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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Helpful Positive Parenting Techniques and Methods

By Andrew Loh

The first important step that parents should try to understand is in what manner they can bring a positive influence in their children's life. The big question is “HOW” you can do it. Parents may need to change the way in which they think and act. A major shift in their thinking process is necessary to start applying the principles of positive parenting. The “HOW” part of positive parenting involves in what manner parents could use discipline to teach their basics of life.

Note: Teaching positive parenting to a parent is not an easy task because it demands an overall change in the mindset and the way in which they look at the world. If a parent is negative-minded, one can safely assume that she would be using the same type of parental style to teach her children. In another words, she will be passing her negative mindset to her children too.

In spite of a negative mindset on part of a parent, still she can apply the best positive parental practices to nurture children. Here are some of the most simple techniques and methods of positive parenting:

Parental modeling technique: Everything starts with parents! If parents behave in the way they should be, they can ensure that children are also behaving in similar manner. Children (whatever their age may be) are very sharp and agile and they observe how their parents are behaving. In fact, they might become perfect copycats to repeat their parental behavior. Here is how you can display your positive parenting behavior:

  • Be compassionate, kind and encouraging in nature.

  • Be respectful to your children even if they are just five years old.

  • Teach something positive about human behavior.

  • Never ever, yell at your children.

  • Never ever, scold, beat or abuse your children.

  • Be respectful to others if your children are in front of them.

Social interaction will help parents raise a responsible child: To survive in this word, one needs to be socially adept and efficient. Seamless social interaction with people around us will help in setting up new personal relationships and fine-tune existing ones. See that you are urging your children to interact with friends, relative and other people. This approach works very well for children who are in an age bracket of six and ten years. Appropriate social behavior is mandatory for your children and this trait can be learned only by mixing with other people. Here are some simple tips to make your children socially acceptable:

  • Take your children to a busy shopping mall or a public park.

  • Introduce your children your friends and ask them to converse with them. Early conversation leads to better language acquisition and honing of language skills.

  • Arrange for a weekend party for your children's friends. Ask them to talk to each other, play games that involve talking and help children play dramas and skits.

Learning empathy: Emotional intelligence is a vital trait of humans. Emotional IQ is as important as mental IQ and it helps children to face the most common ordeals of life like sadness, separation of parents, and death in the family or terminal illness to any other family members. Children tend to express their feeling either through crying or by venting their anger with tantrums. We do not need children who throw tantrums in a fit of anger. Rather, we need children who are emotional stable and robust. Here are simple tips to make your children learn empathy that is a vital positive parenting technique:

  • Explain why controlling emotions is very important for children especially when they are in the age group of five and ten years.

  • Describe your children the ways to control anger and frustration.

  • Encourage your children if they perform badly in their classroom.

  • Teach them how to be empathetic towards others. Playing with house pets is a very nice way to teach empathy.

Playtime learning is the most important activity: By playing children can learn a number of cognitive abilities. Playtime is a relaxing tool for your children to learn the nuisances of life. With playing games and other activities, children usually develop a series of skills and abilities. Allowing your children to play during designated time will help them freshen up their mind and soul. You can use a number of games, activities and events to train your children to learn different skills and abilities.

Nurturing self-esteem and self-image in your children: Children learn by watching their parents especially the mother. A mother is the window to her child's exterior world. Children learn a sense of self-esteem by looking through the mother eyes. Parental words and actions may affect children self-esteem in a significant manner. Here are some simple steps to nurture self-esteem in your children:

1) Praise your children and never ridicule her or him for the mistakes they might be committing while doing some activities.
2) Provide occasional rewards for a successful completion of challenge or predefined activity.
3) Never ever, scold your children for a failed attempt

Recognize your children's efforts and not end results: If your children perform an activity or task, recognize it and honor its importance. Never ever, ridicule the result even if it is not good. Find a line of praise for every parenting day. Here are some tips to recognize your children's efforts:

  • Use positive trigger words like “you were good”, “you can do better”, “you did very well”, “well done”, “great work” etc.

  • Rewards should never be physical. They can include a simple hug, kiss or a verbal compliment.

Set your own limits and stick to them: Acceptable and amicable behavior is very important for a family. A fair measure of discipline will help children choose acceptable behaviors and master self-control and discipline. Set a routine to enforce discipline. Warnings, repeated caution, time-out discipline and snatching away privileges are some of the most common positive parenting techniques.

Finally, parents should be flexible enough to fine-tune their parental techniques. Some children may not show an inclination to learn positive parenting lessons. On the other hand, many children are very receptive and eager to learn them. Whatever the case, be ready to change your approach depending on the actual situation in your home.

Featured Resource

The Power of Positive Parenting : A Wonderful Way to Raise Children
By Dr. Glenn I. Latham

This is a child-rearing manual that provides practical methods for working with children. This instructional book goes a long way in helping parents to resolve problems using specific strategies for dealing with inappropriate behavior of children. In general, it's a book about child-rearing practices and how the management of consequences can be the key to creating good home environment.

Dr. Latham is a professor emeritus of education at Utah State University, Logan, Utah, and is a behavior analyst. He has been a teacher, consultant and advisor nationally and internationally.


Featured Resource


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