SALT LAKE CITY, UT (Good Things Utah) – Parenting can be one of the most challenging jobs out there, especially when everyone has different recommendations and advice on how to raise your children. So how do you know what’s right? Dr. Alisa Van Langeveld joined us to talk about the best parenting strategies supported by research. 

The best parenting skills are going to be the ones that stem from research, and Alisa herself conducts research where she observes and understands the patterns between children and parents. From this research, she can develop theories about parenting, and translate these theories into strategies parents can use on a daily basis. These steps help us learn the most about how to parent effectively.

In the early 2000’s, psychology research shifted towards positive psychology, which is the scientific study of positive flourishing and functioning among humans. Historically, psychology has been focused on solving problems, but this shift started to focus on people thriving rather than avoiding their problems.

Positive parenting is an extension of this positive psychology, and its main focus is on children flourishing and thriving, parenting in a way where problems aren’t avoided, and children can reach their full potential and be able to confront their problems. This type of parenting is focused on outcomes and processes, where good outcomes for children are desired but positive interactions are focused on.

This type of parenting rejects strategies that use cohesive discipline, shame, or any interactions that damage the relationship. For example, a timeout chair is very harmful for children, and disconnecting from them when they are overwhelmed can create internal shame for the child, damaging the parent-child relationship. Instead, even during high-intensity or overwhelming moments, parents need to stay present and connected with their children talking about the situation. 

This month, Good Things Utah will be running a mini-series where one of our viewers will meet with Alisa weekly, and then will come on the show to talk about the parenting strategies learned. You can apply for this coaching opportunity on Alisa’s Instagram at @10minutestogether for your chance to learn parenting skills and be on GTU!