Heart & Home: The BCS Parent Page

Student Services Department: January 2023

Different Types of Parenting and Positive Discipline Strategies

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What Is Your Parenting Style?

Your parenting style supports your child’s healthy growth and development. It can affect everything from your child’s self-confidence and physical well-being to building relationships with others. How you interact with your child and discipline will influence your child(ren) for the rest of their lives.

4 main types of parenting styles have been identified:





It is hard to remain consistent when balancing life and parenting. There is no such thing as perfect parenting. Sometimes you will find the way you parent doesn’t fit into one particular category. You may tend to be uninvolved at times and authoritative at others. This information is in no way trying to shame or cause guilt for parents. However, research does indicate that authoritative parenting is the most successful parenting style when it comes to a child or teen’s healthy social-emotional development and behavior. Unintended consequences from the other three parenting styles can have a detrimental effect on children and result in low self-esteem, lack of emotional regulation skills, poor academic performance, and difficulty with problem solving as well as cause a child or teen to experience more anxiety, sadness, and other mental health related problems.

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Parenting Styles and Their Effects - Parenting Style Effects on Kids

Authoritarian Parenting Style

An authoritarian parent believes a child should obey the rules with little to no questioning. This type of parenting style focuses on obedience and is not interested in negotiating or listening to the child’s opinion. This parenting style can be summed up by the phrases, “kids should be seen not heard” and “my way or the highway”

Permissive Parenting Style

A permissive parent may set rules but rarely enforces them. Consequences are not given consistently or very often. A permissive parent is very lenient and only interferes when there’s a serious problem. The permissive parent believes a child learns best with little interference or direction. Permissive parents may also overindulge their child(ren) to avoid conflict. This parenting style can be summed by the phrases, “kids will be kids” and “I’m your friend, not your parent”.

Uninvolved Parenting Style

The uninvolved parent can be often confused with the permissive parent. However, the uninvolved parent tends to have little knowledge of what their child is doing. The uninvolved parent expects the child to raise themselves and tend to have few household rules. The uninvolved parent believes their child will do better without their oversight and spends little time with their child. This style of parenting provides the basic necessities-food, clothing, and shelter but children may not receive much guidance or nurturing. An example of an uninvolved parenting is ignoring a child who excitably talks about their day.

Authoritative Parenting Style

The authoritative parent puts a lot of effort into creating and maintaining a positive relationship with their child. Reasons for rules are often explained and discussed. This parent will set limits and give consequences while taking their child’s feelings and opinions into consideration. The authoritative parent often uses positive discipline strategies such as praise and reward systems to reinforce positive behaviors. Communication is often open and parent often solves problems together with the child. This parent offers “voice and choice” within parental boundaries. Examples for providing “voice and choice” within parental boundaries would be setting a bedtime or limit on screen time but allowing the child to choose their pajamas or who should press the off button.

Parenting Styles and their Effects on Children
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No Such Thing as a Perfect Parent

There is no formula to become a perfect parent. There is no parent handbook. Parenting is an art that is constantly being refined. You can refine your parenting approach to be more authoritative and match authoritative parenting strategies to meet your child’s unique personality and temperament. With dedication and commitment to creating and maintaining a positive relationship with your child, you will be the best parent you can be. You can still establish your authority while considering your child’s feelings and opinions. Remember, the Authoritative parent is firm but warm and firm but fair.

6 Strategies to Become a More Authoritative Parent

Here are a few strategies to help your child feel like you’re in their corner:

1. Listen To Your Child: Respect and encourage your child’s point of view. Even if you know you are right, respect their opinions as valid thoughts. Welcome their concerns and allow them to share their ideas. Giving your child positive attention can help prevent behavioral problems.

2. Consider and Validate Your Child’s Feelings: Listen to your child’s feelings, help them label and recognize their emotions. Teach them how their feelings affect their behavior. Although it may not be a big deal to you, acknowledge that it is a big deal to them and teach them how to deal with the emotion. For example, it is ok to be angry but it is not ok to yell at me. Instruct them to do something to help them calm down, like journal, take 10 deep breaths, or listen to music, to improve their mood to be able to talk in a calmer, healthier manner.

