Positive Parenting

Positive parenting focuses on raising children to be capable, independent, compassionate adults rather than on instilling obedience and compliance. Positive parenting sees children as individuals with needs of their own and focuses on cooperation and mutual respect between the parent and child. Positive parenting rejects corporal punishment and tends to minimize punishment in general, seeking instead to encourage good behavior and foster the child’s self-determination and understanding of natural consequences.

I adopted positive parenting when my first child, a daughter, was about a year old, and it completely transformed my relationship with her. No longer a contest of wills, parenting has become a cooperative enterprise filled with mutual respect and surprises along the way. For everything I’ve written on positive parenting, click here.

I should note that my experiences with and thoughts on positive parenting fall against the backdrop of having been raised on the strict authoritarian discipline methods of Michael and Debi Pearl, as enshrined in their child rearing manual, To Train Up A Child. To read more about my thoughts on the Pearls and their methods, click here.


Key Posts on Positive Parenting

Casting the Pearls back to the Swine

Parenting is NOT a Contest

Adventures in Parenting: On Reasoning with Toddlers

Gentle Parenting Around the Relatives

Child Rearing: From Cog to Individual

Things Are Different Here: On “Back Talk” and Healing

Listening Can Be Hard: On Children and Disconnects

Critical Thinking and Compromise: Sally Strikes a Deal


Resources on Positive Parenting


Positive Parenting in Action, by Rebecca Eanes and Laura Ling

You Can’t Make Me (But I Can Be Persuaded), by Cynthia Ulrich Tobias

For more, see Dulce’s Parenting Bookshelf.


Positive Parenting

Authentic Parenting

Dulce de Leche


Positive Parenting is NOT Permissive Parenting

Introduction to positive parenting for newbies:Part onePart two, and Part three.

The difference between “consequences” and “problem-solving”