Creative Child

When Positive Parenting Doesn't Work

by Rebecca Eanes

When Positive Parenting Doesn't Work...

You and your partner are sending conflicting messages.

It’s confusing for kids when one parent is trying to be positive while the other is punitive. For positive parenting to work best, both parents need to come to an agreement that this is best for their family and commit to practicing it wholeheartedly. My new book, Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, will help you and your partner work through your differences and get on the same page.

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There’s a strong negative influence in the child’s life.

It could be a friend to whom your child has an attachment, something from the Internet, or even a TV show. I once had to cut out a certain cartoon until my children were older because they mimicked things the cartoon characters said that sounded rude.

Children are great imitators.

If they see and hear their friends exhibiting a certain behavior, they may try it out, too. Be aware of who and what is influencing your child, set clear limits, and maintain your boundaries. In my opinion, losing television privileges isn’t an arbitrary punishment if the television is what’s causing the problem. It’s a logical solution to the problem.

Your expectations are too high.

If you’ve recently transitioned to positive parenting, it will likely take some time for everyone to adjust to the changes. Don’t give up too soon. You also have to ask yourself if your expectations are reasonable for your child’s age and circumstances. Is it possible that you’re comparing yourself or your children to others or setting a standard of perfection that isn’t attainable?

The relationship needs work.

There may be a disconnect present in your relationship. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’ve done something terribly wrong. If your child seems defiant or frequently breaks rules or doesn’t listen, that’s a cue that you should spend more time connecting with her. Here are 10 ways to connect with your child.

We all hit roadblocks in this parenting journey. If it seems like positive parenting isn’t working for you right now, don’t give up. Being receptive and open to the possibilities of improvement is half the work!

Rebecca Eanes is the bestselling author of multiple books including Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, The Positive Parenting Workbook, and The Gift of a Happy Mother. She is the grateful mom of two boys. 


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