January 22, 2018

Positive Parenting Skills

What exactly are positive parenting skills?

As far as we’re concerned, positive parenting skills are the skills we’ve acquired through the last 19 years of parenting our  five children. We aren’t psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, or therapists. So what are our qualifications? We are ordinary parents of extraordinary children with special challenges and the tools and programs we talk about are ones that have worked for us. We’ve picked up these parenting skills from many different places, including all of the following:

  • Parenting Books
  • Counselors
  • Parenting CD’s
  • Parenting DVD’s
  • Seminars
  • Parenting Websites
  • Parenting Blogs
  • TV shows
  • Parenting Forums
  • And whatever other resources we could find to help us be the best parents possible!

Our names are Matt and Julie, and we’re the parents of five wonderful, challenging, and at times infuriating adopted children. We knew right from the start that we’d need special skills, tools, and techniques to raise these children, and we’ve spent much of the last 18 years building our arsenal! Our desire on this site is to share some of what we’ve learned with you, in hopes that it will help you to be awesome parents, too!

Please feel free to browse this site, and use any of the information freely. In addition to our parenting blog, you’ll find parenting product reviews, parenting articles, and even a parents forum that you can interact with other parents on. If you have questions, or even don’t agree with what we say, leave a comment! We’re happy to hear from you either way.

Do you have challenging children?

One program that’s worked for us is the Total Transformation program by James Lehman. It’s given us a lot of solid, common sense ideas for parenting our five. Maybe it can help you too!

About the author: By

Matt is the parent (along with his wife Julie) to five wonderful kids. He has been self-employed for 25+ years and is the owner of the Parenting Allies website.


  1. erinlininger says:

    my 7year old how to get her to leave her 2yearold sister alone

  2. What exactly is she doing?

  3. I totally agree. Our kids have different special needs.

  4. I have 3 girls and each one is do different that he other one! its so great watching them grow up and develop their own character.

  5. Having 4 girls and one son I can attest that the information you offer here is helpful and relevant. Each one of our children have had their own set of opportunities to build our experience and expertise as parents. It’s important to understand that you don’t have all the answers but you can find the solutions to your problems with resources like the ones you provide. Thanks for providing meaningful resources to help parents get through difficult periods of raising children.

  6. wanjiku njuguna says:

    I have two sons, 15 and 9, they are great boys, it has been a great experience parenting them. they are very different i personality and we are able to handle them with care, as individuals.

  7. wanjiku njuguna says:

    It is a great expereince to be a parent, but it calls for dedication and commitment. I would recommend parents to take time and learn about parenting skills, eg in parenting seminars, reading books, etc.

    It is also good to see kids like human beings, not just kids, they have feelings and emotions just like the adults, they deserve respect and love. I will give some rights for both.
    parents rights
    -parents have a right to be human-none of us is perfect.
    -parents have a right to lives that are as free from anxiety as possible.
    -parents have a right to their sleep.
    -parents have a right to be relaxed and happy in their homes
    -parents have a right not to be afraid of or threatened by their kids.
    -parents have a right to a child’s help around the house.

    childrens rights.
    -children have a right to love and caring
    -children have a right to a secure home and shelter
    -children have a right to regular meals
    -children have a right to dignity and respect
    -children have a right to be given time, patience and understanding by their parents.
    -children have a right to self-respect and life free from physical, emotional and sexual abuse.
    I wish us all the best in this interesting life time project!!!!

  8. Well, I have only tried parenting books so far but you gave me a great idea with the parenting DVD!

  9. Thanks for all the great ideas! I really like the article about helping a child to solve their own problems. Keep up the good work!

  10. I appreciate you sharing your feedback on positive parenting and being brave enough to do so as “just a parent”! I am a firm believer that you have to go through an experience (like raising children) to really know what it’s like.

    I personally found the potty training and ADHD tips really helpful.

    Thank you!



  11. Wow 5 Adopted kids! My wife and I are hoping to have our first this year and would love to adopt 1 or 2 kids in the near future. We have always been fans of adoption and know realities of raising adopted children. Glad I found this resource because I definitely will need help with all things parenting soon!


  12. I love your site. My daughter is a very difficult child and unfortunately, her brother is nearly perfect which only acentuates our difficulties with our daughter. I look forward to the support and information from your site.

    As a side note, thank you so much for always taking time to read and comment on my posts over at EduDad.
    James recently posted..The Woes of Unrequited Spring LoveMy Profile

    • Great to meet you James. We were (and still are but to a much lesser degree) in the same boat with difficult children. That is when we stumbled onto the parenting program Total Transformation and the timing was right. Listened to the 1 minute tips until it was memorized. Then when we got some breathing room, we started doing the program. Plus I love I can just pick it up to refer back for refreshers when needed.
      It also made us realize we must link arms with other parents as it can be so isolating. Thus a website was born! Glad to partner with you on this journey.

  13. Our kids have different special needs.That is very valuable point. As parent everybody has to understand the needs of their each child.
    Thanks for providing meaningful resources to help parents get through difficult periods of raising children.

