The power of positive parenting is using the mirror effect. What you give is what you get. Picture of happy mother smiling at her daughter. Looking each other in the eyes.

The Power of Positive Parenting: You're a Mirror - What You Give Is What You Get!

Positive Parenting Starts with You, not Your Kids!

The power of positive parenting has got nothing to do with power in the sense of external force or control in relation to your kids. Nothing whatsoever!

No, positive parenting is about focusing in on and using your inner strengths and qualities (such as unconditional love and support, deep presence, respect, tolerance and acceptance) as a parent to bring out the best in your kids and empower them!

Your own empowerment will inevitably lead to your children's empowerment. This is the raw power of positive parenting.

In this way positive parenting is not about applying more control over your kids, or trying to discipline them more, or setting firmer rules or more effective means of punishment.

In fact, I would even go so far as to say that positive parenting has got nothing to do with child discipline or child behavior as such!

However, it's got everything to do with your OWN 'discipline' or 'behavior' as a parent.


Because your actions, behavior and mindset set the behavior agenda as you are a mirror to your kids!

The Power of Positive Parenting
Is Positively Using "The Mirror Effect"

The mirror effect can be both a curse and a blessing as it makes sure that your attitude and behavior is in some way reproduced in your kids.

This is actually a really good thing because you can now turn the mirror effect to your advantage.

By applying the power of the mirror effect, you can now finally relax about how to improve discipline, rules, punishments, bribes ... all these different discipline techniques that aim at one thing: controlling your kids by whatever means possible!

So why don't you need these discipline aspects?

Because these behavior control measures become unnecessary when you are parenting from a position of high awareness, love, support, acceptance and mutual respect.

Seen from a higher perspective, control is about 'keeping down' whereas unconditional acceptance is about freeing and growth. These are two completely different directions.

Okay, you may think, these thoughts are great but seem a bit farfetched and smell of 'it's-all-about-making-love-not-war-unrealistic-hippie-ideology'!

This scepticism is understandable but hopefully my words on positive parenting have also provoked you to read on a bit more.

Your Own Positive Behavior IS Your Power

Becoming aware of our own behavior and its effects is step number one in using positive parenting and empowering children.

Step number two is not trying not to yell at, talk down to, be rigidly unbendable towards your kids, simply because your kids will implicitly learn to do this as well.

Simple: You get what you give!:

  • If you tend to handle conflicts by yelling and punishing - you teach your kids to deal with conflicts by yelling and punishing!

  • If you tend to talk down to your kids and allow no room for choices - you might teach your kids that their opinion doesn't count thereby giving them a sense of not being important. However, kids are different and react differently to the same circumstances. So while one kid might become suppressed another might take on the parents' pattern: oppressing, not being open to or listening to other people's perspectives. Both cases (being suppressed or oppressing) are a result of lack of self esteem (inflating ego or boosting ego) and are not constructive!

These are unfortunate examples of the mirror effect.

But fortunately you can also use the mirror effect to bring out the best in your kid which is what makes the power positive parenting so incredibly powerful.

  • Whatever you want your child to be or have - just become those qualities yourself and give them to your kids.

  • For instance, if you want respect, be respectful towards your kids!

  • Or if you want your child to learn responsibility, you might have to let go of some of your control and give your child the opportunity and support to learn responsibility which most likely includes them 'failing' now and then!

The Key to Children Empowerment is Parenting with an Open Eye for Long Term Consequences!

Many parents are so stressed with their kids' behavior that they think that the solution to their problems is more control.

They think they need an effective 'hard-hitting' instrument that brings out instant obedience in their kids.

Before doing the parenting worksheet exercise below, I would like to present you with some questions which will hopefully clarify what it is you actually want from your child.

Now, what do you want the most?

Do you want your child to do what you say because:

  • Your kid has learnt that if he or she is not instantly obedient there will be unfortunate consequences like you getting angry. In other words, your kid doesn't do what you say because he or she wants to but because your kid is scared not to. He or she obeys out of fear.

  • Or do you want your child to listen and 'mostly' do to what you say because your child genuinely respects you because he or she understands you. In other words, you kid reacts with empathy because that is what he or she has learnt from you via the mirror effect.

Now, the first strategy in the example is effective in the short term, sure! And it is by far the most widespread strategy among parents. However, it focuses on control rather than growth - keeping children down rather than freeing them!

The second strategy focuses building high self esteem and preparing a child to become a responsible and caring adult that actually dares to question limiting beliefs and norms.

Thinking about which basic life skills you want to give your kid is preparing your kid for a lifetime of conscious, happy living.

The Parenting Worksheet of Positive Parenting

To apply positive parenting in your own life, I recommend that you do this positive parenting worksheet exercise below.

