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Elements of Positive Parenting

Being a parent may be the hardest job you’ll ever have. You’re always on call, having to make split-second decisions and being constantly vigilant. All parents struggle at one time or another and feel like they don’t know what they’re doing. Sometimes the stress can be overwhelming. Positive Parenting approaches can help relieve some of the uncertainty and stress.

Zero to Three provides videos, graphics and articles to help you with Positive Parenting strategies. They also show how Positive Parenting can help develop your child’s life skills. If you enjoy podcasts, check out Little Kids, Big Questions, a podcast series for parents.

Positive Parenting 7 Essentials

Positive Parenting Tips

Infants

  • Talk to your baby.
  • Answer when your baby makes sounds by repeating the sounds and adding words.
  • Read to your baby.
  • Sing to your baby and play music.
  • Praise your baby and give her lots of loving attention.
  • Spend time cuddling and holding your baby.
  • Play with your baby when she’s alert and relaxed.
  • 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.
Source: Center for Disease Control (CDC). “Positive Parenting Tips for Healthy Development: Infants 0-1 year


Toddlers 1-2 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.
  • Develop your toddler’s language by talking with her and adding to words she starts.
  • Encourage independence by letting him help with dressing and feeding himself.
  • Respond to wanted behaviors more than you punish unwanted behaviors.
  • Encourage curiosity and ability to recognize common objects by taking field trips together to the park or going on a bus ride.
Source: Center for Disease Control (CDC). “Positive Parenting Tips for Healthy Development: Toddlers 1-2 years


Toddlers 2-3 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.
  • Teach your child acceptable ways to show that she’s upset.
Source: Center for Disease Control (CDC). “Positive Parenting Tips for Healthy Development: Toddlers 2-3 years