What exactly is positive parenting? Of course, it's a positive way to approach raising your child, but it's much more than that. Rather than being helicopter-y, too disciplined, or too lenient, positive parents are in charge but also negotiate with their children so that they learn leadership skills early on. "Positive parenting is an approach that is honest and optimistic,” says Maureen Healy, a parenting expert and the author of Growing Happy Kids. "It cultivates a strong emotional connection with your child that sets him or her on a path with greater chances of happiness," she says. Scroll through to see the top five expert-backed positive-parenting tips.
Spend Quality Time Together
One of the most important positive-parenting tips is to make sure you share quality time with your child. No matter what, try to carve a part of your day out for one-on-one time. Katharine C. Kersey, Ed.D., the author of The 101s: A Guide to Positive Discipline, suggests taking at least 15 minutes daily to do something your kid would like that do. "Whisper in their ear how wonderful they are, how much you love them. … It's the best investment you can make in your child," Kersey says.
Focus on Positive Behavior
It just so happens that parents tend to call out negative behavior (don't do this, don't say that) and forget to acknowledge all of the good behavior. Make sure to praise your child when they do something you like! And when it comes to negative behavior, a lot of times your child either performs "bad" actions or has a poor attitude because they want to get a rise out of you, Kersey says. She insists the best way to handle this is to walk away or pretend you don't hear it.
Communicate Frequently With Your Child
Another positive parenting tip? Communicate, communicate, communicate. It's crucial to listen to your child, even if it's just to hear the little things or to answer the question "why?" Parenting and relationship expert Maribel S. Dionisio says you should always speak gently and respect your child's feelings.
Let Your Kid Play Problem-Solver
Instead of constantly interfering to solve a dispute, let your child learn how to come to a resolution on their own. Are the siblings fighting again? Amy McCready, a certified positive discipline instructor and author of The Me, Me, Me Epidemic, says you should encourage your children to find their own resolution. "If you have to get involved, don't choose sides, but ask questions that will help them figure out a solution that all parties can feel good about," McCready says.
Simplify Family Rules
If there are too many rules, your child will have a hard time remembering them. McCready believes it's best to shorten your list to the things that are most important, and then create a consequence for each rule so the child knows ahead of time what the repercussions will be. And when your child breaks a rule? "Don't give in," McCready says.
What do you think of these positive-parenting tips? Make sure to tell us in the comments below!