Positive parenting is not necessarily always being positive, nor is it being negative. It is about being realistic, clear, often gently firm. The role of a parent is not to be the friend, though a parent can be far more important than any friend. There are dozens of important issues that come into play when discussing parenting, as a role. Some of these issues include communication, which entails both listening and inquiring. It may involve rules, boundaries, expectations, standards. Behavior modification principles are very important in positive parenting including the most commonly used, and effective, method of positive reinforcement, incentives and natural consequences.
Of course, the developmental stages of the children in the home will determine the specifics of what kind of approach is most effective. Clearly, a child of 9 will be treated differently than a child of 16. However, that being said, there are some fairly universal developmental themes that are very important across the lifespan including autonomy, industriousness, achievement, independence and individuality. Part of positive parenting is helping children develop these qualities in a healthy way.
Parenting is not something we learn in school. In fact, we often become parents without really knowing much about human behavior. It may be important to understand some of the basic principles behind motivation, cooperation and even some of the general information about developmental stages so as to get a sense of the different evolving needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. And, of course, it can be very helpful to learn how best to deal with such issues as defiance, opposition, peer relationships, sexuality and substance use. Parenting can be very challenging, and rewarding. It is one of the most important ‘jobs’ any adult can have and doing it well benefits not only the children, but the society as a whole as well.
If you have questions about parenting, check out or blog posts which often have relevant information about parenting and mental health One such blog post is about a very common behavior modification/management method know as token economy.
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