10 Keys to Positive Parenting

Positive parenting, sometimes called positive discipline, gentle guidance, or loving guidance, is simply guidance that keeps kids on the right path. The goals of positive parenting are to raise children who want to behave appropriately, and to raise children who turn into well-adjusted, productive adults. Listed are 10 keys to positive parenting that are easy to follow and incorporate into your family life.

10 Steps to Positive Parenting:

  1. Promote problem solving skills – If your child is faced with a problem, allow them to come up10 Keys to Positive Parenting with solutions to the problem before jumping in to help them.
  2. Say “no” sometimes – It is important for children to learn they can’t always get everything they want, and to be able to wait and/or earn desired items.
  3. Create a daily routine – Children respond very well to structure and routine. Daily routines can make things like getting ready in the morning, dinner, and bedtime a smoother process for everyone.
  4. Be a good role-model – If your kids see you responding by yelling or raising your voice everything something goes wrong, they are most likely going to start responding the same way. Kids often model the behaviors of their parents, so remaining calm in times of crisis will help your children learn do the same.
  5. Avoid spanking or other physical discipline – This can lead to your child being fearful of you and/or teach them that being physical with other is an appropriate response. There are many alternative consequences for negative behaviors other than physical discipline. If your current consequence is not decreasing the behavior, then keep trying different ones until you find a consequence that works.
  6. Be consistent with consequences If you punish a negative behavior one time, but not the next time, that negative behavior is going never go away. Being inconsistent can cause confusion in your child and they will not know what is expected of them. Also, make sure all family members are on the same page and addressing all behaviors in the same way.
  7. Provide natural consequences – This will help your child learn that their behavior can have both positive and negative consequences. If they break a toy, don’t run out and buy them another one. Doing this will teach your child there are no consequences for their behavior. Conversely if they get all A’s on their report card you want to provide some type of reward and praise.
  8. Reward and praise behaviors that you want to see again in the future – For example, if your child cleaned their room the first time you ask, reward that behavior instead of letting it go unnoticed. Rewarding and praising appropriate behaviors will increase the likelihood of these behaviors occurring again.
  9. Follow through – If you ask you child to do something, make sure they do it. If you ask and then never follow through, your child will learn they don’t need to listen to you. Even when your cries or gets upset, it is very important to remain firm and ensure they follow through with what you asked them to do.
  10. Give your child freedom to make their own mistakes and learn from them – It is natural to want to protect your child and prevent them from making mistakes, however it is important for children to learn from their mistakes and take steps to prevent those same mistakes from occurring in the future.

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NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!



money-free rewards

Reward Your Child Without Breaking The Bank

Reward (noun): a token given in recognition of effort, service or accomplishment.

Everyone, no matter their age, recognizes the positive aspects of being rewarded for hard work and perseverance. Asmoney-free rewards adults, we get rewarded at work with words of praise or a monetary bonuses, encouraging us to continue to strive beyond the minimum. Children, just as adults, recognize and understand the idea of a reward. It is something that is earned; it is something we look forward too; it is something that provides a sense of accomplishment.

Parents often navigate the process of rewarding through toys. However, rewarding children with toys and games can become expensive. Here are a few non-monetary rewards for your children that can build self-confidence, strengthen your relationship, and establish life-long skills for goal attainment.

Money-Free Rewards for Kids:

  1. One-on-one time: Children, especially children who have siblings, crave alone time with one or both of their parents. This is time in which the full attention is on them, their laughs and their actions. One-on-one time can be as simple as a drive around town, an ice-cream date, an hour of play time or even just time when your phone is put away and your to-do task is hidden.
  2. The privilege of picking their favorite game during family game night or favorite movie during family movie night.
  3. Reduction of chores for a day: reward behaviors and accomplishments by allowing your child to “earn no chores” for a day. It’s like you earning a vacation day!
  4. Choosing his favorite meal for dinner.
  5. Additional screen time: an extra few minutes of screen time, whether it be an iPad or television, can be earned. When using this reward system make sure that rules are established and understood, just as normal screen time rules are known.

Click here to read more about using rewards to help your child behave.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonHighland ParkLincolnwoodGlenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!

Talk to Me! 6 Ways to Promote Communication and Language

Having trouble getting your child to communicate?  The following 6 strategies will help facilitate communication and language in your baby or toddler. The main premise for these is two fold – first tempt, then wait. These strategies take some patience, both from you and your child, but most always stimulate communication, whether it be gestures, signs, words, or simple phrases. Try some of these “communication temptations” at home – and feel free to be creative!

Communication Temptations:

  1. Food: Grab one of your child’s favorite snacks and offer him a few pieces, then wait for your child to indicate he wants more. At the most basic level of communication, you can model a simple gesture, such as a point, to indicate “more.” If your child is already pointing, model a sign, word, or even simple phrase for your child to imitate. If he still grunts or points, do a hand-over-hand sign for “more.” Be sure to give him his reward right away so he makes a communication connection! Read more

What’s The Difference Between Positive and Negative Reinforcement?

Reinforcement is used to help increase the probability that a specific behavior will occur with the delivery of a stimulus/item immediately after a response/behavior is exhibited. The use of these procedures has been used with both typical and atypical developing children, teenagers, elderly persons, animals, and different psychological disorders. 

There are two types of reinforcement: positive and negative. It can be difficult to tell the difference between the two.

Positive Reinforcement:

This is a very powerful and effective tool to help shape and change behavior. It works by presenting a motivating item to the person after the desired behavior is exhibited, making the behavior more likely to happen in the future.

The following are some examples of positive reinforcement:

• A mother gives her son candy for cleaning up his toys.

• A little girl receives $5.00 for doing chores.

Negative Reinforcement:

This is when a certain stimulus/item is removed after a particular behavior is exhibited. The likelihood of the particular behavior occurring again in the future is increased because of removing/avoiding the negative stimuli.

It should not be thought of as a punishment procedure. With negative reinforcement, you are increasing a behavior, whereas with punishment, you are decreasing a behavior.

The following are some examples of negative reinforcement:

• Billy hates when his mom nags him to do the dishes. He starts to do the dishes immediately after finishing a meal to avoid his mother’s nagging.

• Lisa always complains of a headache when it is time to start doing her homework. Her parents allow her to go to bed without doing her homework.

Always remember that the end result is to try to increase the behavior, whereas punishment procedures are used to decrease behavior. For positive reinforcement, try to think of it as adding something positive in order to increase a response. For negative reinforcement, try to think of it as taking something negative away in order to increase a response.

NSPT offers services in BucktownEvanstonDeerfieldLincolnwoodGlenviewLake BluffDes PlainesHinsdale and Mequon! If you have any questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140!