Parenting Tools to Invite Cooperation, Respect & Independence

Positive Parenting Tools for Cooperation

Cooperation is a life skill that needs to be taught and nurtured over ( a long period of) time. Using positive parenting tools you can invite your child to cooperate.

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Make time weekly to have a scheduled family meeting or if/when that’s not possible make it a family dinner time.  Taking time to connect with your children is always beneficial. It may help you sort out what’s bothering them or even may make it easier for them to correct themselves.  These are best used to establish family norms for communication, respect, and how to process difficult situations (divorce, new baby, first day of school, etc.)


Children function best (are most cooperative) when their environment is consistent and predictable.  Set a regular schedule for your child and do your best to stick to it.  There will be times when you are caught off guard or your routine is out of whack. PLAN ahead! I have emergency snacks in the car at all times. We use them up and replenish regularly!

Positive Discipline Tools for Independence

MAKE TIME FOR LEARNING This can work for you in a couple of different ways.

  • Take time for yourself: Reading a few parenting books from time to time IS an part of how I support myself as a parent.
  • Make time for your child: Schedule a set time aside to be with them. Read books about life skills, make art or play an activity together or whatever else you need/want to work on.

 Parenting Books (to read & re-read):

Montessori from the Start– I really like how simply they talk about the development of the child, their basic needs at different developmental stages and the adult’s position as a nurturing guide.  The focus in this book is raising your child with a Montessori approach  using freedom within boundaries, autonomy and positive reinfocement.

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk– this is a great (and easy) read.  It’s an indepth book about how to be a better parent communicator and how to guide your child in understanding and managing feelings.

The Whole Brain Child– is another wonderful book that focus on positive parenting with a whole brain approach using the scicne of how a brain is wired and how it matures.  Dr. Siegel & Dr Bryson’s tone is calm and down to earth as they give parents 12 strategies to help nurture thier child’s whole brain.

Positive Disicpline; The First 3 Years- This was the first parenting book I bought myself. I had used positive discipline practices in my classroom for YEARS but never on a child that could not yet talk. I went directly to the source of where I had looked for support in nurturing my students once I became a parent.  In this book Dr. Jane Nelsen discuss what to expect the first three years and how to address the most common problems from; child development basics  (understanding age appropriate behavior) to how to set routines, sleeping, eating and toilet training.

All of the above books focus on understanding basic child development principles and using Positive Discipline to guide children through those extra special parenting moments like tantrums and power struggles. 

For example:

      • If you’re child is like mine and just does NOT want to go to bed. Have a regular bedtime story about the main character learning to go to bed. (Click bedtime stories link for a list of our 100 favorite bedtime books).
      • Read a bedtime story that relates to life skills like; sharing, learning how to manage anger or tantrums. 


After you have taught a specific skill or concept you PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE until you’re sick of practicing and THEN you practice some more!


Anyone who’s (fully) potty trained a child knows how much work goes into it. You talk about it, read books about it, make your potty kid friendly (toilet seat, etc.) and then you have your first few successes and then some accidents but you just keep going. Eventually the accidents fade and your child has mastered toileting! The process of learning any new skill is the same. Practice is how children develop and refine their skills, repetition may drive us a bit batty at times but rest assured it is essential for their growth & development.


Help your child shape their personality by modeling positive character traits.  A lot of these lessons conceptually go with the “Make time for Learning” tool.  Lifeskills overtime can be indirectly learned. I have noticed the children who appear to be successful with self management are directly taught AND have positive behavior role models.

For example: Respect is a tricky concept for children to master. They begin to learn this by real life experiences like sharing, taking turns and giving each other personal space or as my son says “awone time” (alone time). This should be supplemented with direct teaching on what behavior is expected and can be done in a kid-friendly way like reading a story together and then talking about the book.  Click here for a list of books that teach kids life skills.

Positive Discipline Tools to invite Respect


This one can be SUPER challenging for some (ahem, me)! The key is to not engage EVEN if that means you need to (calmly) say you’re not ready to talk about it right now walk away.  If you are frustrated and unable to keep your cool simply vocalize it ” I feel frustrated when you hit me. I need some quiet time. I will come back when I am ready to talk.” and then walk away and follow through by coming back when you have (both) calmed down.


This can be equally as challenging as not arguing. It is also equally as important. Try NOT to react, instead know how you will act and do so calm and confidently.  For example; if you are not calm enough to discuss it (it will cause an argument or fight) you can diffuse the situation by saying what you are going to do “we will discuss this at family meeting tonight” and then following through with it.


This one takes practice (sometimes older kids or kids how are highly verbal will try to re-engage in the argument). They key is know what you’re going to say and say it. Do not react, act with positive emotions.

For Example: SET REASONABLE BOUNDARIES & EXPECTATIONS- that are developmentally appropriate. For example: “I understand you are upset. I need some alone time (sometimes modeling this helps) to calm down and we’ll talk about this when I (we) am (are) calm.


Be Calm, Consistent,  Kind and Firm (at the same time)Click Here to Download and print

Want more tools?

The 3 MOST Effective Parenting Tools and When to Use them!

Positive Parenting Strategies to overcome the 4 most common Parenting Pitfalls

How to Survive Gnarly Temper Tantrums with your Dignity (mostly) Intact

Positive Parenting Strategies to overcome the 4 most common Parenting Pitfalls


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