You can’t change the past or the present, but you can change the future.

Positive Parenting Tips from Pediatric Experts

Positive Parenting

Parenting is rewarding, fulfilling and challenging...but it doesn't have to be a battle. Having positive strategies to deal with tantrums, meltdowns and other undesirable behavior can help. Treating discipline as education helps children learn appropriate behaviors and can have lasting benefits. 

Positive parenting strategies

  • Understand the meaning behind the behavior (what need does your child think is not being met?), and let your child know that you understand how they feel.
  • Redirect your child’s attention to something else.
  • Reward you child for good behavior with smiles, hugs, attention, praise and thanks and limit attention for defiant behavior like tantrums. Teach your child acceptable ways to show that she’s upset.
  • Be clear and consistent when disciplining your child. Explain and show the behavior that you expect from her.
  • Let your child make some decisions on his or her own (do you want to wear the yellow shirt, or the red shirt today?)
  • Teach your children words for various emotions and help them learn how to use their words rather than actions to show when they are angry or upset.
  • When you are talking with your child, bend, kneel, or sit so that you can speak to them eye-to-eye.
  • Understand your child's developmental abilities and set expectations accordingly.
  • Let your kids know that everyone makes mistakes and that you still love them, even when you don't love their behavior.
  • Laugh and have fun together. Make family and play time a priority every day.

 Solutions for parents

  • Parenting can be very stressful. Learning to recognize when you are about to reach your boiling point, and developing strategies to step away from your child before you boil over is critical. This may mean putting an inconsolable child somewhere safe, like a crib, and taking a brief time-out yourself. 
  • Take deep breaths or count to 10 when you feel yourself getting stressed.  
  • Remember that children learn by example – model the behaviors you want to see in your children.
  • Parenting can be hard work! Take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. It is easier to be a positive, loving parent when you are feeling good yourself.
  • Every parent is affected by sleep deprivation, and it can be tough to deal with. Take naps and sleep as much as you can while your baby sleeps. 
  • Sleep loss can also lead to mood changes, the “baby blues” and postpartum depression, which many new mothers experience. It’s not a character flaw or weakness, sometimes it just happens after child birth. Prompt treatment can help you enjoy your baby. Ask for help and say yes when help is offered. Talk with your doctor or your baby’s pediatrician and ask for resources.  
  • We all need help once in a while, whether it’s calling a friend to talk, asking a neighbor to watch your kids so you can take a quick walk around the block and calm down, or seeking help from the many organizations in our community – parents should not feel like they are alone. There is help available if you need it.
  • Be a good neighbor. Offer to babysit. Donate your used children’s clothing, furniture and toys for use by another family. Problems seem less overwhelming when parents feel like they have support.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month

Every day is an opportunity to recognize that we can all play a role in the lives of children, all children.  We are raising Colorado, one child at a time – together.