Safe Parenting Handbook >> Positive parenting and self-esteem

"Some of my friends moan that their parents are too busy for them. But my mum's great - she always finds time to talk to us about stuff and makes us feel special - I know I can talk to her about anything."

  • Children need to feel secure, loved and valued - this is the basis of self-esteem and confidence
  • Noticing and rewarding good behaviour is the best way of influencing your child's behaviour
  • Be realistic about what you expect from your child
  • Parents and carers need to work together and be consisten
  • Listen to and talk to your child - it's good to talk!
  • Do things together with your child that you both enjoy - have fun!

Make them feel great!

Positive parenting is about bringing out the best in your child, by listening and understanding, praising and encouraging their efforts, noticing and rewarding good behaviour and doing things together that you both enjoy.

In trying to be helpful, it is often easy to point out where a child is going wrong and forget to notice the things that go right. By ding this you are unwittingly giving your child lots of attention for negative unwanted behaviour, rather than for the good behaviour you would prefer them to develop. It can also undermine your relationship with your child. Parental attention and praise is one of the bigges motivators for children so you need to use in the right direction! Not only will this influence your child's behaviour in a positive way, it will also make your child feel happy, loved, wanted and secure and this is the basis of life-long confidence and self-esteem.

A sense of self-esteem is your child's best protection from peer pressure. You can help to foster this in many ways, for example by being a positive role model, giving positive accurate feedback, identifying and redirecting your child's inaccurate beliefs and by being spontaeneous and affectionate. Make them feel great!

Teenagers have to learn to make their own decisions and establish their independence from their parents. Unfortunately their decisions might not always agree with yours. That is why tension is normal. Choose your battles and let some go! Be friendly and supportive and let them know you have been through it and that you are always willing to talk. The main concern for adolescents is whether what they are going through is normal. Remember to give them the practical information they need about the physical changes and reassure them that their physical development is perfectly normal.

Promoting the health of your child is a task that most parents do without thinking. Whether it involves encouraging your child to brush their teeth or reminding them to pay attention to personal hygiene, you are an important source of information and advice and an influentual role model for your child.

Eating is an important part of everyone's life. Encouraging your child to eat healthily does not mean denying them food they enjoy. Healthy eating is about having a varied, balanced diet and enjoying lots of different foods. Younger children often refuse to eat certain foods and teenagers may go through food fads. These differences are normal. But some eating problems are more serious and if you are recognised signs of difficulties, contact a health professional for advice and support.

Warning Signs
What to say
there may be none. Is your child eating well? Getting enough exercise? Any changes in their behaviour? Is your child trying to tell you something? Be involved and develop a good relationship with your child before they reach their teens. Adopt a healthy lifestyle. Share activities together. With younger children, set boundaries. With teenagers, remember that you are in charge. Even if you only get a grunt, don't give up on communication. Be a little crazy! Have fun with your child. Encourage good friendship and outside interests. Listen carefully to your child's point of view. Help them think through choices. Parentline Plus 0800 800 2222

Young Minds 020 7336 8445

Eating Disorders Association 0845 634 7650

Your Health Visitor

Blaenau Gwent Local Safeguarding Children's Board, Heart of the Valleys Children's Centre, Old Blaina Infant School,
High Street, Blaina, Blaenau Gwent, NP13 3BN - Tel: 01495 355584