Positive Parenting Tips

     ( 0 to 1Years)

  • Talk to your baby. She will find your voice calming.
  • Answer when your baby makes sounds by repeating the sounds and adding words. This will help him learn to use language.
  • Read to your baby. This will help her develop and understand language and sounds.
  • Sing to your baby and play music. This will help your baby develop a love for music and will help his brain development.
  • Praise your baby and give her lots of loving attention.
  • Spend time cuddling and holding your baby. This will help him feel cared for and secure.
  • Play with your baby when she’s alert and relaxed. Watch your baby closely for signs of being tired or fussy so that she can take a break from playing.
  • Distract your baby with toys and move him to safe areas when he starts moving and touching things that he shouldn’t touch.
  • Take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Parenting can be hard work! It is easier to enjoy your new baby and be a positive, loving parent when you are feeling good yourself. Set up a special time to read books with your toddler.
  • Encourage your child to take part in pretend play.
  • Play parade or follow the leader with your toddler.
  • Help your child to explore things around her by taking her on a walk or wagon ride.
  • Encourage your child to tell you his name and age.
  • Teach your child simple songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, or other cultural childhood rhymes.
  • Give your child attention and praise when she follows instructions and shows positive behavior and limit attention for defiant behavior like tantrums. Teach your child acceptable ways to show that she’s upset.

(1 to 2 Years)

  • Read to your toddler daily.
  • Ask her to find objects for you or name body parts and objects.
  • Play matching games with your toddler, like shape sorting and simple puzzles.
  • Encourage him to explore and try new things.
  • Help to develop your toddler’s language by talking with her and adding to words she starts. For example, if your toddler says “baba”, you can respond, “Yes, you are right―that is a bottle.”
  • Encourage your child’s growing independence by letting him help with dressing himself and feeding himself.
  • Respond to wanted behaviors more than you punish unwanted behaviors (use only very brief time outs). Always tell or show your child what she should do instead.
  • Encourage your toddler’s curiosity and ability to recognize common objects by taking field trips together to the park or going on a bus ride.

(2 to 3 Years)

  • Set up a special time to read books with your toddler.
  • Encourage your child to take part in pretend play.
  • Play parade or follow the leader with your toddler.
  • Help your child to explore things around her by taking her on a walk or wagon ride.
  • Encourage your child to tell you his name and age.
  • Teach your child simple songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, or other cultural childhood rhymes.
  • Give your child attention and praise when she follows instructions and shows positive behavior and limit attention for defiant behavior like tantrums. Teach your child acceptable ways to show that she’s upset.

(3 to 5 Years)

  • Continue to read to your child. Nurture her love for books by taking her to the library or bookstore.
  • Let your child help with simple chores.
  • Encourage your child to play with other children. This helps him to learn the value of sharing and friendship.
  • Be clear and consistent when disciplining your child. Explain and show the behavior that you expect from her. Whenever you tell her no, follow up with what he should be doing instead.
  • Help your child develop good language skills by speaking to him in complete sentences and using “grown up” words. Help him to use the correct words and phrases.
  • Help your child through the steps to solve problems when she is upset.
  • Give your child a limited number of simple choices (for example, deciding what to wear, when to play, and what to eat for snack).

(6 to 8 Years)

  • Show affection for your child. Recognize her accomplishments.
  • Help your child develop a sense of responsibility—ask him to help with household tasks, such as setting the table.
  • Talk with your child about school, friends, and things she looks forward to in the future.
  • Talk with your child about respecting others. Encourage him to help people in need.
  • Help your child set her own achievable goals—she’ll learn to take pride in herself and rely less on approval or reward from others.
  • Help your child learn patience by letting others go first or by finishing a task before going out to play. Encourage him to think about possible consequences before acting.
  • Make clear rules and stick to them, such as how long your child can watch TV or when she has to go to bed. Be clear about what behavior is okay and what is not okay.
  • Do fun things together as a family, such as playing games, reading, and going to events in your community.
  • Get involved with your child’s school. Meet the teachers and staff and get to understand their learning goals and how you and the school can work together to help your child do well.
  • Continue reading to your child. As your child learns to read, take turns reading to each other.
  • Use discipline to guide and protect your child, rather than punishment to make him feel bad about himself. Follow up any discussion about what notto do with a discussion of what to do instead.
  • Praise your child for good behavior. It’s best to focus praise more on what your child does (“you worked hard to figure this out”) than on traits she can’t change (“you are smart”).
  • Support your child in taking on new challenges. Encourage her to solve problems, such as a disagreement with another child, on her own.
  • Encourage your child to join school and community groups, such as a team sports, or to take advantage of volunteer opportunities.

