Parenting is important work—but it isn’t always easy. Even though it can be the most rewarding work we do, often it can feel exhausting and demanding. Parents have the important responsibility of raising the next generation. As we walk into this role hopeful and excited, many of us may feel unprepared, learning through trial and error as we go.
We all strive to raise healthy children in a loving, nurturing environment, and Triple P—Positive Parenting Program—supports parents by helping them work through the day-to-day challenges all parents face.
The Triple P approach starts by acknowledging that there is no right or perfect way to parent. It’s up to each of us to decide what values and skills we would like our children to have and how we will teach them. Every family has their own traditions, values, customs, and habits. There isn’t one “right way” to raise your child. You get to decide the values, skills, and actions you want to encourage and discourage and what approaches you want to take.
But while no two families are exactly the same, all families can use some practical tips about what we know through research to be helpful in raising children.
What is positive parenting?
Positive parenting is an approach to parenting that aims to build good relationships with children. It provides strategies for parents to give children encouragement and attention and learn good communication skills. Children who grow up with positive parenting are likely to develop the skills they need in life, feel good about themselves, and contribute to their community.
Positive parenting has 5 main cornerstones:
Provide a safe, interesting home environment
- Ensure that your home is childproofed so your infant and toddler can safely explore and play. Remember, children develop skills through curiosity and exploration.
- Have engaging activities at the ready, such as drawing, painting, and imaginative play items. Interesting things to see, hear, touch and manipulate feed their physical, social and emotional growth.
- Keep dangerous or breakable items out of reach from children.
- Keep children out of areas that are not safe.
Create a positive learning environment
- Be available to your child when they need your attention.
- Follow your child’s lead. They will show you new and creative ways to play.
- Notice and remark on behavior you want to encourage.
Manage misbehavior in a positive, healthy way
- Be consistent in your approach to challenging behavior.
- Stay calm, avoid yelling, threats, or name calling.
- Say what you want, rather than what you don’t want
- When you treat your child with respect, you are teaching them to treat others with respect
- Encourage your child to be proud of their own positive behavior to develop their self-regulation
Set realistic expectations for yourself and your child
- Keep in mind your child’s developmental age, temperament, learning style, and skills—all children learn and develop at their own pace.
- No child will act perfectly all the time. Just like adults, they can have challenging days.
- Know that every parent makes mistakes, and we can learn from them.
Make time for yourself as a parent
- Parenting is easier and more pleasant when your own needs are met.
- Being a good parent does not mean sacrificing what makes you YOU—make time for hobbies, friends, your spouse, or just some quiet time with coffee and a book.
It’s never too late or too soon to employ positive parenting techniques
Think about actions, attitudes or skills you would like to grow in yourself and in your child. For example: your child’s refusals at bedtime, or how you respond to stressful moments. Choose one or two things to work on and set some goals. Keep your goals simple and realistic so you can be successful. Get support. Clear goals help you focus on what you want to change, and help you work towards making those changes. And remember to celebrate when you have succeeded!
For more positive parenting tips, sign up for Triple P Online – Positive Parenting Program.