Kind AND Firm Boundaries in Parenting

Kindness without firmness can lead to permissive parenting and firmness without kindness can lead to punitive parenting.


The importance is on AND and starts with validating feelings. Offer a choice whenever possible.

“I know you do not want to brush your teeth and we can do it together.”

“You want to keep playing and it is time to clean up. I will help, l can do the blocks or books. You decide.”

“I love you and the answer is no.”


There are many tools that fall under the kind AND firm

concept of parenting.

  1. Validate Feelings
  2. Show Understanding
  3. Distraction and Redirection
  4. Follow Through on an Earlier Agreement
  5. Provide a Choice


In the following weeks we will have blogs related to those Positive Parenting Tools that you can use in your parenting education work, parenting or even with your colleagues.

3 Bs and Sibling Conflict

Many parents experience their children arguing, fighting and in conflict at various times. While this behaviour is common, there are heart strings that are pulled and tensions begin to raise.

We may start to pick sides, or demand “what did you do to your sister/brother”. While we as parents, may feel we know who started the fight, may never know what happened. There are many factors that occur that we will never know about.

I can think of a time when our then 18 month old sat in the hallway screaming her head off and I came flying out of my bedroom ready to correct my older child. However, my older child was contently playing in his bedroom. WHAT?!?! You mean the 18 month old is able to set up a situation for me to assume what happened? This was a huge AH-HA parenting moment. There is so much that happens that we are not aware of, miss, or just over see.

Therefore, I want to share with you the 3 B’s in Positive Parenting. These are from Dr. Jane Nelson’s Positive Discipline Parenting Way.

When our children are fighting there are 3 B’s we can keep in mind and decide to use while keeping ourselves and children safe:

1. Beat It: The parents make sure the children see them
and then leaves the room.
2. Bear It: The parent stays and observes, but does not
get involved.
3. Boot ’em Out: The parent removes all the children
from the environment while treating them the same.
“Kids if you want to fight, and you need to do it outside”
“Kids you can go to separate rooms until you are ready
to stop fighting”
“Kids, I have faith in you to figure this out”

Bonus Parenting Tool Tips:
-Be mindful to treat the older and younger children the
same. This may prevent the victim and bully
-Use a “Positive Time Out” area as needed to promote
-Use “Wheel of Choice” before the fighting starts