Fix family conflict for good with positive parenting

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“In order to see our son differently, (we) had to be differently.” States Stephen Covey in is book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Fights, conflict, stubbornness and arguments are all part of family life…right? Well it doesn’t have to be.

We naturally try to create our children in our image, or try to help them not make the same mistakes we did! It could be anything from eating to much and being unhappy with ourselves to helping them strive for the perfect mark at school – because that’s what we did.

Stop. Take a breath and think for a moment. What if they rebel (like we probably did) and don’t turn out like us or how we want them to be? We must remember that they are not us, they are them… And they will make mistakes! We did, but it’s not our mistakes that define us. What defines us is our values, our feelings and our intentions.

Now I know you have the best intentions for your child. But like I say to my students, ‘you are your own person’. Or, they are their own person. In the end they will decide what they need to do to learn.

You are there to guide them, to offer advice… To sit there with them and help them with their homework, listen to their struggles and ensure that they are confident and happy within themselves so that they can block out ‘white noise’ and other negative feedback from life. We need to teach them to look at the positive.

Both positive parenting and positive psychology practices encourage the use of developing parenting skills and teach skills for disciplining children. We develop these skills by taking a back seat and giving positive attention to the things that the child or children are successful at.

We do this by letting them be them, by not criticising how much they eat, how to be better at sport or how they need to try harder in school.

We need to set boundaries and help them understand consequences, as well as focus on the positives. Some consequences will be natural.

Be a present positive parent.

Has anything worked for you at home to help with conflict? Our readers would love to hear it… comment below to share.


  1. this is exactly how i parent / work to parent. I have always reminded myself from the beginning that they are there own people. The hardest part now that they are getting older is wanting to protect them from pain but knowing they have to travel their own road and i can just be here for support. In late primary there are so many friendship and self esteem issues. Next year my oldest starts high school and omg i am trying to side step questions that would have negative answers about my own experiences as i di not want to cloud her own journey –

    • Alex says:

      That’s so good to hear! I can fully understand how you want to protect them, but don’t want to cloud their experiences. I think the important thing to remember is that they are more likely to go their own way anyway, if you offer support and lots of hugs through the tough times then they will grow into a strong loved person. Xx

  2. sue says:

    Great post Alex.
    Having made it through those teenage years to now be the mother of daughters in their 20’s, I would say that being a present, positive parent wasn’t always easy(and I certainly didn’t always get it right), but it was so worth it.

    • Alex says:

      That’s awesome Sue! It’s can be so hard to be positive all the time… But I feel that if you check in with yourself at the end of the day and realign yourself, then you can move on from any negativity that was there that day. Life is a big journey of learning how to deal with new situations. It sounds like you’ve done an absolutely fab job!! Xx

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