What exactly IS ‘positive parenting’?

Positive parenting is a way of interacting with your child that includes attention to:

  • your child’s developmental age
  • your child’s unique needs
  • keeping in mind your child’s strengths and what is going well
  • understanding your child’s cues
  • thinking about situations from your child’s point of view
  • being mindful about your emotions and responses
  • connection
  • consistency

Since 2004, I have been helping other doctors learn how to coach families during visits to the clinic and families learn how to use these skills during every day moments.

These skills are definitely NOT magic. Rather, think of them as essential building blocks of a positive parent-child relationship.

I started wondering how to translate this set of skills into something quick and easy to talk with families about. “Quick” because clinic visits are short on time. Hoping for “easy” because I wanted the message to come across as simple to understand. When things are simple, it’s easier to remember and easier to share the information with others (no worry about the message getting garbled!)

“Building blocks” made me think of the traditional wooden toy blocks with letters on them…the alphabet!

So, I decided to try my hand at crafting the positive parenting alphabet. All of the terms would relate to the essential relationship building skills or “time in” behaviors included in parent training programs.

“Time Outs don’t work. I’ve tried everything, but I just don’t know what to do!”

If you ever feel this way, don’t despair. It’s just a sign that we have to start fresh. All relationships need nurturing and maintenance, your relationship with your child is no exception.

Reconnecting and renewing your relationship with your child takes work but it is a solid investment of your time and efforts.

You can go through the alphabet by going over a letter once a day, or one a week. The pace is really up to you! If you take the time to work through the individual letters of the alphabet, you will be well on your way to reconnecting and recharging your relationship with your child.

Join my mailing list and get my FREE infographic that summarizes the positive parenting alphabet. This infographic is best used to remind yourself what the essential parenting building blocks are. It can also be used by pediatricians, family practitioners or other providers who want to talk with families about these principles and then be able to give them a one page handout. Form to request the free infographic is at the bottom of this post.

Sneak peek of the FREE one page handout outlining the Positive Parenting alphabet! Put this on the refrigerator for a daily reminder…or if you are a healthcare provider or mental health therapist, use it to review positive parenting principles while counseling families!

Yes, I’d like the Positive Parenting ABCs infographic

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    If you want to take a deeper dive, check out my e-book journal, Positive Parenting A-B-Cs: 26 Ways to Renew and Reconnect with Your Child.


    Note: If you purchase my Positive Parenting A-B-Cs e-book journal, the buyer understands it is for ONE PERSONAL license only. Please protect intellectual copyright by not copying or distributing the file other than for personal use.

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    Written by

    Nerissa Bauer

    I am a behavioral pediatrician, consultant, child advocate and blogger. I am a wife, mommy to 2 amazing children and 2 golden retrievers. Love cooking, travel, reading, tap and creating.