(9 to 11 Years)

  • Spend time with your child. Talk with her about her friends, her accomplishments, and what challenges she will face.
  • Be involved with your child’s school. Go to school events; meet your child’s teachers.
  • Encourage your child to join school and community groups, such as a sports team, or to be a volunteer for a charity.
  • Help your child develop his own sense of right and wrong. Talk with him about risky things friends might pressure him to do, like smoking or dangerous physical dares.
  • Help your child develop a sense of responsibility—involve your child in household tasks like cleaning and cooking. Talk with your child about saving and spending money wisely.
  • Meet the families of your child’s friends.
  • Talk with your child about respecting others. Encourage her to help people in need. Talk with her about what to do when others are not kind or are disrespectful.
  • Help your child set his own goals. Encourage him to think about skills and abilities he would like to have and about how to develop them.
  • Make clear rules and stick to them. Talk with your child about what you expect from her (behavior) when no adults are present. If you provide reasons for rules, it will help her to know what to do in most situations.
  • Use discipline to guide and protect your child, instead of punishment to make him feel badly about himself.
  • When using praise, help your child think about her own accomplishments. Saying “you must be proud of yourself” rather than simply “I’m proud of you” can encourage your child to make good choices when nobody is around to praise her.
  • Talk with your child about the normal physical and emotional changes of puberty.
  • Encourage your child to read every day. Talk with him about his homework.
  • Be affectionate and honest with your child, and do things together as a family.

(12 to 14 Years)

  • Be honest and direct with your teen when talking about sensitive subjects such as drugs, drinking, smoking, and sex.
  • Meet and get to know your teen’s friends.
  • Show an interest in your teen’s school life.
  • Help your teen make healthy choices while encouraging him to make his own decisions.
  • Respect your teen’s opinions and take into account her thoughts and feelings. It is important that she knows you are listening to her.
  • When there is a conflict, be clear about goals and expectations (like getting good grades, keeping things clean, and showing respect), but allow your teen input on how to reach those goals (like when and how to study or clean)

 

(15 to 17 Years)

  • Talk with your teen about her concerns and pay attention to any changes in her behavior. Ask her if she has had suicidal thoughts, particularly if she seems sad or depressed. Asking about suicidal thoughts will not cause her to have these thoughts, but it will let her know that you care about how she feels. Seek professional help if necessary.
  • Show interest in your teen’s school and extracurricular interests and activities and encourage him to become involved in activities such as sports, music, theater, and art.
  • Encourage your teen to volunteer and become involved in civic activities in her community.
  • Compliment your teen and celebrate his efforts and accomplishments.
  • Show affection for your teen. Spend time together doing things you enjoy.
  • Respect your teen’s opinion. Listen to her without playing down her concerns.
  • Encourage your teen to develop solutions to problems or conflicts. Help your teenager learn to make good decisions. Create opportunities for him to use his own judgment, and be available for advice and support.
  • If your teen engages in interactive internet media such as games, chat rooms, and instant messaging, encourage her to make good decisions about what she posts and the amount of time she spends on these activities.
  • If your teen works, use the opportunity to talk about expectations, responsibilities, and other ways of behaving respectfully in a public setting.
  • Talk with your teen and help him plan ahead for difficult or uncomfortable situations. Discuss what he can do if he is in a group and someone is using drugs or under pressure to have sex, or is offered a ride by someone who has been drinking.
  • Respect your teen’s need for privacy.
  • Encourage your teen to get enough sleep and exercise, and to eat healthy, balanced meals.