Positive parenting tips for healthy child development

What's Covered

Being a parent is a remarkable and extraordinary experience. However, it is not always easy. Parents should be able to use techniques to provide guidance, nourish and encourage their children, and build their parenting confidence in a hopeful manner. Everyone agrees that children need to learn what is right and wrong and how to get along with others.

What is positive parenting?

Positive parenting is a concept that entails teaching, understanding, leading, listening, providing safety, and enforcing clear and consistent discipline while still respecting the child. Being a parent is not easy. Many things need to be learned to raise children properly. Consequently, it is necessary to understand better the methods of raising children. Furthermore, we want our children to grow up well, fearing God, respecting others, and being exemplary children.[1]

Provide warm care to kids

Every child needs attention and care from the parents. The kids would be happy when we can play with them. When they want to do something, we are there to support them. However, do not do it all the time because you let them not learn. When you see that they are already struggling with something, you will help them figure out how to do it for the next time they will know. Just show them you are always there when they do not know something. 

Lead them to be a competent individual

Set developmentally appropriate boundaries or limits with discipline to lead the children. At home, we started to set rules or restrictions to regulate harmony inside the house. We train our kids to follow those rules until they are used to them. Nevertheless, before we preach it to them, we must perform it first so that they will follow us. We should not violate the rules we had set by ourselves, as they will see that it is okay to disobey it sometimes. If this happens constantly, your regulations will no longer be effective. Our goal is to give them guidelines for molding them to become responsible and competent kids at school and in non-academic situations.

Provide adequate needs for kids

Give the children adequate food, shelter, hygiene, medical care, and financial support in a safe environment. There are many responsibilities to carry as parents. Before your baby comes out of the womb, you know that all needs will be answered by you, including providing a better future. Therefore, before planning to have a child, we must first ask ourselves if we are ready to face the responsibilities. We have enough finances to feed and dress the children well. We must consider the reality because children are the most affected in this situation. As a result, they grow up with only hardships in their lives that they should instead enjoy in their childhood. At an early age, they have to experience the life of being a child. If we can provide all their necessities, they will surely grow up with a good life. And they will achieve what they want to accomplish in life.

Educate the kids to learn new things

Teaching a child is very important because all their knowledge depends on it. Every day, you assist your child in learning new things, skills, and behaviors. Teaching children skills can be a crucial first step in helping them manage their behavior. For example, if your children do not know how to fix their things, they may refuse to do so because they are incapable of doing so. What is the solution? Teach them how to do it by giving instructions, examples, and systematic procedures. 

  • Give them clear instructions. Young kids are not educated yet as we are. If we have something for them to do, we must use simple words for them to understand. If your child did not deliver the expected results we want, perhaps there was a misunderstanding of giving instructions.  
  • Provide them with clear examples. Not all kids are fast learners. Every child has a different level of understanding things. After giving clear instructions, your child may still not getting ideas of what you are talking about the tasks. You can show her/him how to do it, or you can do it first and let her/him follow you. In the future, if you told them to do the same thing, they know already.
  • Provide systematic procedures. It will be your resort if your child still does not understand the things he/she is going to do. You can do this by giving the first step then let them finish it. Then instruct the remaining steps until they complete the task. Sometimes, the level of understanding of every child may differ. Consequently, the approaches you made in every one of your children are also different. Perhaps this method would be work for your child but not for others.

Consistent communication

Understanding is the product of effective communication. Encourage young kids learning experiences by engaging with them promptly. The communication process between parents and child must go along with constructive ways of communication. Parents tend to speak much for a longer time and with a broader vocabulary. It will increase the chances that their children will expose to a wide range of words in different contexts. With this, it helps your children to develop their communication skills.[2]

The intergenerational transmission of educational attainment and vocabulary growth was mediated by direct and attentive contact of parents. Wealthy parents are more likely to find high-quality childcare and to participate in out-of-home activities that help children improve their language and academic skills.

Why is positive parenting so important?

Young children from the start do not know what is wrong from right. They are reliant on the environment in which they live. They are on the stage of learning new things. As parents, we want to fill in that space full of good values and knowledge as a weapon for their future endeavors. That is the reason why parents must have the ability to learn what is all about positive parenting. It plays a substantial role in the healthy development of your young kids. No parents want their children to grow dependent and incompetent. Therefore, the future of the children depends on the good upbringing of the parent.

It is essential to learn how to administer the proper knowledge of positive parenting. Knowing the right skills for upbringing young kids leads them to be successful people someday. As parents, we always guide and teach good things to our children. Thus, they will be prepared for whatever situations they may face in the future.

What is positive discipline?

