Have you ever wondered, “What is positive parenting?”
Are you looking for positive parenting solutions?
In this article about positive parenting strategies, you’ll discover…
- Positive parenting books.
- Examples of positive parenting.
- The definition of positive parenting.
- How to be a more playful and joyful parent.
- The differences between authoritative and authoritarian parenting.
- Information about other parenting styles.
- Positive parenting programs.
- Videos and podcast episodes about parenting.
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Other Names for Positive Parenting
Positive parenting can go by a few different names. The terms below are frequently used for this style of parenting.
- Authoritative parenting
- Gentle parenting
- Peaceful parenting
- Attachment parenting
- Positive discipline
- Mindful parenting
- Conscious parenting
What Is Positive Parenting?
During a HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast interview, parenting coach Sarah R. Moore defined positive parenting in the following way.
“Positive parenting is basically parenting with the good of the relationship in mind. Positive parenting is not looking for short-term quick fixes. It is not about getting kids to do things. Because all of those things that I mentioned at the beginning of the call are about power and control.
With positive parenting, we know that there is no place for power and control in a healthy relationship. And as I mentioned, this is not about being permissive.
This is not about having no boundaries or no guidelines, but this is working alongside our children to create win-win situations. I always say it’s never us against our child.
It’s us and our child against the problem we’re trying to solve.”Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting founder and parenting coach, Sarah R Moore. Interview on the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast.
Benefits of Positive Parenting
When you use positive parenting techniques, you’ll experience some of the following benefits.
- Raising kids with joy and fulfillment – theirs and ours.
- Finding positive ways to teach life lessons.
- Ending power struggles.
- Influencing kids’ behavior for the better.
- Your kids will be happier and more successful than they would be if parented differently.
Authoritative vs Authoritarian Parenting
In essence, authoritative and authoritarian parenting are nearly the opposite. An authoritative parenting style is good for children, while an authoritarian parenting style can have negative consequences for the child.
What is Authoritarian Parenting?
In our interview, Sarah shares that authoritarian parenting is, “It’s the my way or the highway, you must do what I say because I’m the adult type parenting.” An authoritarian parent is overly strict and demanding and lacks compassion and warmth in their interactions with the child.
What is Authoritative Parenting?
On the other hand, parents who are authoritative guide their children through conversation and explain why they have certain rules. While a a parent may or may not adjust their viewpoint, they will listen to their child and try to understand their perspective.
According to the American Psychological Association, “Authoritative parenting is nurturing, responsive, and supportive, yet sets firm limits for their children.”
Video about 5 Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Life
The video below is an overview of five different parenting styles. A parent or parents will likely blend styles from the various parenting categories.
- Authoritarian parenting
- Permissive parenting
- Authoritative parenting
- Neglectful parenting
- Over-Involved parenting
Results of an Authoritarian Parenting Style
Science shows that an authoritarian approach to parenting is detrimental to children. The “My way or the highway” approach to parenting can lead to the following results.
- Socially awkward
- Extremely shy
- Difficulty managing anger
- Lack of independent thinking
Results of an Authoritative Parenting Style
- Close parent-child relationships
- High emotional intelligence
- Assertive rather than aggressive behavior
- Socially responsible
- High self-esteem
Authoritative, Confident, Positive Parenting with Parenting Coach, Sarah R. Moore
“I wanted to have a relationship with my child where we would actually like each other and we would naturally want to collaborate with each other and cooperate with each other because we’ve got a good relationship.
It doesn’t mean we have no boundaries.
It doesn’t mean that I’m permissive.
It’s not some of the fallacies that people sometimes think of when they think – not authoritarian.
Instead it’s authoritative, confident parenting, but from a place of connection and love.”Sarah R. Moore on the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast.
Positive Parenting Techniques, Tips, and Strategies
- See The Child. Sarah says, “So, for the child who feels strong-willed, who feels stubborn, you know, a lot of these adjectives that we ascribed to the child who isn’t complying with what we need to do. There is a really helpful short phrase that I encourage parents to keep in mind. ‘See the child.’ See the child means looking at the child’s experience. Put yourself in their shoes. Understand what’s going on for them internally that may or may not have anything to do with the request that you’re making of them.”
- Help Your Child Get Back Into Their Body. In one example that Sarah shared in our interview, if a child is face down and upset on the couch, you might go over and rub her back for a second. This might help her get back into her senses.
- Offer A Hand. With a young child, you might offer to hold your child’s hand on the way to where you need your child to go.
- What Does Your Child Need Right Now? It’s about seeing what your child needs as opposed to what you are trying to accomplish. Rather than being egocentric or self-centered, consider what’s going on for your child.
- Reconnect With Yourself. Find something within yourself to feel peaceful, to give yourself a good resource, to reconnect with yourself so that you can approach the situation. You can approach the situation in a peaceful manner rather than one coming from control.
