How Positive Parenting Builds Stronger Family Bonds
From helping them take their first toddling steps to teaching them how to drive a car, watching your child grow and reach new milestones is one of life’s most joyful and rewarding experiences. But there are also moments when parenting can be uncertain, exhausting or frustrating.
Harbin Clinic pediatricians manage the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their patients in every stage of development. When it comes to fostering emotional and cognitive development, our pediatricians are specially trained to provide resources, tips and support to parents. Children see their pediatrician for an average of 15 well-child visits in their first 5 years, and this provides an ongoing opportunity for your provider to become an active health partner in their overall wellbeing.
“We want to partner with our families,” says Dr. Henaro Sabino from Harbin Clinic Pediatrics Rome Davis Sabino. “And a partnership built on trust allows us to equip parents and caregivers with tools to support their child’s social, emotional and cognitive development.”
Positive parenting is one tool that Harbin Clinic pediatricians share with their patients and families. Dr. Sara Harbin Pickett of Harbin Clinic Pediatrics Adairsville describes positive parenting as “a parenting principle based on the belief that children are born with good intention and the desire to do the right thing. When we focus on using positive instructions to discipline young children, we are asking our natural-born ‘people pleasers’ to do what we want them to do, not to stop doing what we don’t want them to do.”
She shares an example of a little sister who continues to be disruptive during big brother’s appointment. “I will hear a frustrated parent say, ‘Do not get out of that chair one more time or I’ll (insert idle threat here)!’”
Dr. Harbin Pickett explains that this often results in less than ten seconds in the seat, and then she is up and running around the room again.
“A positive parenting approach would be to say, ‘Show the doctor and me that you can stay in your seat for just a few more minutes.’ And if she gets up again, remind her to stay in her seat,” says Dr. Harbin Pickett. “When you see her resisting the temptation to get up and run around, praise her. Positive parenting empowers both parents and children, and it teaches mutual respect.”
“Instead of thinking of your pediatrician as someone who just administers shots and antibiotics, think of us as a resource,” says Dr. Henaro Sabino of Harbin Clinic Pediatrics Davis Sabino. “We are here to help you maneuver some of the non-instruction manual ways to thrive in families.”
Stress Management Tips
Dr. Sabino reminds parents and caregivers to find moments to take care of themselves. “Usually when the parent or caregiver is sleep-deprived and hungry, and the baby is sleep-deprived and hungry, emotions tend to clash. It’s easy to forget how wonderful the experience of parenthood can be when we’re not finding time to care for ourselves.”
He is also on a mission to change toddler reputations of terrible twos to terrific twos. Dr. Sabino shares, “I love toddlers! Little kids are wanting to learn as much as they can as quickly as possible, and sometimes that be frustrating for them to process. So when they pitch a tantrum, it’s nothing personal against the caregiver. They’re just trying to absorb information, learn and understand the world around them.” He emphasizes that resources like the Exchange Club Family Resource Center and having a partnership with a pediatrician can help parents manage frustrations and celebrate the joys of playing and bonding with their little one.
Positive parenting helps build safe, stable and nurturing relationships between parents and children. These tools can establish strong connections in a family unit, which are critical through a child’s earliest years. Physical health is often linked to these early experiences, and the bonds between parent and child can impact how they develop self-esteem and social connections, and how they manage their feelings and behaviors.
The pediatricians at Harbin Clinic encourage parents to discuss successes and challenges during their child’s appointments. Their goal is to see children thrive, both physically and emotionally, as well as support parents through the incredible journey of parenthood.
For additional resources, visit the below:
The Exchange Club Family Resource Center
The CDC: Positive Parenting Tips
To schedule an appointment with a Harbin Clinic pediatrician, visit Harbin Clinic Pediatrics.
Content updated April 2023.