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The Nine Elements of Positive Parenting

What is Positive Parenting? A set of parental behaviors that foster a child’s capacity to love, trust, explore and learn. ZERO To THREE identified 9 key elements to positive parenting and we are going to look at how to apply each element in a real-world setting while providing local resources.


Remember to imagine your child’s point of view especially during overwhelming moments. Put yourself in your child’s perspective and remind yourself that little ones are still learning.

Here are some tips on co-regulation!


Take note of your child’s unique abilities and make a conscious effort to really see your child. Children learn and grow at their own pace, be sure to celebrate your child’s big wins!


Our days are busy and filled with an endless to-do list. Take a moment to pause, make eye contact and offer a big smile when buckling kiddos into a car seat or close cuddles while reading a book.  Sometimes it’s all about those little moments!


Respond with interest and sensitivity to your child’s cues. Taking time to watch and learn your child’s cues and communications shows your child that you are attentive to their needs and interested in what they are doing.


Provide consistent, age-based guidelines, limits, and boundaries. Through a combination of nurture and structure, we can provide guidance on behavior by maintaining predictable routines and setting kind, firm limits.

Some tips include: meet your child at their level, make eye contact, gently place a hand on their shoulder before talking through next steps.


Being able to check in with (or regulate) our own feelings before responding teaches our children how to do the same. Next time you feel those overwhelming emotions bubbling to the surface, try these fun and calming breathing techniques from My Growing Mind, a partnership with Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego.


We are all human and parenting missteps happen. What’s more important is how we handle those moments. Modeling behavior about how to act when we are wrong such as apologizing and setting things right are great teaching moments for children and builds the parent/child relationship.


Don’t forget about you! Caring for yourself is also caring for your family. Allow yourself to take breaks; recharge; pay attention to your needs for socializing, sleep, exercise, and nutrition.


We all need help from time-to-time, especially with our little ones — that’s why they say it takes a community to raise children. Don’t shy away from asking for help from friends, family, or professionals. All parents need and deserve support.