Are you looking for positive parenting tips? Would you like to learn more positive parenting techniques and ideas for how to change your kids’ behavior? As parents of two great teenage daughters, we remember the struggles and frustrations we faced when our kids were younger.
When our kids were still infants, we began the search for positive parenting tips, positive parenting techniques, and behavior modification techniques for children that would help us to raise happy, healthy, respectful kids.
We have worked hard to parent in a way that both teaches our children how to behave appropriately and preserves our relationship with them. We have always wanted more than just “good kids.” We want kids who will become well-adjusted adults that are our friends.
Along the way, we have made lots of mistakes, and we have learned many lessons. We are not psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, or licensed counselors. We are just parents on the journey of raising our kids to the best of our ability.
So far, things have gone great. We never experienced the “terrible twos.” We have never encountered a behavior or relationship blow-up that could not be quickly fixed. We have enjoyed watching our kids become happy, well-adjusted teenagers who:
- Are not embarrassed to be seen with us in public,
- Still enjoy lounging with us on the couch, and
- Asked us to be their friends on Facebook (we count this as a major victory!).
We believe that we have avoided many common parenting traps because we started using sound communication, leadership, conflict resolution, and behavior management approaches early in our kids lives. In this article, we offer three positive parenting tips that have made a big difference for us.
Positive Parenting Tip #1 – Talk about what you want rather than what you don’t want.
We find that talking about what you don’t want is pretty easy to do, and that we often slip into this bad habit.
For example, we tend to gravitate to statements like:
- Don’t spill that milk!
- Don’t leave your shoes on the floor.
- Don’t forget to do your homework.
- Don’t speak to me that way!
- Don’t slam the door!
When these statements get much better results:
- Please be careful with that glass.
- Put your shoes in the closet, please.
- Remember to do your homework.
- I would appreciate it if you would watch your tone when you speak to me.
- Please close the door rather than slam it.
Positive Parenting Tip #2 – Replace “but” with “and.”
How would it sound to you If your supervisor came to you and said something like this: “We really like what you have done this year, but…”
You would probably forget the first part of the statement and focus on the last part (which is probably negative).
Well, your kids are the same.
Rather than say “You’ve done a great job with vacuuming the carpet, but you missed this spot.” Try this: “You’ve done a great job vacuuming the carpet, and there’s one little spot over here that needs some more attention.”
“But” negates everything before it, and it usually precedes a critical or negative comment. “And” ties two thoughts together without the negative connotation.
Positive Parenting Tip #3 – Name the behavior don’t label the child.
We suggest that you work especially hard at applying this positive parenting tip. Saying things like: “you’re such a good boy” or “you have been a bad girl” are quick and easy. Frankly, they are lazy speech patterns.
What does a “good boy” or a “bad girl” look like? How do they act?
Rather than use labels like those above, speak about specific behaviors. For example:
- You have done a great job picking up all of your toys!
- Wow! I notice that you put your shoes away without being asked. I really appreciate that.
- Thank you for washing the car this afternoon. That really helps me out.
- The yard looks fantastic. You really put some effort into raking it, didn’t you?
- I notice that you got straight A’s on your report card. You can be proud of the work that went into that report card.
Work to apply these positive parenting tips, and you can expect to achieve great results with your kids!