Where would you like
to share this page?

The 5 Principles of Positive Parenting


January 4, 2022 Parent-Child Relationship


Par Cindy Grattepain

Communication Officer

Did you know that adopting a positive parenting approach with your child helps build trust and gives them the tools they need to make the right choices?

Positive parenting is an educational approach that emphasizes kindness in our interactions. Parents who favour a positive approach respect the child's reactions and adhere to a non-violent communication style. Positive parenting invites parents to put themselves in the child's shoes to better understand your child's point of view. It is an approach that allows parents to educate their children by guiding them rather than controlling them.

5 fundamental principles of the concept of positive parenting

1. An affective and emotional education

In order to adequately meet the emotional needs of children, we must be aware of their emotional maturation stages. This makes it easier to understand and support them. When we talk about the emotional needs of adolescents, we are talking about the need for love, affection, and security.

2. A framework and ground rules

Even though your teenager looks like an adult, they still need guidance. This means setting limits while still respecting their integrity. Your role is to use your authority as a means to make the child an active participant and responsible for his or her actions. In this sense, parenting is not a project of obedience but of listening to the child's emotional state. We need to work together to establish some shared ground rules, whcih will help the child feel both less anxious and more involved.

3. Active and empathetic listening

Teenagers tend to believe that no one is listening to them and that no one understands them. Active listening allows the parent to try to understand how their teen is feeling and where they are coming from. This method helps them to express their frustrations and resolve their problems. The benefit of this approach is that the more you are able to listen to your child in a considerate and caring way, the more open they will be to listening to you in return.

Positive parenting can build children's confidence and give them the tools to make good choices.

4. A sense of confidence

Self-confidence is not given, but rather built. According to Isabelle Filliozat, the term "self-confidence" covers four dimensions that are built one after the other as we grow: 

The feeling of inner security

Inner security is nurtured during the child's development. A child, even in adolescence, needs affection and acknowledgement. These gestures make them feel safe and supported.


Teens are trying to develop their own identity and become an independent person, separate from their parents. For this reason, it is important for parents to respect their children's wishes, needs, emotions, choices, and judgments. This behavior helps to reinforce the child's self-confidence.

Confidence in one's abilities

A parent's role is to provide support in the face of their child's difficulties and to help them overcome their fear of failure. By encouraging and respecting the child's various academic and personal achievements, the child will be more confident and continue to pursue these activities with an assured calm.

Relational trust

As children grow, they will be exposed to more and more people. Certain relationships can influence the relational confidence of adolescents. Children who are mocked or rejected are more likely to fall behind. Parents can help by teaching them how to identify emotions and respond to others, and by teaching them to defend themselves in a non-violent way.

5. Non-violent communication 

Abuse and humiliation can transform a young person into a troubled individual. There is a way to approach child rearing differently and to break out of harmful and authoritarian parenting. To do this, formulate expectations in a positive way and avoid judging the child as a person, but instead respond only to their behaviour. For example, saying "What you did was not right," rather than "You are bad."

One step at a time

Adopting positive parenting ensures a better future and increased self-confidence for the child. This approach avoids stress, conflict, and anger and the key is to opt for dialogue and optimism in your child's upbringing. If this sounds like a lot to you, remember, just like for your child, learning can only happen one step at a time. So give yourself a break! You are doing your best and that is already a lot!

References (in French)

Vie de parents, Les 5C de la parentalité positive
Parlement du Canada
Apprendre à éduquer