When is positive parenting not enough?
Positive parenting strategies are effective for all families to put into use with babies and toddlers, and even families learning to parent independent teens for the first time! Further, the American Psychological Association posits that psychological strategies like positive parenting are more effective for kids than prescriptions in moderating moods and behavior. However, there are situations where further interventions may be needed for a child or teen showing more pronounced emotional or behavioral problems.
These might include:
- Risk of harm to themselves or others
- Delay in speech or motor disorders
- An ADHD or ADD diagnosis
- Mood disorders such as anxiety or depression
- Trouble learning, sleeping or eating
- Difficulty in daycare or school activities or risk of expulsion for behavior
- Trauma related to toxic stress or Adverse Childhood Experiences
These situations may call for a family to see a developmental-behavioral specialist, which might include a counselor, social worker, or specialized pediatrician. Together with a child’s medical home, the right care plan can be explored for each case, supported by positive parenting.
A pediatrician’s role in a child’s life is two-fold: they are experts in pediatric health, but are also crucial members of a parent’s support network, especially as they are constantly learning how to be the best parents possible for their unique child.