Positive Parenting Can Aid Child’s Mental Health

Positive Parenting Can Aid Child’s Mental Health

I have always known that in order to heal the children and adolescents I have in my practice, I almost always have to teach better parenting skills to their parents. It is crucial to assure their child’s core needs in life — to feel a sense of belonging, significance, and worth — is happening regularly in the home.

November is Early Childhood Mental Health Awareness Month, and nothing boosts mental health in children more than skilled parenting. I wanted to share with you the things I learned from Jane Nelsen, the renowned educator and author of Positive Discipline for Children and Positive Discipline for Teens.

Here are the core principles of Positive Discipline and best parenting tools I used with my own children and have taught my clients for years. I swear by their effectiveness as a parent and my three adult children are committed to raising their kids the same way. I highly recommend all child therapists take the Positive Discipline for Parents two-day course. It is life-changing!

Below are a few of my favorite insights from the handout.

Positive Discipline Principles

  • You must reach their heart before you can reach their head.
  • Children do better when they feel better.
  • Seek first to understand, then be understood.
  • Mistakes are learning opportunities, not a time to blame or shame.
  • Let go of power struggles — ask yourself if it really matters.

Positive Discipline Tools

  • Empower your children by not doing for them what they can do themselves.
  • Take time for training.
  • Hold family meetings.
  • Use positive time out for your child and for you.
  • Use natural consequences.

Lisa Larson, LMFT, is the founder of Pacific Counseling & Trauma Center and Pacific Brainspotting Trainings. Visit her website at www.pacificbrainspotting.com.