3. Establish Clear Rules: Clearly define your expectations for your child and explain the reasons behind the rules whether it be for safety concerns, social reasons, health hazards, etc. Providing a reason for the rule/expectations allows the child or teen to develop a better understanding for the need of the rule and will more likely cause them to adhere to the expectations when you aren’t there to reenforce them.

4. Offer Incentives and Let Your Child Make Little Choices: Use incentives to help a child get on track and overcome a specific behavioral problem. Consider how you can use rewards to teach your child new skills. A simple reward plan is an efficient and quick way to change your child’s behaviors. Gifts don’t have to be lavish or expensive but can be a sticker, trip to the mall, or opportunity to earn more electronic time for the day. Talk with your child about rewards one would like to earn. Remember it takes 21 days to create a habit. The reward system will help build the new skill to replace the undesired behavior. Positive praise can also be considered a reward. Highlight the good things about your child. A general rule of thumb is for every 1 criticism, a child or teen should receive 4 to 5 positive comments. Express excitement that you are pleased with their behavior and/or a decision that they made. Be specific and descriptive in your praise.

Also, give options when it comes to choices. They key to giving choices is to

make sure you can live with the choice “do you want to take a bath or brush your teeth first?” or “do you want to take the trash out before or after your show?” You can also gently remind them they agreed to take the trash out at a time of their choice by making statements such as “ I appreciate you taking the trash out after your show, thank you for taking responsibility for the choice you made” or use a one-word reminder “trash” or “teeth”. Give them ownership in completing the task. This will prepare them for making more difficult decisions later in life.

5. Balance Freedom with Responsibility and Turn Mistakes into Learning Opportunities: Set your child up for success to be responsible. Provide extra support initially but gradually tapper off your support to help your child become increasingly self-reliant. Create a list of how to get a task done or make a schedule to aid the child or teen in the completion of a task. Provide gentle reminders at first, referencing the clock, schedule or list created. Overtime the child or teen should become more independent and responsible. You can also help your child or teen learn from their mistakes. Explain why their behavior wasn’t a good choice. Problem solve together. For example, what do you think you need in order to get to the bus stop on time or turn in your homework to your teacher?”

6. Offer Warnings and Use Consequences: Authoritative parents give immediate consequences for rule violations but for minor offenses offer a warning first then follow-up with stating a consequence that will be given if the behavior doesn’t desist. Avoid repeating yourself or making statements such as “Don’t make me tell you again” or “Knock it off!”. State a clear boundary and follow it up with a potential consequence. For example, “if you do not get off the phone, you won’t be able to use it for the rest of the evening” (logical consequence).

Show your child that you mean what you say. Choose a consequence that you can follow through with implementing. Make consequences time-sensitive too. “You can use your phone again when you show me your responsible by completing your homework on time every day this week”.

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What is the difference between positive and negative discipline?

Negative discipline, punitive discipline, tends to involve punishments and reprimanding language in an attempt to dissuade kids from behaving badly. Negative discipline uses penalties to enforce children and teens to obey rules and regulations. Negative discipline can stop an undesired behavior but it doesn’t provide information on what the desired action is.

Authoritative parenting uses positive discipline to motivate children to make better choices by redirecting them toward more productive activities and praising them when they behave in appropriate ways. Positive discipline increases the desired behavior by creating a respectful, nurturing relationship between the parent and the child. The main tenet of positive discipline is that there are no bad children—just bad behavior or choices. It focuses on the positive points of behavior. Using positive discipline, parents clearly communicate what behaviors are appropriate, which ones are inappropriate, and what the rewards for good behavior and the consequences for bad behavior are. Positive discipline can encompass different consequences- natural or logical consequences- as well as positive reinforcement such as praise and rewards. .

Five Criteria for Positive Discipline With Parenting Expert Dr. Jane Nelsen
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Natural vs. Logical Consequences

A natural consequence is the result of the action that serves as a lesson without parent influence. It is what happens naturally without parent involvement. It is the result of something the child did. After all, experience is the best teacher.