Positive Parenting Podcast Interview with Sarah R. Moore
In this interview with the founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting, Sarah R Moore shares helpful information about positive parenting.
Sarah is a homeschooling mom who has also spent several years worldschooling her daughter. You can get a positive parenting mini-course here.
We also interviewed Sarah about worldschooling. You can watch the video here.
Neuroplasticity: Rewiring Your Brain
What is neuroplasticity? It’s basically the brain’s ability to rewire itself. While this can happen involuntarily, you can also take steps to rewire your brain with intention.
Have gotten into the habit of yelling, of controlling, of snapping, or whatever it is that becomes our default wiring?
This is directly related to neuroscience.
To some degree you are not even responsible for it because it is simply the wiring that your brain tells your body and your mouth to do when met with certain situations.
Now, thanks to the brilliant concept of neuroplasticity, we can rewire our brains.
Well, how do we do that?Sarah R. Moore on the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast.
How to Rewire Your Brain & Develop New Patterns of Behavior
In our interview with parenting coach Sarah R Moore, she shares that visualization is an excellent way to help a person rewire their brain and develop new patterns.
Sarah says, “No matter what the greater good is that you connect to, the one tip that will create change your hard wiring in your brain is to visualize a situation that is typically tricky for you.”
For example, when we visualize ourselves not yelling, we also need to visualize what we are going to do instead. So you might visualize your child doing the thing that irks you. Then visualize yourself calmly sitting down on the floor and taking deep breaths.
In essence, practice what you want to do until it becomes your reality.
Sarah says, “You have to be brave enough and strong enough to choose connection and actually break the [negative] pattern with your child.”
Give Others Time to Build Trust
When you begin changing your responses to a situation, it will take time for others to respond to your new behavior.
For example, if you used to yell frequently but have started behaving calmly, your children may still behave as though you had yelled. This is because their brains also need time to rewire and adjust to your new behavior.
Sarah says that “From that place of inner work, you can heal your entire relationship.”
What to Do When You Make a Parenting Mistake
While it’s ideal for moms and dads never to yell or say something we regret, we all make mistakes.
As parents, we have moments when we lose our cool. Watch this parenting video so that you know what to do when that happens.
An Example of Positive Parenting
One example Sarah shares in our interview is a common problem. It’s the conundrum of, “How do I get my kid to do this thing?”
Parents often say, “I’ve told him five times, I’ve told him 10 times, I’ve told him a million times go brush his teeth.”
As a parent, you know that your child knows how to brush their teeth. So, the problem isn’t that they don’t know how to do what you’re asking them to do. You wonder, “Why is my child not doing what I ask of them?”
Like adults, children don’t necessarily need to be asked more times. It’s not that your child didn’t hear you the first 20 times that you told them to brush their teeth.
Is Your Parenting Approach Effective?
More often, parents need to ask themselves, “Is the approach I am taking to connect to with my child effective?”
Sarah says, “This doesn’t mean we need to get closer, louder, or more verbally or physically violent. It is not about getting more intimidating. It is about, ‘What is my child needing right now? There is something blocking my child from doing this thing.’
In this example about toothbrushing, are they looking for connection? Is she looking for me to keep her company? Are they having trouble transitioning away from the activity that they’re doing?”
Video: How to Get Kids to Listen Without Yelling
How Can I Support My Child?
Ask yourself, “How can I support my child in a way where we get the teeth brushed?”
You’ll want to help your child in a way that doesn’t create anxiety in either of your bodies. We all know that feeling of tension that courses through your body because somebody isn’t doing what you want them to do. That tension might be in your chest or shoulders. It’s really frustrating.
As parents, we can all relate. We’ve all been there. You know, that moment when it is you against your child. That moment when you just want your child to come to the dinner table. You’re tired of asking.
But it always comes back to asking yourself questions like the following.
- How am I asking?
- What am I doing that is not connecting with her?
- What does she need right now that will make this transition easier?
The beautiful thing about this is that it’s not just for little kids and toothbrushing. It can also be for older kids and homework. You can even use this with your teens to come up with an acceptable time to come home in the evening.
Acknowledging Problems and Creating Solutions
Positive parenting is not about telling kids in a louder or in a scarier way.
It’s about acknowledging a problem and creating a solution. You could even ask your child, “How are we going to work together to solve this?”
When it comes to problem-solving or power struggles, remember it’s you and your child against the problem.
Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. and Sarah R. Moore Discuss Gentle Parenting
Parenting Books You Might Like
- How To Raise an Adult Julie Lythcott-Haims
- Raising Resilience by Dr. Christopher Willard
- Parenting the New Teen in the Age of Anxiety by Dr. John Duffy
- Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting by Dr. Laura Markham
- The Power of Showing Up by Dr. Daniel Siegel