Using a harsh method is not effective nowadays to discipline kids. They are more likely to rebel and misbehave if we are more aggressive and permissive in our ways. Positive discipline is all about respect the integrity of children, providing essential needs, protecting them from any violent actions, and participating in their learning process. Parents should learn how to render positive discipline while respecting the rights of children.[3] 

Parenting is a rewarding, challenging, exciting, and stressful experience. It is a significant responsibility for parents to raise their children to be competent human beings. Moreover, teach them everything they need to know to live a fruitful, successful life.

Many parents believe that punishment consists solely of scolding and hitting their children. Others blame their inability to control their emotions. Another meaning of discipline is teaching. Setting learning objectives, planning an efficient strategy, and seeking strategies that work are all part of teaching. They are the best method to nurture child development, widen the learning knowledge, and support their dreams. Here are some strategies you may learn to render positive discipline.

Identifying long-term and short-term goals 

You cannot move forward with your parenting goals if you fail to identify them first. The long-term goal is what you want for your child when he or she grows up. For example, say your objectives for them is to be kind and helpful, thoughtful and courteous, a wise decision-maker, honest and trustworthy, non-violent, and, most importantly, passionate parents-to-be. You already have a goal so, it is much easier for you to plan what approach you may use. On the other hand, a short-term goal is learning that can be taught at once or some tries. For example, you could teach them how to set the table, dress, take a bath, brush their teeth, and eat on their own, and so on. These are the lessons that lead to a daily routine, with no need for strenuous training.


It is a crucial strategy for the child to be creative and know how to handle situations. Being overprotective towards children does not help them to grow as competent people. Always taking over the tasks may result in a dependent child. Mistakes while learning is a natural part of the problem-solving process. Young kids are full of ideas. With this, uplift them to voice out their opinion and listen to how they explain their side. Also, if you think that is good, let them execute it with your guidance. Let them learn and explore things with their own ideas to enhance their problem-solving skills. Also, encourage them not to fear committing mistakes because everyone has the chance to commit mistakes. Moreover, tell them that absorb from those mistakes and do not ever commit them repeatedly.

Understanding how children think and feel

Parents know their children best. From birth to adulthood of your kids, parents are the closest people to their children who can understand and empathize with their feelings. As parents, it is our responsibility to learn what they think and adjust what they feel. If you notice certain gestures from your children, you already know what kind of approach you will take. It is easier for us to communicate with them if we can understand their feelings. Every time we taught them, they would pay attention.

Providing an arrangement 

You know already how they think or react to certain situations. You can already plan guidelines that fit their behaviors. Firstly, you can set clear rules to enhance their behavior. You would emphasize things that you need clearly stated expectations from them. Gradually, they can adapt to the guidelines you have imposed by regularly monitoring and reminding them. Secondly, you need a clearly explained reason from them in case they would commit mistakes. With this, they would learn how to negotiate things and realize if they were right or wrong. If you notice that they are not on the right track, this is the time to intervene. And, explain to them why this is and that. Thirdly, support your child to succeed. It is time to discover the passion of your child and encourage them to pursue it.

Providing emotional security

Children need emotional security. Just a simple caress on their head is an overwhelming feeling for them. When you hug your child and bring your face close to his/her, it makes them feel secure. Verbal and physical affection help develop their emotional adjustments. If they were always loved, they would feel happy and enhance their ability to become enthusiastic and active kids. A maternal love helps prevent anxiety and aggression of the children. Corporal punishment is not healthy for children because it can lead to children become violent. It is also claimed that families from various backgrounds have varying levels of understanding of parenting and child adjustment.[4]

How do you positively discipline your child?

Good discipline is the right key to correct the misbehavior your kid showed. If we have seen unpleasant behavior in them, we must suppress that behavior because they might get used to it. Have you seen what happens to kids these days? Even at their young age, they already spoiled brat. Why is it happening? Because they lack discipline. They feel that they are always right. Thus, it is essential to provide proper discipline to your kids.

  • You start with yourself. You cannot implement a rule if you cannot follow the rules you have made. It is crucial to impose guidelines inside the house or for your child that it starts with yourself. Say, for instance, you teach your kids to be courteous to everyone, so it means that you show them first how to perform it. With that, your child will follow you and the rest of the rules. They will regard you as a role model.
  • Unconditional love is the foundation. Show them that they are precious to you. You could give them your full support in their passion. Parents’ unconditional love is their acceptance, love, and affection for their children, even when they make mistakes or fail to meet expectations. In other words, it is love with no strings attached. As a result, parents accept their children for who they are.

What are some positive discipline techniques?

