10 Positive Parenting Tips

Learning positive discipline techniques, emphasising positive communication, and nurturing a supportive and loving environment are fundamental steps towards embracing positive parenting.

By URLife Team
01 Dec 2023

As parents, we aim to nurture, safeguard, and steer our children through every phase of their lives. As our kids evolve, there are moments when they exhibit behaviours that puzzle or concern us, leaving us uncertain about the best way to guide them through their challenges.


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Despite the frustrations that come with certain parenting dilemmas, there are valuable tips rooted in positive parenting principles that can help in maintaining composure and fostering desirable outcomes. According to a 2023 survey conducted on 5,047 adolescents, as issued in the Frontiers in Psychology, positive parenting by either father or mother can reduce parent-child conflicts, facilitate effective communication, and enhance parent-child attachment relationships.


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Understanding Positive Parenting

Positive parenting revolves around instructing children about acceptable behaviour. Employing these strategies assists in bringing the desired behavioural conduct while promoting mental well-being and better adjustment in children.


Initiating positive parenting involves practices such as:

  • Active listening
  • Acknowledging emotions
  • Setting boundaries with empathy
  • Employing positive reinforcement techniques


Positive parenting confines a nurturing environment founded on empathy, respect, and constructive communication. It involves setting clear expectations, offering guidance rather than disciplinary measures, and fostering a healthy relationship between parent and child.


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Tips on how to be a Better Parent

Here are a few tips on how to be a better parent:

1. Be a role model for the behaviour you wish to see in your child.

Role models are essential for kids. Lead by example; actions speak louder than words when teaching your child. Humans possess the remarkable ability to learn through imitation, a trait that sets us apart. We observe, understand, and integrate others' actions into our own. Children constantly observe and absorb from their parents.


As per a 2023 systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials by Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, children whose mothers show more responsive behaviours in infancy and toddlerhood demonstrate enhanced cognitive and language skills in later life. Demonstrate the behaviour you wish to instil; it's the most effective method of teaching.


Become the embodiment of the values you wish to impart to your child—display respect, exhibit positive behaviour and attitude, empathise with their emotions—and watch them emulate your example.


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2. Keep open, honest, and age-appropriate communication channels with your child.

It's essential to create an environment where your child feels comfortable expressing themselves and seeking guidance. Open communication involves active listening, showing genuine interest in their thoughts and feelings, and being approachable when they need to talk. Encourage discussions on various topics, welcoming their questions with patience and understanding.


Honesty fosters trust and strengthens your bond with your child. As children grow the complexity and depth of discussions will evolve.


  • Toddler Tip: Instead of delving into explanations that might be beyond their grasp, employ redirection. When your toddler fixates on a toy they can't have, redirect their attention to a different toy or activity. Distracting them gently can often help avoid unnecessary conflicts.
  • Kid Tip: Introduce a feelings chart to assist your child in articulating their emotions in various situations. This visual aid enables them to identify and express their feelings more effectively, fostering emotional awareness and communication skills.
  • Adolescent Tip: Engage in open conversations with your adolescent, refraining from talking down to them. Explain the reasoning behind rules or necessary actions. Treating them with respect and offering logical explanations can foster understanding and cooperation rather than conflict.


By keeping these channels open, honest, and age-appropriate, you're not only building a strong rapport but also laying the groundwork for your child's confidence, emotional well-being, and resilience.


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3. Establish consistent routines and boundaries to provide stability.

Maintaining firmness without harshness involves setting clear boundaries and outlining consequences in advance, emphasising the importance of rules without causing shock or fear.

  • For toddlers, employ positive language, avoiding frequent use of "no." Redirect behaviour positively by stating what you'd like them to do instead.
  • With kids, prioritise actions and establish five concise "house rules" for easy recall. This grants them responsibility without overwhelming complexity.
  • For adolescents, collaborate on a screen-time schedule instead of rigid boundaries. Work together to balance gaming or messaging with schoolwork and time away from screens, encouraging their active involvement in decision-making.


Related story: Boundaries, Ultimatums And Compromises


4. Acknowledge and praise good behaviour to encourage its repetition.

When your child engages in positive behaviour, ensure to reinforce it with positive attention. Acknowledge their good deeds verbally by expressing appreciation and encouragement. Tangible rewards or privileges can also serve as positive reinforcement, strengthening their motivation to repeat such behaviour.


By consistently emphasising and rewarding positive actions, you create an environment where your child feels appreciated and motivated to continue displaying good behaviour.

  • Specific Praise: Be precise and descriptive in your praise. Instead of generic compliments like "You're great," acknowledge specific actions or behaviours. For instance, commend their patience for waiting until you finished a phone call before asking for something. Highlighting their efforts helps them understand what behaviour to repeat.
  • Reinforce Positive Behaviour: Celebrate and acknowledge instances of helpful or kind behaviour. When your child does something commendable, express your appreciation. Positive reinforcement encourages them to continue exhibiting such behaviour.
  • Indirect Praise: Sometimes, praising your child indirectly can be powerful. Let them "overhear" you praising them to someone else, like a family member or even their favourite toy. Knowing they are being spoken highly of can boost their confidence and motivation to maintain positive conduct.


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5. Understand and validate your child's feelings and perspectives.

Understanding the challenges of childhood is crucial. Show empathy by acknowledging and sharing your strategies for similar situations.

