Positive parenting and educating
Promoting positive, non-violent parenting and educating is not an alternative to law reform – prohibition of all corporal punishment of children is a human rights imperative, and essential in sending a clear message that no form of violence is acceptable in raising children. However, law reform should be accompanied by the promotion of positive, non-violent and respectful relationships with children in all settings of their lives.
Many civil society organisations raise awareness about children’s right to protection and about positive child-raising, but ultimately, governments should take responsibility for this process, including by providing education, training and support for parents and professionals.
What is positive parenting and educating?
Positive parenting and educating is an approach that teaches children and guides their behaviour, while respecting their rights to healthy development, protection from violence and participation in their learning and care. It features relationships based on cooperation, respect, empathy and recognition of the child’s innate abilities.
Positive parenting and educating is based on the most current research on children’s healthy development and effective parenting or teaching, and is founded on child rights principles.
It is not permissive, and is not about punishment. It is about long-term solutions that develop children’s own self-discipline and life-long skills, fostering non-violence, empathy, self-respect, human rights and respect for others.
We are gathering resources for the promotion of positive, non-violent methods of child-raising among parents, teachers, other adults who work with children, and children and young people themselves.
We aim to only recommend resources that follow the principles set out above, and we favour approaches that endeavour to work in partnership with children to get the best possible outcome for them. Therefore, we do not include programmes or resources that:
- Advocate punishment of any kind
- Advocate consequences or sanctions that undermine children’s healthy development or breach their human rights
- Only seek short-term behaviour modification, without regard to long-term learning, development and solutions.
A note about ‘Positive Discipline’
We have decided not to use the term ‘positive discipline’ because of the ongoing tendency to associate discipline with punishment, and difficulties translating it across different languages. However, we understand many excellent practitioners do use this term, and are working to reclaim it’s true meaning - ‘to guide or teach’.