The five messages of positive parenting

Leading relationship expert and best selling-author Dr. John Gray, explains the five key messages of positive parenting for parents to always be thinking about.
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The five messages of positive parenting

In my book, Children Are From Heaven, I give five positive messages that parents need to constantly be aware of. This is the message I want to give my child. And what are those messages? The first is, it's okay to be different. We compare, oh, you're not like your brother. Oh, you should be like this. Or why are you like that person? This damages our child's self-esteem. We need to embrace who our child is and learn and know that some children learn things quickly, some go slower. There's all kinds of differences. Let's celebrate the differences rather than compare and put down. The second one, it's okay to make mistakes. Nobody's perfect. And when children make mistakes, we create a context, of course people make mistakes. Let's try to learn to do this differently. The third message is it's okay to have negative emotions. We all have negative emotions, and we need to make it okay for our children to have negative emotions as opposed to telling them not to feel that way. So it's okay to be different, it's okay to make mistakes, and it's okay to have negative emotions, and it's okay to want more. Often children are ashamed for saying but I want this and I want that. And a parent will say, why do you want that? And who are you to think you can have that? As opposed to yes, that would be wonderful for you to have that. You want the whole pie. We're a family, and we have to share, because so-and-so wants some, and I want some, so we're going to share. And that's what we do is we take turns and we share. So never to shame a child for wanting more, wanting to be the center of attention, just pointing out to them again and again, I know you want this, and this is what I want, and this is what so-and-so wants. And we work together; we take turns. So those four messages. And the last message. It's okay to say no, but mom and dad are always in charge. We're the boss. And that's a context. Whereas if I say, put on your jacket, and the child resists, it's okay that they resist, but I persist, and eventually I win out. And lots of skills for doing that. For example, if a child is resisting you, rather than making them wrong for resisting you, you can say, you know, you're going to put that jacket on, because I'm the boss. And if you put it on now, then there will be more time when I take you to school and I can see the pictures you drew. And you divert their attention and they put it on right away. So not to shame a child for having a sense of resistance to authority, because this is back into Nazi Germany where they taught children, do not resist authority. So all it takes is a dysfunctional authority figure like Hitler and everybody just bows down like, yes, daddy says to do it. So we want our children to have a spirit of authenticity but at the same time cooperate with the parents and know that they're the final authority in the home, but it's okay if you don't always like what I'm telling you to do.

Leading relationship expert and best selling-author Dr. John Gray, explains the five key messages of positive parenting for parents to always be thinking about.


Expert Bio

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John Gray, PhD

Best-Selling Author

John Gray is the leading relationship expert in the world. His relationship and health books have sold over 50 million copies in 50 different languages. His groundbreaking book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, is the best-selling non-fiction book of all time.

John helps men and women better understand and respect their differences in both personal and professional relationships. His approach combines specific communication techniques with healthy, nutritional choices that create the brain and body chemistry for lasting health, happiness and romance. His many books, videos, workshops and seminars provide practical insights to effectively manage stress and improve relationships at all stages of life and love.

John also travels the world teaching communities and companies the best ways to improve their relationships and communication. He has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show many times as well as The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The View, and many others. He has been profiled in Time, Forbes, USA Today and People.

John Gray lives in Northern California with his wife of 29 years, Bonnie. They have three grown daughters and four grandchildren. He is an avid follower of his own health and relationship advice.

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