1. Establish limitations. Setting limits with children entails establishing a behavioral guideline even when there is no official household rule. Limits are beneficial to children. It teaches them appropriate behavior and allows them to hone some of their skills. Setting boundaries teaches self-discipline. You are teaching self-discipline when you say it is time to stop watching movies and go to bed early. Even though it is already in the climax part of the story, it is crucial to be responsible. The ultimate goal is for children to learn to manage all of their responsibilities, such as homework, chores, and body care, without being reminded.

2. Make use of time-outs. This technique is quite effective for most parents. Even for my kids, I render the time-out techniques. Whenever my kids did not follow instructions and showed unpleasant behaviors, I made them stand facing the wall for minutes. After a few minutes, I am going to ask them if they will do it again. Fortunately, I have a positive answer from them. It is called the face on the wall technique. It is effective for me. They will be cautious about doing unpleasant actions. They will think first before they will take action.

3. Allow kids to choose within the learning process. Do not limit the capabilities of your children. Permit them to explore things that may help them cope with different situations. Let them open their ideas to you and apply them to specific tasks. It encourages them to provide more opinions, which increases their confidence in dealing with situations in the future.

4. Act more and speak less. A technique in which a single word is given to the children, and they must act on it. It is not easy because you must be consistently firm in giving parental instructions. I have applied this to my kids. For example, I will say enough for watching movies on the phone and finish the assignments. If they would not listen, I confiscated the phone, and they are banned from watching movies for one week. This way, they will understand the consequences of not following the instructions, and we will not have to keep reminding them all the time. They will immediately listen if you say just one word.

5. Provide them options. It is a unique technique to help the child to follow instructions. You teach your kids that they cannot take all things at once. With this, they will learn how to wait and practice patience. Also, their decision-making skills would level up. For example, my son wanted a tablet gift for his birthday. I preferred to give an option. I would rather say that you can have your tablet on your birthday, but you cannot have a grand party. It is only a simple celebration with our family. You must choose one only. I let him decide what he truly wants. In this situation, he will learn to ponder more important things.

6. Spend quality time together. It is crucial to set aside time for your kids despite the hectic schedule. You can allot your weekend to create a bond with the family. You can plan cooking activities inside the house, watching movies altogether in the family room, or having a weekend family getaway. In these activities, you still show your love and care to your kids. They would feel that you are always there for them. This strategy is beneficial to the healthy development of the child.[5]

7. Use words of encouragement. Even a small accomplishment when your kids achieved it. Give them appraisal and cheers to keep up the excellent work. Like us, if we received a compliment from our parents, we were always inspired and happy. There is always a positive vibe around us. With this, there is always harmony inside the house.  

8. Hold family meetings. You can set up a family meeting over the weekend to ensure that everyone can attend the scheduled gathering. In this family meeting, it is a conversation about family matters. You encourage your kids to share their experience, or they have encountered some problems during weekdays. You uplift your children to open up their troubles to you. So that if a minor issue arises, you can address it right away. With this kind of technique, you keep the consistency of communication of the whole family.

9. Collaborate to solve problems. There is a saying that it is better to have more heads than one. It is better to solve tasks in a team to learn shared ideas. Through this, the comprehension skill of your kids will enhance. For example, at school, encourage your kids to participate in any group activities to develop communication skills with peers. The socialism capabilities will enhance into being competent individuals to handle situations with other people.

Good behaviors that your children must learn

Know how to accept defeat

Teach your kids how to accept defeat in case they did not win for a specific competition. Enlighten them on the fact that there is no such thing as perpetual victory. Instead, if they lose, encourage them to learn more so they can win in the future. You have to teach them how to cope with disappointment. Also, give them acknowledgment despite the loss. You could say, it is okay, you are the best, maybe this is not the right time for you, perhaps in the future, and it will be your win. By doing this, you can ease their disappointed feeling.

Know how to share without expecting any returns

Young children have difficulty sharing because they do not have ideas about why they need to do so. As parents, we must teach them how to cooperate with other people and engage with peers to enhance their socialism. Also, teach them that in giving, they will not expect any return from it. Sharing is an act of own well. Never asks for any returns. If you could receive a return, be thankful. They will not be stressed if they do not obtain returns from sharing if they adopt this mindset. With this, always positivity and kindness will engrave in their minds.

Be respectful to others

Learning begins at home, teaching your kids how to be courteous with other people. You could start this within the family members. If they used to do it, you would not be concerned when they leave the house. Because you believe that they will respect everyone they meet. Enlighten these words for them. If they want respect from others, they must start it with themselves first.

Have regard for themselves and others

By respecting them, you show them that you care about their feelings. Also, they are precious to you. When you have a concrete way to explain respect, it is much easier to help guide children in understanding the term and how to use it.