For toddlers, recognise their seemingly trivial frustrations as significant to them. Just as work or finances stress adults, little things matter immensely to kids.

With kids, praise their efforts rather than fixating solely on outcomes. Acknowledge their hard work, even if results don't align with expectations.

For adolescents, maintain realistic expectations. Everyone falters occasionally, including parents. Focus on recurring behaviours rather than one-time mishaps, especially as preteens and teens navigate the complexities of growing up.


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6. Find ways to discipline your child without inciting fear.  

Discipline is about teaching, not instilling fear. Ensure your child comprehends the reason behind the discipline and that the consequences are appropriate for their actions. Firmly establish boundaries regarding disrespectful behaviour. Never tolerate rudeness or hurtful remarks from your child. Take corrective action while making it clear that disrespect is unacceptable. Maintain clarity, consistency, and kindness throughout the process.


  • Toddler Tip: Use corrective actions that demonstrate the desired behaviour. If a toddler throws food, calmly show them the appropriate way to hand it over rather than just reprimanding them. This method helps them understand and imitate the right behaviour.
  • Kid Tip: Establish clear expectations in advance. Before imposing consequences like a time-out, communicate the potential outcomes of their actions. Letting them choose helps them understand the cause and effect of their behaviour.
  • Adolescent Tip: Tailor consequences to match the actions. Instead of a default punishment like grounding, assign consequences that directly relate to their specific behaviour. This approach helps them understand accountability and the correlation between actions and outcomes.


7. Don’t forget to teach your kids values and the importance of gratitude.

Positive parenting fosters a  positive mindset in kids. By fostering a sense of responsibility towards their actions, you're instilling valuable lessons that shape your child's character and help them become responsible, compassionate individuals within their community.


  • Avoid Raising an Entitled Child: Remind your child that while they are treasured, they aren't the centre of the universe. Teach them the value of humility, gratitude, and consideration towards others.
  • Discuss Being a Good Person: Initiate discussions about kindness, empathy, and good behaviour from an early age. Use bedtime stories as a platform to explore characters' behaviours and their impact on others, fostering an understanding of morality.
  • Explain the Importance of Values: Help your child understand the significance of values like kindness, honesty, and respect. Explain that these qualities not only make others feel good but also contribute to a positive self-image.
  • Teach Gratitude: Create a routine of expressing gratitude at dinner by sharing instances of kindness or generosity received during the day. This practice reinforces positive feelings and appreciation for others' actions.


Related story: This Mindset Can Reduce Stress And Help Raise Smarter Kids


8. Support your child to become independent and self-reliant.

Engaging in meaningful conversations with your children is crucial for their social development. Asking them three open-ended questions daily encourages communication. Inquire about their favourite parts of the day, activities they enjoyed, or their preferences for the following day, fostering an open dialogue.


  • Eye Contact Trick: Teach children the importance of eye contact to boost confidence and assertiveness. Encouraging them to notice the colour of a person's eyes helps in making eye contact, a valuable skill that enhances communication and self-assurance.
  • Acknowledging Strong Emotions: After a child's emotional outburst or meltdown, provide them with a safe space to express their feelings. Ask questions like "How did that feel?" and "How can we make it better?" This approach allows children to articulate their emotions and thoughts, aiding in their emotional recovery and understanding. Listening attentively shows your support and helps them navigate their feelings.


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9. Let your kids know that you will always love them.

Unconditional love is crucial in nurturing a child's development. By showering love through actions, words, and quality time, you're not spoiling a child; you're nurturing their emotional well-being and fostering a strong, loving bond that will guide them throughout their lives.


Demonstrate your love through actions that convey care and support. Simple acts like giving hugs, spending quality time together, sharing family meals, and genuinely listening to your child's concerns show them they are valued and loved.


  • Affection is Nurturing: Expressing affection triggers the release of positive hormones like oxytocin, fostering emotional well-being and creating a strong bond between you and your child.
  • Express Love Verbally: Saying "I love you" as often as you feel it reinforces your affection and strengthens the emotional connection. Expressing love through words and physical affection doesn't spoil a child; it nurtures their emotional development.
  • Remember the Borrowed Time: Grandmothers often remind us that children aren't owned but rather lent to us for a limited time. During these fleeting years, prioritise their growth and development into good, compassionate individuals.


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10. Take care of your own well-being to be a better parent for your child.

It's common for parents to sideline their own needs and the health of their relationship after having a child. However, neglecting these aspects can lead to more significant issues in the future.


Prioritise your own well-being to prevent parental burnout. Attend to your physical, emotional, and mental health by setting aside time for relaxation, hobbies, exercise, and seeking support when needed.


  • Play Together: Allow your children to choose activities and simply enjoy the moment without strict rules. The key is to have fun and bond over shared activities, allowing for spontaneity and creativity.
  • Read Together: Start reading together from a young age. Reading sessions serve as a bonding experience and cultivate a love for books that can last a lifetime. Even newborns benefit from the soothing sound of their parents' voices during reading time.
  • Family Time: Prioritise family activities to strengthen bonds and support your child's development. Engaging with your kids positively impacts their school performance, problem-solving skills, and overall resilience.
  • Create Rituals: Build warm memories through family rituals like bedtime routines or game nights. These rituals become cherished memories, fostering a sense of security and togetherness for your children.


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