Positive Parenting: What You Need to Know

By Vuochsim Srin. UNICEF Cambodia Voices of Youth 2019.

A few weeks ago, I traveled to rural Cambodia and happened to visit a family of four members including the granddaughter. It was an almost perfect visit – until I witnessed the little girl being physically forced to take a photo by her grandmother.


The image of the girl’s downcast eyes still appears in my head. The worst part is that this is just one case that I experienced. How about the others? What happens to other Cambodian children within their own families?

According to a national survey conducted in 2013 by the Government of Cambodia with UNICEF’s support, more than half of all Cambodian children have experienced physical violence. Parents were the most common perpetrators of physical and emotional violence directed towards children.

Despite this awful truth, I came across an article on @UNICEF Cambodia blog about Positive Parenting and I believe it’s important to share with you all the 7 useful tips I found on PositivePsychology.com and Firstcry Parenting.


But first, what is POSITIVE PARENTING?

In my own personal words, it is the techniques that you use to raise the child in a positive way that can build children’s self-esteem, strengthen parent-child relationship and at the same time, promote non-violent behavior in the family. You can also learn more here.

 The 7 Transformative Tips You Need to Know

  1. There are no bad kids, there is just good and bad behavior. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sister or brother, you should never call the child bad or naughty when they do something wrong. Instead, try telling them certain actions are not right. Additionally, teach them to apologize for their mistakes and guide to do what’s right.
  2. Ask your child to choose and make their own decisions. One of the common mistakes that parents make is not allowing the children to choose. It can be as simple as asking whether they want to take a picture or not. By allowing children to make decisions, they can build their independence and self-esteem.
  3. Give children enough time to learn and reflect on their mistakes. It is universally accepted that mistakes and failure happen sometimes. All you need to do is NEVER put pressure or use physical punishment on children! Give them enough time and encourage them along the way.
  4. Be a good listener. If you want your kid to listen to you, you have to listen to them as well. Reciprocate is the key. Never use parent-authority. Tell them to listen because it’s important for them.
  5. Be their role model. Children are in the process of learning. One of the best ways to teach them is by examples. So be their role model.
  6. Reward them for their good behavior. Some parents are too busy pointing out about children’s misbehavior. But we were all children once, we also want recognition of our great work and that can be done with simple praise.
  7. Apply the above tips and make it a family routine!

I know this might sound like a parent thing, but I believe it’s not only about parents, everyone associated with the child in the family is included.

As 2020 is approaching, I challenge you to make #positiveparenting into your New Year resolution, and let me know if you have other tips that you want to share!

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