Father and son bonding positive parenting

What is Positive Parenting and Why is it Important?

This guide to positive parenting shares practical and effective strategies to help you be the best parent you can be, while developing a long lasting bond with your little one. 

So, what is positive parenting, and why is it so important?


What is positive parenting?

Positive parenting is a fairly contemporary approach to parenting, which is based around positive communication and mutual respect between parent and child. It was developed by an Austrian psychologist named Alfred Alder in the 1900s, who recognised that children benefit from feeling connected to those around them.

The positive parenting philosophy is that there is no such thing as a bad child, only good and bad behaviour. It’s all about tackling the symptom of bad behaviour, rather than disciplining the outcome.

There is a real focus on your child’s individual needs and best interests, and involves nurturing and empowering a healthy relationship. This allows your child to thrive and ensures that they are less likely to play up.

A common misconception is that positive parenting is “fluffy” and allows your child to walk all over you. This is simply not the case, as you can still set boundaries and issue consequences, however, you are still empathising and solving problems in the process. 


How to do positive parenting


  • Praise and reward good behaviour

Think about how often you focus on the bad behaviour, rather than the good. Any good behaviour, no matter how small or ‘insignificant’ it might seem, should be verbally praised. 

By praising good behaviour, you are illustrating that it is a positive thing and your toddler will repeat it to feel good again. 


  • Model the behaviour you want 

Positive parenting is about mutual respect. If you don’t demonstrate good behaviour yourself, how can you expect your child to? 

An example of this could be always saying please and thank you to your child. Good manners and kindness always go a long way, whilst stress breeds stress. If you can feel your emotions building up, take a few deep breaths.

Mum practising positive parent with son

  • Consequences

As mentioned, there should always be consequences for bad behaviour, as this is realistic in everyday life. The first option is to allow natural consequences to happen. For example, if your child refuses to put their coat on, then they will be cold. 

However, if there are no natural consequences to their actions, then think of a logical consequence related to their actions. This should be executed without anger or a harsh tone of voice – avoid negativity bias.


  • Communicate with your child

Bad behaviour always has a cause. Often, your child might be acting out because of their emotions. We forget that toddlers feel the same emotions as us, but often find them a lot harder to handle because they don’t fully realise what emotions are just yet.

So, when your toddler is misbehaving, then it is important to get on their level and try to talk to them about it. Ask them what’s wrong, and find a solution.

Additionally, instead of telling your child “stop standing on your chair”, ask them “do you think you could hurt yourself if you stand on your chair like that?” or “are we feeling safe right now?”. This gets them to think about the consequences of their actions, rather than just following a command.


  • Be firm and set boundaries

Positive parenting all comes down to being empathetic yet firm. You can do this by keeping a neutral tone of voice, rather than displaying anger. You should also set boundaries to teach your child to be patient and respectful of your own needs.

These could be rules around the house or just letting your child know that you will play in 5 minutes instead of letting them persist. However, avoid orders or ultimatums. 


Why is positive parenting important?

Positive parenting can be beneficial for every parent, in fact, 69% of parents say that if they knew more positive parenting strategies they would use them. 

Overall, positive parenting helps you to create healthier and stronger relationships with your children. It can boost your child’s self-esteem and general happiness as they grow up, and teach them valuable life skills that will set them up for the future.

Happy child playing on a beach

Using positive parenting at Maryam’s Nursery

Positive parenting isn’t always for parents. At Maryam’s, we understand that parenting approaches need to be replicated so that your child has a smooth transition from home to school. 

Find out more about our ethos here, or contact us if there is anything we can help you with.