The Journey of Positive Parenting: Nurturing Resilience and Compassion

April 9, 2024

As a mother to three remarkable, brilliant, compassionate, and spirited children, I am very aware of the wonderful yet excruciatingly challenging journey; that is parenting. Parenting is truly like a marathon, filled with challenges that tests us to the core, yet also rewards us with moments of profound joy and pride. As our  oldest son Jackson approaches his 18th birthday, and what society would say is his transition into adulthood, I find myself reflecting on whether my husband and I have prepared him for the many complexities of the world.

With our imperfect and humbling attempts at parenting, we've navigated the highs and lows, heartache, humor, overwhelming pride, many tears, and exhilarating joy as our parenting journey has matured. Through it all, we've witnessed our three kids growing, their resilience building, and their determination to carve out their own paths. I always say, “don’t blink” to my friends who still have little ones. The days are long with teething babies and unruly toddlers and pre-teenagers, oh the teenagers; however the years and time for influence we have on our children is brutally too quick.

Even in the most challenging times, my husband and I have remained steadfast in our commitment to use positive parenting strategies. Instead of resorting to some of the ways we were raised and to break generational trauma in our families, we have chosen open communication, empathy, and mutual respect as guideposts for our parenting. By approaching difficult situations with patience and understanding, we've created an environment where our children feel safe to express themselves and learn from their mistakes. Through active listening and constructive guidance, we've made it our goal to empower our three little humans to develop essential life skills such as problem-solving, resilience, and self-regulation. These efforts have not only strengthened our bond as a family but have also equipped our children with the tools they need to navigate the complexities of adulthood with confidence and compassion.

Through my research in supporting our students who are teenage parents, within the TREC HOPE Program, I have found a lot of evidence endorsing Positive Parenting, highlighting the benefits families have achieved by purposefully adopting this approach to parenting. A recent article I came across, "What is Positive Parenting? 33 Benefits and Examples" by Heather  S. Lonczack Ph.D. and

Tiffany Sauber Millacci Ph.D. provides a great overview and explanation of Positive Parenting as well as encouraging and healing outcomes from the children who had been raised with this parenting approach.

What is Positive Parenting?

Positive Parenting is an approach to parenting that focuses on fostering a strong, supportive relationship between parents and children while promoting the development of the child's self-esteem, emotional regulation, and social skills. It involves using gentle guidance, encouragement, and positive reinforcement rather than punitive measures such as yelling, shaming, or physical punishment.

What did the researchers do?

They compiled years of research of evidence-based positive parenting techniques. These ideas and strategies covered a range of developmental periods, challenges, and situations. They drew from collection of research and addressed exactly what positive parenting means; its many benefits; when and how to use it; and its usefulness for specific issues and age groups.


The researchers discovered that children who experienced positive parenting techniques experienced these benefits which include and are not limited to:

      1. better school adjustment in the toddler/young child years

      2. reduced depressive symptoms amongst adolescents

      3. increased optimism

      4. increased self esteem

      5. increased self-efficacy

      6. long-term reduction in behavior problems

      7. decreased family conflict and stress

      8. increased resilience as children and adolescents

What does this mean?

In essence, positive and nurturing parents bolster a child's well-being and inner resilience through affection, encouragement, steadfastness, coherence, and engagement. Research has shown that positive parenting techniques can lead to various positive outcomes for families, including:

  • Improved parent-child relationships: Positive parenting builds trust, respect, and open communication between parents and children, resulting in stronger bonds and healthier relationships inside and outside of the home.
  • Healthy child development: Children raised with positive parenting techniques tend to have higher self-esteem, better emotional regulation skills, and improved social competence.
  • Reduced behavioral problems: Positive parenting strategies such as setting clear expectations, using positive reinforcement, and practicing consistent discipline can help prevent and reduce behavioral issues in children.
  • Increased academic success: A supportive and nurturing home environment created through positive parenting can positively impact children's academic performance and motivation to learn.
  • Better mental health outcomes: Positive parenting practices contribute to children's overall well-being, including lower rates of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Parents not only communicate their standards but also live them out, serving as strong examples for their children to follow.
  • Long-term benefits: Children who grow up with positive parenting tend to incorporate these skills into their own parenting practices, creating a positive cycle of parenting across generations.

TREC Takeaways

  • Provide consistent love, support, and understanding: Parents help buffer the effects of trauma. When children know they have a reliable source of comfort and encouragement, they are better equipped to cope with stress and adversity.
  • Empower children by encouraging autonomy, decision-making, and problem-solving skills: By involving children in decision-making processes and respecting their perspectives, parents instill a sense of agency and self-efficacy. This empowerment helps children develop resilience in the face of challenges, as they learn to navigate difficulties and advocate for themselves.
  • Emphasize the importance of nurturing relationships and building strong support networks: By fostering meaningful connections with family, friends, and community members, parents provide children with additional sources of support and resilience. These networks offer emotional support, guidance, and practical assistance during times of stress or trauma, helping children weather difficult circumstances more effectively.

Staci Roth

Dedicated Educator, Early Childhood Education Expert, Trauma Resilient Professional, and Director of TREC

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