carlalinkphotoToday’s guest post is from Carla Link. Carla and her husband, Joey have worked with an international parenting ministry for over 20 years. Joey is a pastor and Carla’s degree is in social work. Together they bring a unique blend of practical teaching to parents. Their new book, Why Can’t I Get My Kids to Behave?  at  where you can find out more about the Link’s teaching ministry.


It’s important to learn to be a positive parent. 

What exactly do we mean by this?

It is easy for parents to focus on the restrictive or negative side of parenting. We are “restrictive” in our parenting when we point out what our children are doing wrong:

  • “Why can’t you get ready on time?”
  • “When are you going to do what I tell you to do?”
  • “Stop hitting your sister!”

While we cannot completely avoid being restrictive in our parenting, we can’t overlook the many things we can do that affect the behavior of our child in a positive way, often without discipline!

We need to learn to ELEVATE THE GOOD.

Point your children in the direction you want them to go.

Instead of saying, “Stop hitting your brother!” try, “Tell me one way you can be nice to your brother.”

After you get that answer, say, “Are you willing to do that now?”

Pointing them to the ‘good’, allows you to get into the habit of saying the opposite of the negative

Instead of, “Stop running in the house!”  Try, “Please walk in the house, you can run outside.”

Instead of, “Why can’t you do what I asked you to do?” Try, “I asked you to vacuum the family room. When will get that done? 

Instead of, “We are late again, why can’t you get your stuff done on time?”  Try, “Make a list of all the things you need to do to get ready to leave the house in the morning.”

Write down the negative things you said to each of your kids this past week. Re-word each statement in a positive way. Parents have to teach themselves to elevate the good in their children.

The second part of positive parenting is to GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT.

Praise and encouragement are far better motivators to get your children to do what they are supposed to do to than discipline and critical words. When you praise your child, you are showing him honor and your approval for something he did.

When you encourage your child, you are giving him courage to do something he needs to do and you cheer him on towards the goal.  To encourage someone is to give him hope. Praise is for an accomplishment, encouragement is to be given along the way.

The Bible tells us, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” (I Thessalonians 5:11)  We can apply this truth to our parenting!

carlalinkbookpicElevate the good and encourage your children when they take the initiative to do the right thing.

Pick one of these and get to work on it. Flip your calendar to the beginning of next month and write down the other one and figure out a way to work on it.

The only way to be consistent when working on things is to work on one thing at a time.

If you focus on positive ways to get your kids attention, you will reap huge benefit!

What about you?  How have you moved from negative words to positive ones?  How have you practically learned to be more of an encourager?  You can share your ideas on this topic here.

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