7 Simple Parenting Strategies That Work If you’re a parent, then you are likely interested in finding ways to interact with your child or children that create a strong relationship, foster positive behavior, and respond to behavioral problems.

Take a look at any bookstore and the shelves will be full of advice. But figuring out which strategies are actually effective can be a challenge.  

In this month’s American Psychological Association’s Monitor on Psychology, Amy Novotney asks leaders in child psychology about the best parenting strategies.  Her quest was not for someone’s idea of the best way to parent, but for strategies backed by research studies showing their effectiveness in improving behavior, strengthening the bond between parents and children, and reacting to behavioral problems that arise.

The following seven empirically tested parenting strategies were the result.

6 Comments to
7 Simple Parenting Strategies That Work

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  1. Also, give clear, concrete, and concise instructions.

  2. Please will you provide a good source for becoming a student of child development?

  3. These are good strategies. As a professional who has treated troubled children for over thirty-five years I would add that micro-managing children is not good for them. These children become other- rather than inner driven and since their parents’ love is tied to performance, they are terrified of failure, which means they are afraid to take chances are feel devastated when things go wrong as they always will at some point. Of course permissiveness is not good either because children need to be protected from their immaturity. The true middle ground is laid out in Smart Love: The Comprehensive Guide to Understanding, Regulating, and Enjoying Your Child (www.smartlovepress.com). Encourage children’s curiosity by allowing them to try things and discard the ones that don’t turn them on. Babyproof the house so toddlers can explore. Separate love and performance. Keep children safe and make sure they get food, rest and exercise without punishing them – a form of managing children’s behavior I call “loving regulation.” Most important, don’t be afraid to enjoy and love your children – you will give them a security and inner well-being that will allow them to succeed without fear of failure and to be wonderful friends and partners.

  4. I need more advise Ilike these

  5. These are all great strategies and advice. Being a middle schooler/preteen/tween is difficult enough and these days there are even more challenges. We can’t start building into our kids too soon and I know we need all the help we can get. I’m very excited about a new book we’re reading that aligns with this. I have to share. It’s called “MiddleSchool: The Inside Story- What Kids Tell Us, But Don’t Tell You,” by Cynthia Tobias and Sue Acuna. It has interviews and feedback from middle schoolers, parents and teachers (and a little humor) to help us deal with faith, purity, puberty, communication, independence, discipline and accountability, tackling social media, technology, Internet, gaming, and deepening and strengthening a positive, loving relationship. It’s so rich in valuable help as we face these transitional years with our kids. I think everyone with a middle schooler or who will have a middle schooler will benefit from it. I would highly recommend it!

  6. Great advice! Using specific praise with my clients and students over the past 16 years has made a world of difference in their behavior. Spending quality time and taking care of yourself, of course, is critical as well. I also think showing empathy to children makes a huge difference. Children (and all people) like to know that you understand where they are coming from. It makes them more likely to open up to you, trust you, and respect you. I have also learned about the power of letting kids work towards earning privileges rather than taking privileges away and the power or positive phrasing (e.g.,”sit down in your seat” rather than “stop getting up.”). Giving a clear directive about what you want your child to do, is so much more effective than telling a child to stop doing something. Staying calm while enforcing rules (e.g., first you have to finish your homework, then you can watch TV) is also extremely important. It teaches kids that you can stay calm and still be assertive, which is a crucial life skill.

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