Know to handle a different situation

Giving your children tasks or activities at home will improve their ability to deal with different situations. Let them commit mistakes and take the solution on their own. However, do not forget that you are always there to correct them whenever the workaround is not good. Perhaps at school, encourage your kids to engage in some activities to experience more things. By having a lot of experience, they will be capable of handling situations in the future. Some feelings that may encounter your children are feeling annoyed, frustrated, and humiliated. You can teach them how to manage these by telling your experience and how you handle it. With this, they would already have ideas if ever they encounter such situations.

What motivates children to persist in misbehaviors?

One of the possible reasons children exhibit undesirable behavior toward their parents is that they want to catch attention from them. Some possible explanations include feeling envious of their brother or sister, requiring their parents to pay attention to them, or requiring their parents to spend time with them.

How to deal with these misbehaviors

Tune in and talk about it. As we know, all children are unique. Knowing your child and what makes them angry or upset can help you anticipate irritable or annoying situations before they occur. Talking and tuning in to your child makes a difference for them to get what is going on.

  • Have a conversation and try to use positive words. Tell your child what you need them to do not, what you do not need them to do. Rather than saying, do not make such a mess, instead say it, tidy up your toys, please. It is a case of positive child-rearing.
  • Change your tone and gesture. Changing your tone or volume can sometimes be enough to bring a tense situation to a halt or get your child to do what you need. This method is also appropriate for older children. They may be surprised if you respond or speak in a manner that differs from what they expected. Tell them you love them and show it by smiling, snuggling, and kissing them. Inform them when you are irritated or dissatisfied with their behavior. They must realize that it is their behavior that you dislike and not them.
  • Listen to them. Your child is learning a new language and needs to be heard. Encourage your child to talk to you by sitting beside him or her. They will find it easier to converse and listen to you if you are not standing over them.
  • Show empathy. Let your kids open up what they feel and discover what they were going through by the words they tell you. Do not force them to converse with you in detail. Just listen to them and give your thoughts until your kids tell you the truth gradually.
  • Let them explain. If you always have to say no without having heard an explanation from your kids, maybe the conflict would not resolve. Give your child a chance to explain their side before giving an ultimatum. If you already know what is going on, you can decide how to resolve the misunderstanding.

Books for positive parenting and good discipline

1. Positive Parenting book beautifully depicts the options available to modern-day parents for raising healthy, successful children through nurturing, empathetic relationships.

Positive Parenting
This book is an essential guide to help you nurture your children to grow up successfully. It is a guide in helping your children grow their capability intelligence that leads to a stronger relationship with people and success in school.

2. No-Drama Discipline book will guide you on what approach to calming the chaos and nurturing your child’s growing mind. It reveals the secret of discipline, what works and what does not, and why.

3. How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen is a survival manual for families with children aged two to seven years old. It is easier to discipline a child start at this age because they have little knowledge yet. Moreover, this book will help you go through this journey.

How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen
This book helps nurture the comprehension skills of your kids for the preparation for the schooling period. It is a wonderful book for parents and for anyone else who interacts with young children.

4. The Positive Discipline book demonstrates to parents how to be kind and firm while focusing on solutions. It is a book for you if you want to improve your relationship with your children.

Positive Discipline
This book gives children a sense of purpose and belonging in the family by empowering them to understand their own power, ability, and responsibilities. It assists your children in growing up properly, feeling loved, and achieving success in all aspects of life.

5. Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids book is an essential guide for good discipline. This book will teach you how to stop yelling and start connecting with your kids. 

Seay, Andrea, Wyona M. Freysteinson, and Judith McFarlane. “Positive parenting.” Nursing Forum. Vol. 49. No. 3. 2014.

[2] Sohr‐Preston, Sara L., et al. “Parental socioeconomic status, communication, and children’s vocabulary development: A third‐generation test of the family investment model.” Child development 84.3 (2013): 1046-1062.

[3] Durrant, Joan E. Positive discipline: What it is and how to do it. Bangkok, Thailand: Save the Children Sweden Southeast Asia and the Pacific, 2007.

[4] Lansford, Jennifer E., et al. “Corporal punishment, maternal warmth, and child adjustment: A longitudinal study in eight countries.” Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology 43.4 (2014): 670-685.

[5] Milkie, Melissa A., Kei M. Nomaguchi, and Kathleen E. Denny. “Does the amount of time mothers spend with children or adolescents matter?.” Journal of Marriage and Family 77.2 (2015): 355-372.

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Tiffany Biondi

Tiffany Biondi

Mother of 4 kids, Tiffany is a certified childcarer and during her free time, she write posts in thebabychoice to share her hands on experience and knowledge.