Logical consequences sometimes have to be given. Logical consequences are prearranged by the parent and motivate children to use skills they already possess. Logical consequences are to be used in the instance of safety issues or serious threats. Logical consequences are to be given using the “3 R’s and Big E”. The logical consequence should be related, reasonable, and given in a respectful manner with empathy. Another way to word a logical consequence is to the use the formula as follows: “You can choose to ______ (positive action) and ___________ (positive consequence), OR you can choose to ________(negative action) and __________(negative consequence).

When given a consequence, children or teens may respond with back-talk, bargaining, yelling, crying, or even threats. Instead of engaging in a power struggle, we must offer empathy to help the child reflect. Acknowledge how the child feels, paraphrase their complaints, suggest they use a coping skill (take deep breaths, take a break from the conversation, or journal), and offer to problem solve together to make sure the behavior doesn’t happen again (when the child is calm).

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Examples of Natural vs. Logical Consequences

Example of positive discipline with natural consequences:
Nancy hasn’t completed her homework after school. Parent points out that Nancy may have to miss her favorite TV show because she must finish her homework. Nancy chooses to rush through her homework to not miss her show and gets a bad grade due to careless mistakes.

Example of positive discipline with logical consequences:

Stan gets in trouble at school for not completing a homework assignment, you discuss it and agree to cut TV, phone or play time by 30 minutes to ensure the homework is completed.

Non-reasonable: You ground Stan for a week

Prioritize Problem Solving Together

Remember to problem solve together. Problem solving motivates children to become part of the solution through the use of shared power. This is especially helpful with those children who seem apathetic or say “I don’t care”. If a natural consequence hasn’t occurred or you can’t think of a logical consequence that makes sense, this is an indication that problem-solving may help. Ask the child or teen to identify potential solutions and/or hold family meetings to brainstorm ideas to solve the problem. Discuss the desired outcome and ask the child or teen to identify when one will know if the solution is working and has resolved the problem.

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How To Praise and Encourage Kids

The Power of Praise

Don’t underestimate the power of praise. Praise in itself is a wonderful reward. Praise helps nurture your child’s self-confidence and self-image. Using praise models to your child(ren) how to think and talking positively about themselves. When you praise your child, you are helping them recognize their accomplishments and helping them develop a sense of pride. Praise can be descriptive; you are telling your child(ren) what you like specifically. Some children, especially those who struggle with self-confidence, need more encouragement than others. Praise can also focus on the child’s efforts. Praising efforts increases the child’s motivation to work hard and persevere to accomplish tasks when facing challenges. For example, don’t compliment the A on the Math test but the effort it took to make the good grade.

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Power of praise | Building self esteem in children using Effective Praise

Reward Systems

Reward systems, when used consistently, can be a highly effective way to change your child’s behavior from negative to positive. Reward systems not only reward them for the positive behavior you want to see but can increase self-esteem and responsibility. Rewards such as praise can help you build trust with your child as they learn to navigate healthy boundaries and expectations for you, the parent. Outside rewards can increase motivation and assist your child in mastering a task. Identify one target behavior or task you would like your child to learn. Provide clear direction and guidance while providing praise often. As the parent it is also important you follow through on your promises aka the reward the child is excited about earning. Remember, to ask the child what is something they want to work towards.
Rewards system for kids | Effective Positive Rewards
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How to Implement a Reward System in the Home

Little Kids

Create sticker charts and positive praise from adults

An example may be creating a sticker chart and each time the young child completes homework, they earn a sticker. Provide a sticker immediately when you see the behavior and provide lots of praise. Praise is another way for a child to receive positive attention from their parent. You want to reward the behavior immediately then gradually increase the time between awards such as every 2 days, then every 3 to every 4 and so on as they begin to complete and achieve the skill desired. This can take a week or a month, depending on when your child masters the task/behavior. Over time you will give the rewards less often. This is important so that your child understands that once they’ve mastered something, they don’t need to be rewarded every time. However, you will still need to provide your child with positive praise to reinforce the good behavior every time they engage in the behavior or complete the task.

Behaviors/tasks a sticker chart can work for are leaving a fun place without a tantrum, staying in their own bed, going to the bathroom, and picking up toys. Provide a sticker immediately when you see the behavior and provide lots of praise. Praise is another way for a child to receive positive attention from their parent. Rewards can also be extra positive attention such as hugs, kisses, smiles, and compliments.

