Dale Moss, who runs Positive Parenting Solutions in Auckland, New Zealand, has created positive parenting solutions for parents.
The solutions, which he describes as ‘cognitive behavioural therapy’, involve ‘learning how to manage negative parenting behaviours’.
He says parents can learn how to deal with issues that come up in their daily lives through these cognitive behavioural therapies.
The therapy involves challenging a parent’s negative beliefs about their child and, in some cases, challenging them to challenge their own negative beliefs.
Moss says the therapy is particularly useful for parents who may have a problem with their children’s behaviour, but who have not been able to deal effectively with their own child’s behaviour.
‘When we get to the stage of a parent having a conflict with their child, we need to start by teaching them that there are positive things that they can do to help them to be able to work through that conflict.’
Moss says that positive parenting is about understanding that there is a balance between what you do and what your child does and that you are there for them and that the goal is to create a space for your child to feel safe, comfortable and at ease.
He says parents are encouraged to look for positive parenting behaviours in their child to get them to start taking care of themselves.
He says children need to learn to be safe, to be calm and to be open to positive and constructive challenges.
‘When we look for that balance in our children, they learn how they can make their own choices about how they want to live their lives and to take responsibility for their own behaviour,’ he says.
Miles said she was ‘pretty amazed’ when her son, who is about to turn five, began to behave differently.
‘I couldn’t believe it.
He was just so normal and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, what’s going on?”
He was always being the big brother.
He wasn’t being a big brother like other children.
I thought, ‘You know what, I can’t believe this.”
I had been working with the child psychologists and therapists and they’d been saying the same thing: that a lot of it was about self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect.”
My daughter’s behaviour was just a little bit different from other children, too, she was always playing outside and he wasn’t.
I was really shocked and really worried.’
Miles is now looking for ways to help her son develop self-confidence and confidence in himself.
She said: ‘I wanted him to feel comfortable and safe and comfortable being himself.
I wanted him not to have to put himself down.”
The more I tried to tell him that he was not to blame, the more I started to feel like, You know what?
He doesn’t know how to be self-confident.’
Moss’s Positive Parented works with children who have been referred to the specialist child psychology centre.
He said that some of the children who attended his centre were more prone to anxiety and depression than others.
Dr David Haines, who was a psychologist at the time Moss was treating his children, said that while it is ‘not unusual for people to develop a negative view of themselves’, there are some important lessons to be learned from positive parenting.
Haines says that although the idea of using cognitive behavioural therapy in childhood is new, there are other methods that have been shown to help.
One of those is the concept of self-care, which involves providing space for yourself to heal and develop.
‘What it does is give you an opportunity to be a part of the healing process,’ he said.
It is important to remember that while positive parenting techniques can help children with anxiety and depressive symptoms, the techniques do not cure those conditions themselves.