  14. hi my name is dasha i have 2 kids that the state has taken away from me becaues they think im a bad mom but i never had a chance to prove them that im not i done everything they told me to do and still they wont give my kids back i never hit my kids or done anything to lose them i dont do drugs i dont have a bad rackerd im a good mom that desever a chances i need feed back on what i should do

    • Dasha – Can you get a copy from Children’s Services on what it is you are required to do? Also, any psychological test results you have had would be helpful. In our state, parents who have lost custody of their children are assigned an attorney to represent them. Do you have one? If not, maybe ask Children’s Services if you can get one.
      Keep on the straight path as you are doing. And do what you are told you need to do by the State, and do it when they tell you to. Good luck.

  15. Maris King

    You really become a good parents to your five kids. I use to read any kind of parenting blogs in the internet. By the way the following list are helpful. Thanks a lot for posting this.
    Maris King recently posted..Doors Made In Solid TimberMy Profile

  16. Matt has rounded up some excellent resources for parenting above. Isn’t it crazy that for perhaps the most challenging task in life–rearing children–there is no established training set up in schools and such. Of course, one of the most crucial aspects of rearing our children is teaching them. They must somehow learn about our world and about life, and a lot of this will eventually be achieved by reading. DIY homeschoolers, other parents, grandparents, teachers and others are constantly looking for books that will even change book haters into book lovers. I developed an interest in child literacy. When I realized how many were searching for children’s books, I began researching thousands of children’s books. I chose several hundred of the very best and placed them on a website arranged by age group and story description. You can find some of the best children’s books on the site. It contains both secular and religious. The site address is http://www.books-to-grow-by.com if you care to check it out.

  17. scott

    Me and my son and daughter were very close. I had visitation with my daughter every weekend and a few weeks out of the year since she was born. When she was 4 back in 1994 i tried to get custody from my ex girlfriend do to some poor choices she had made. I lost because the judge didnt believe in seperating the child from the mom, although i had her mom and sister testify against her about drugs and her semi druggie / abbusive husband. I was Divorced and living with my parents with my son at the time. I was probably 25 or 26 at the time. So a month later she leaves her husband and moves to Valpo, which is 45 minutes away from me versus the 35. Now in 1995 my ex girlfriend meets someone and after 2 months of knowing him is ready to move to South Carolina. We go to court and me and her ex husband become friends. I thought there is no way the judge would take my baby girl away, whom her mom had to rip out of my arms everytime i took her home. She was 5 and still a daddys girl. But i lost, i didn’t realize that the judge didn’t look over the previous case. Where i almost won, i was devastated and confused. My world was being ripped apart, because the judge thought it was ok. How would he like it if it was his daughter. Her ex husband payed for a lawyer to fight, but ended up saying in court that he thinks she has the right to move..hmmmm what. So here i am with a different visitation, every Spring Break, 8-10 weeks out of summer, Thanks Giving week and Christmas week. Which we both drive and meet halfway. Now she is 17 and will be 18 in april 2013, but is a junior in highschool. Do to her getting older i understand about the friend sitiuation and so on. So the last 3 years i let her stay home in South Carolina for spring break, i only get her 3 weeks of summer , we alternate Thanksgiving, and i get her a week of Christmas. So this Christmas i get a rude awakening. She has a new boyfriend who was forced to move to Virginia, so she stayed with him the whole week of thanksgiving, which i did not like, but i didn’t say anything, and she also refused to come home for Christmas, which i found out she went to Virginia once again. Her mom sent me a text saying she is old enough to make up her own mind. I sent one back saying i have a court order saying i am to get her for Christmas and until that changes i want her the 20th to the 26th of December. This is the day of my birthday mind u, well she didn’t reply back, but blocked my #’s from calling her or my daughters phone. And unfortunately my daughter is all for it, i am bewildered, what a change. She thinks she is in love and an adult now and wants more space. I only had her 3 weeks out of last year, i am working with her. So now i have no choice but to take her mom to court for contempt or court. Waiting now for new court date and i love my daughter very much and now dispise my ex. Help, anything that i can use in court, or any advice will be well appreciated.. thank u…………………… a troubled, loving, and upset father…………… Scott

    • Wow – this is a hard one for you! The only thing I could possibly humbly suggest is this. I came from a divorced family. My dad bolted and was not much in my life. It still to this day has an effect on me. He never did (and sadly still doesn’t) make any effort to be a part of my life. So don’t give up on her. Teenage brains are not all put together yet. Keep pursuing her. Don’t take it too personally when she blows you off. Keep the door open. You are a good dad and have raised her that way. I believe it will come around to bless you in a good relationship with her!
      Julie recently posted..Respite Care for Adopted ChildrenMy Profile

      • scott

        Thank you for the advice, still dreading going to court. She has a little sister that is 9 and warships her here. So it makes it hard on all of us.

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Disclaimer: We are not psychologists, counselors, or therapists. We are parents of children with special challenges, and the techniques, tools, and programs we recommend on this website have worked for us on our parenting journey.

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