School Age Kids

Chart with check marks or earning “tokens”.

Tokens can be used to “cash in” for a “bigger” rewards such as a video game or take out of their choice. At this age, children tend to want more tangible items. Create visual prompts of what behaviors receive rewards. Visual prompts can encourage and remind the child what behaviors you want to see and be rewarded. For example, a child earns a token for completing their homework without being asked. If you want your child to be cleaner, start with 1 task such as making their bed and rewarding them for completing the task then gradually adding more to the behavior as they have achieved that task. Do not nag your child. Give your kids a deadline to have the task completed and then let them take responsibility for getting it done. Make sure your child earns rewards on a daily basis and receives praise for their efforts. Again, over time you will give the rewards less often. This is important so that your child understands that once they’ve mastered something, they don’t need to be rewarded every time. However, you will still need to provide your child with positive praise to reinforce the good behavior every time they engage in the behavior or complete the task.

Tweens and Teens

Tweens and teens may benefit from a reward system with “bigger” rewards such as more freedom. These rewards do not have to be costly. This age group appreciates more screen time, later bedtimes on the weekends, a chance to have more outings with friends, and more independence. You can mix smaller awards like choosing dinner one night with larger rewards for long-terms goals. For example, if you child is working on improving their grades. You can give a smaller award like choosing dinner for making a B or A on a test and they can earn a larger award like having a sleep over with friends for improvement on progress reports/report cards.

Please visit VeryWellFamily for more information on reward systems, token economies and behavior charts that motivate children at http://verywellfamily.com

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Reward Ideas


Tangible Items

  • Treasure Box Filled with Dollar Store Item-let your child choose one item at the end of the day for completing a task/showing desired behavior
  • Choose the music in the car or movie to watch as a family
  • Driving the car
  • Gift cards

Later Bedtime

More Electronics Time

  • Set a limit for how much extra screen time your child can earn in a day such as 2 hours max, given in 15 minute intervals (for smaller kids)

Arts & Crafts

Special Activities

  • Going to the park, playing board or card games


  • Get out of doing 1 chore/household responsibility


  • allow your child to chose what is for dinner, plan for a picnic

Social Activities

  • Sleep overs with friends
  • Going to an after school activity such as a dance or sports game
  • Staying out past curfew

Don't be afraid to ask your child what rewards they would like to earn. Agree to the reward you feel comfortable with as a parent so you will be comfortable and consistent in following through.

Take "Time-In" with Your Children

However, above all else, the most important take away is to provide your child with unconditional love and warmth. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of life can get in the way, we can become agitated, or make unreasonable demands during high pressured situations. Children and teens are more likely do to their best when we show them we are on their side, in their corner, no matter what. Even when your child has bad days, set time aside to spend quality time with them. This will help your child feel loved and accepted, which is crucial to the development of self-confidence, helping them know who they are, and what they are capable of accomplishing. “Time-In” can also be a great way to calm your child or teen to revisit the problematic behavior. Once your child or teen is calm, it can allow a discussion to talk about their behavior, why the behavior is problematic and identify potential solutions.

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Important Dates: January and February 2023

January 2- Students return to school, 1st day of the 3rd Quarter

January 16-School Closed (MLK, Jr. Day)

January 19- Parent Workshop at Bartlett City Auditorium

February 9- Teacher-Parent Conferences 4-7pm

February 20- School Closed (President's Day)

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Pizza and Parenthood

Thursday, Jan. 19th 2023 at 6pm

5707 Stage Road

Bartlett, TN

BCS Student Services is hosting a parent workshop on the different parenting styles and positive discipline strategies on Thursday, January 19, 2023 from 6-7 in the Bartlett City Schools auditorium. Q&A segment to follow.

To register for the event, please email Dena Gill-Desbiens, District Social Worker, at dgilldesbiens@bartlettschools.org

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Have Suggestions?

If you have any topics or questions you would like answered in upcoming parent newsletters, please email Dena Gill-Desbiens at dgilldesbiens@bartlettschools.org. Student Services Department would love to hear from you!

Parent newsletters will be distributed bi-monthly/quarterly. Be on the lookout for the next edition of Heart & Home: The Parent Page in March 2023!

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