you stay closer and connected to the child. Friday movie nights, Saturday morning hikes, Thursday tea parties or Sunday woodwork day. Sky is the limit.
  • Encourage problem solving. At his age kids want (to do) things, that sometimes (every day) you will not agree on. It is easy to just say “No. End of conversation”. But it teaches kids nothing. Instead, let them negotiate, present good arguments why they need certain things. Try to come up with compromise that will make everybody happy. A win-win situation. It will help them later in life to be strong leaders or team members that know how to solve problems, negotiate things (not just ask for them).
  • Give them free time. Kids these days are way too busy going to different practices. While it is good that they are learning a lot of different things, the over scheduling has down side too. It is a good idea to spend one day once a week to do just whatever. Don’t have any plans. You can still be active during that day and do things, but it have to be whatever you kids wants. Whether it is a sleeping in or playing pillow fights or building a lego structure...
  • Discipline them. Positively. Teach them what’s right and wrong by showing that every action has consequences. For example, if he doesn’t clean his room, he can’t invite his friends for play.  OR  If he doesn’t wear halmet, he can’t ride a bike. Note. Always follow with explanation about wanted/unwanted behavior and consequences.
  • Be a good example. Kids learn from actions, not from words. Eat healthy, exercise, read, be active in a community, volunteer for nonprofit organizations, have a respectful and kind relationship with your partner. Be consistent, fair and loving. Enjoy this fun stage. It is the time you can become best friends with your child. It is important base building before teen years. Make sure you have a strong relationship with your child.

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Positive Parenting Tips for Teen Years
(11 to 17 years old)

Small children - small problems, big children - big problems!

Teenagers go through so many physical, emotional, mental and social changes during this stage. It is definitely fast paced period. They actually become adults and decide on what they want to be in life.
Many big goals are set, few disappointments are faced as most of them interact socially a lot.
Be a friend. Show a lot of love.

Yes, your child is a teenager but you can still imply a lot of techniques of positive parenting like: 

  • Listening
  • Giving choices
  • Spend quality time together
  • Empathizing
  • Noticing good behavior
  • Setting some rules and sticking to them
  • Encourage problem-solving

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