Make a plan to improve your parenting skills | Parent Talk
By PATTI SKELTON-MCGOUGAN
Kirkland Reporter Contributor
December 22, 2011 · Updated 1:01 PM
Being a parent is wonderful — but some days, it’s just plain hard.
In a moment of stress or confrontation, parents sometimes react to a child’s behavior without knowing if they are doing the right thing for the long-term.
The good news is that moms, dads and other caregivers can learn to make more intentional choices that improve the odds in a child’s favor.
One of the most fundamental ways to do this is for parents to create and sustain a positive relationship with each child. This approach, known as “positive parenting” is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which asserts: “The best way to encourage good behavior is to lay the groundwork early by being a good role model and demonstrating a consistent, loving approach to discipline.”
To be clear, positive parenting is not permissive parenting. Parenting that is too lenient — or too strict — is not best for children.
Studies show that boys and girls who grow up with permissive parents are three times more likely to engage in binge drinking, and children of authoritarian parents are twice as likely to engage in heavy drinking.
Children of authoritative parents who use positive parenting skills are the least likely to engage in binge drinking.
Jane Nelson’s "Positive Discipline" series of books offer a proven and effective way to develop the positive parenting skills recommended by AAP.
For those who prefer more interaction and guidance for learning how to parent more effectively, a variety of organizations offer workshops based on positive parenting concepts.
Making a plan to improve your parenting skills could be the best gift you give yourself — and your family — this holiday season.
YES will begin new classes in January, taught by long-time educator Jennifer Watanabe, YES’ new Parent Educator/Parenting coach. For details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 425-747-4937.
Patti Skelton-McGougan is Executive Director of Youth Eastside Services (YES). YES is a nonprofit organization and a leading provider of youth counseling and substance abuse services in the region. Since 1968, YES has been a lifeline for kids and families, offering treatment, education and prevention services to help youth become healthy, confident and self-reliant and families to be strong, supportive and loving. While YES accepts insurance, Medicaid and offers a sliding scale, no one is turned away for inability to pay. For more information, visit www.YouthEastsideServices.org.