This parenting worksheet will help you become more conscious about the way you appear towards your child.

It will help you become aware of the mirror effect - that your child will copy and reproduce (in his or her own way) the behavior you tend to show towards your kid.

For instance, your tone of voice (calm or harsh), the energy you transmit (e.g. accepting or stressed), your attitude (open or condemning), your sense of presence (e.g. tuning in / being in the now or distant or intimidating), all have a tremendous impact on your kid's sense of self and his or her behavior.

Enough talking, let's get down into business:

Using the Power of Positive Parenting
- A Good Parenting Worksheet Exercise

Let's start with you making a wish list - that's always fun!

The following list just contains suggestions to kick off your brainstorm.

You can ad or delete whatever you want! (You can print this worksheet out, copy it into Word or just write down your answers / choices on a separate piece of paper).

Now, what is it you really want from your child?

Or in other words: What kind of basic life skills do you want your kid to have?

I would like my child to:

  • Be respectful!
  • Show understanding!
  • Feel secure!
  • Take responsibility for himself and herself!
  • Be caring!
  • Be loving!
  • Be able to make sound choices!
  • Be honest and open!
  • Be conscious and having a high awareness!
  • Be reliable!
  • Have a positive approach to life and people!
  • Be authentic and not being scared to be who he or she truly is!
  • Be supportive
  • Be adventurous
  • Be able to be fully present and enjoy the 'Now'
  • Be flexible
  • Be conscious and reflective

Everything you want your child to be, you have to be those qualities yourself!

There's actually no 'teaching' involved as such. Just be and give and let the mirror effect take care of the rest.

Now, let's look at a situation in your life that involves tantrums or conflicts with your kids. Think about a situation when your child is difficult or shows 'bad' behavior.

You can choose to write the situation down (which is almost always an eye-opener) or do the exercise mentally!

1) First, let's take a look at YOU before it all escalated:

  • How would you describe your own mental state before your kid acted out?
  • What characterized it?
  • Then, what behavior did your kid see when he or she looked at you?
  • What energy did your kid feel from you when being in your presence?

2) Then, let's take a look at YOU in the situation:

  • How would you describe your own mental state?
  • What characterized it?
  • Then, what behavior did your kid see when he or she looked at you?
  • What energy did your kid feel from you when being in your presence?

3) In what way might your kid's behavior reflect your own?

Your potential stress, frustration, anger, stubbornness, 'one-mindedness', 'closed-off-ness', tenseness etc. will somehow be to see in your kid as well.

Take your time on this one to wrack your brain around it.

It might be difficult to decode your own behavior in your kid - and looking at one's own behavior is not always comfortable, I know this too well - but give it your best because there will be a connection!

Now, having seen what effect your own behavior has on your kid's behavior, let's turn the mirror effect around with positive parenting.

4) Ask yourself:

What need does my kid have in this situation? (Behind all tantrums and behavior issues, your child will have a need for you to meet!).

E.g. Your kid may act out simply because he or she craves to bond with you or because he or she needs to have a degree of say in what happens or because he or she can't calm down by himself or herself.

So what is your kid's need? Could it be:

  • Feeling seen or heard?
  • Being understood?
  • Feeling accepted and unconditionally loved?
  • Bonding and 'merging' with you?
  • Feeling your deep presence and attention?
  • Feeling respected?
  • Having a degree of say - a sense of autonomy?
  • Calming down and relaxing?
  • Sleeping or eating?
  • Exploring own limits and boundaries?
  • Feeing secure and safe?
  • ... Or something completely different?

Having found out your kid's need, you're ready for the fun part: Meeting the need and benefitting from the power of positive parenting and the mirror effect.

5) You now go back to the first point in this exercise about basic life skills and find out which one you yourself can use to meet your kid's needs.

For instance, if your situation is like this:

You're busy getting chores around the house done. And the more busy you are, the more your kid is acting out around you.

Perhaps your kid's need is to bond with you for a while to calm down, feel your presence and 'center' within himself / herself.

You then take time out from your chores by accepting this need. Just take 5-10 minutes out from what your doing, sit down, become fully present and bond!

Giving your child this acceptance and meeting his or her need will most likely make your kid show you acceptance right back when you need to return to your housework because the need is now met and the reason for acting out is gone! (This really works for me!)

Positive parenting and the mirror effect here is that by giving your kid what he or she needs as quickly as possible, you will also get what you need.

Not instantly - but long term (you had to interrupt your chores right now but you got to return to them later without an unhappy child crying at your side)!

I hope this parenting article and parenting worksheet about the power of positive parenting was of use to you. If you want more articles on children empowerment and positive parenting, just dig in below!

Your Positive Parenting Ally,

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