What is Positive Parenting?

Our positive, strength-based approach to parenting focuses on what’s right with kids (and parents), and the small, everyday steps you can take to help kids be successful in the future. Positive parenting may sound like “a nice idea,” but it is also grounded in the scientific study of healthy development.

Research tells us that parents are most effective when they adopt the loving, firm authoritative style of parenting.2,3,4

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1. Peter L. Benson, All Kids Are Our Kids: What Communities Must Do to Raise Caring and Responsible Children and Adolescents (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006).

2. Diana Baumrind, “Current Patterns of Parental Authority,” Developmental Psychology Monographs 4 , nos. 1, 2 (1971): 1-103.

3. Diana Baumrind, “Parental Disciplinary Patterns and Social Competence in Children,” Youth and Society 9 (1978): 238-279.

4. EE Maccoby and JA Martin, “Socialization in the Context of the Family: Parent–Child Interaction,” in Handbook of Child Psychology, Volume IV: Socialization, Personality, and Social Development, 4th ed., eds. P Mussen and EM Hetherington (New York: Wiley, 1983), 1-101.

5. Peter Scales and Nancy Leffert, Developmental Assets: A Synthesis of the Scientific Research on Adolescent Development (Minneapolis: Search Institute, 1999), 24-26, 77-78.

6. Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Peter C. Scales, Jolene L. Roehlkepartain, and Stacey P. Rude, Building Strong Families (Minneapolis: Search Institute and Chicago: YMCA of the USA, 2002).

7. Rebecca N. Saito, Theresa K. Sullivan, and Nicole R. Hintz, The Possible Dream: What Families in Distressed Communities Need to Help Youth Thrive (Minneapolis: Search Institute, 2000).




This is very helpful information in the often confusing and changing world of being a parent.


Great resource


Excellent synopsis of some of the difficult areas we as families face.


Excellent resource for educators and parents.


Great article!


Fabulous info. Clear and concise. I’ll take it into a funder meeting tomorrow to try an increase support of using an asset approach in family strengthening.


Great article! Another site I’ve enjoyed for ideas on strengthening your family is http://www.enjoy.myfamilyiq.com


I have no children of my own but I am concerned with the messages young people receive through music, internet and other media sources. It seems that people with poor behavior, low moral values and totally self absorbed atitutudes are often glorified by various forms of media. Do we really need a world full of Sterns and Snookies? Parents do need help surrounding their children with positive messages, positive activities and role models who exhibit strong moral values. But of course, children need to receive a level of unconditional love so that they know they can fail, can make a mistake but those failings don’t define them.


Exceptional article. I agree with the last poster who is concerned about the negative impact media is having on our children. There are several articles that deal with parenting issues today located at http://www.kellybear.com/ParentTips.htm. . There is also a video called, “Thoughts on Parenting” at that site. All are complimentary and reproducible.