Parenting Philosophy

Goals for Kelbie as a parent:

  • Authoritative parenting style –
    • Authoritative parenting is super important to positive child outcomes. Children of authoritative parents tend to be more buoyant and content, have higher self esteem, are more friendly and competent in social behaviors, are more likely to internalize morals, and finally have higher academic achievement. (L. Walker, Lecture 3: Overview of Positive Parenting, SFL 240, Winter 2017)

My behavior required to meet this goal:

  1. Listening –
    • Taking the time to listen to the child’s point of view is a huge part of authoritative parenting
    • Sometimes it is necessary to listen patiently to their problems and help them solve the problems, other times you have to listen when they explain why they think a rule is unfair.
    • Overall communication is huge.
    • Sometimes you will have to discuss rules and see where they are coming from and adjust accordingly and other times you won’t.
    • Allow children to give input in family decisions.
    • Example of how this might look: My child may come to me frustrated that they can not watch PG-13 movies like their friends, we will talk about the rule, I will listen to the reasons why they want to be allowed to. I may decide that they can watch ones that I have seen first as a compromise.
    • (L. Walker, Lecture 3: Overview of Positive Parenting, SFL 240, Winter 2017)
  2. Set expectations –
    • I can not just assume my kids will know what I want from them.
    • An important part of authoritative parenting is letting kids know your expectations that way they can live up to them.
    • This will also require taking the time to recognize where they are developmentally, so I expect appropriate things of them.
    • Making rules that have reasoning and setting a good example myself is the most important part of this principle.
    • Example of how this might look: I look through my toolkit when my kids reach certain milestones and find out what expectations I should have for them and then I expect those things. They may feel like it is unfair, but I will know what they are capable of and hold them to that standard.
    • (L. Walker, Lecture 3: Overview of Positive Parenting, SFL 240, Winter 2017)
  3. Work together when it comes to consequences –
    • Talk to my children about what went wrong, and why what they did was not appropriate.
    • After, talk to them about what they feel is an appropriate consequence and compromise our ideas from there.
    • Use natural consequences, not just random. If they hurt a friend, do not take away their phone – these should not be connected and it is confusing
    • Example of how this might look: My child may take a toy from their sibling, and I will pull them aside and talk to them about why it is not okay to do that, and talk to them about sharing. I will ask them what they think their punishment should be and after some conversing, I think I would just take the toy away for some time because that is a natural, related consequence.
    • (L. Walker, Lecture 3: Overview of Positive Parenting, SFL 240, Winter 2017)


  • Use internalization and example to teach values –
    • Internalization is when parents help their children to have an accurate perception of why rules are the way they are, and they help them accept those reasons which leads to internalization of the parent’s rules and values.
    • This is the end goal to my parenting, for my kids to understand why I set rules up the way I did and eventually make those rules their own.
    • This is an important aspect of the gospel as well. Elder Valerí Cordón said, “We can therefore conclude that powerful teaching is extremely important to preserve the gospel in our families, and it requires diligence and effort.” I would add powerful teaching and application.

My behavior required to meet this goal:

  1.  Warmth and Positivity
    • Have to be positive about guidelines in a reasonable way
    • Express concern & love for the child
    • Negative outcomes in general are less negative in the presence of warmth and positivity, and good parenting with warmth and positivity leads to more good
    • “Praise appears to be particularly influential in the critical periods when children develop a stronger sense of identity.” (Grant, 2014)
    • Example of how this might look: My child may come to me confused about what decision to make, if I help them make the decision while also showing concern and love, they will then experience the consequences of their decision. They will decide if it was best, and eventually because I was warm and positive about them coming to talk about the decision they will internalize the values, because having a positive view is required for internalization.
    • (L. Walker, Lecture 20: Parenting and Sexuality, SFL 240, Winter 2017)
  2.   Explaining the why
    • In general, who likes to be told what to do?
    • Having a why factor helps create the accurate perception necessary for internalization
    • This means that all of my “rules” need a why before I put them in place
    • Gospel standards are excellent at this – use them as baselines
      • Example: Dating from For the Strength of Youth
        • ” [Principle:] You should not date until you are at least 16 years old. When you begin dating, go with one or more additional couples. Avoid going on frequent dates with the same person. [Why:] Developing serious relationships too early in life can limit the number of other people you meet and can perhaps lead to immorality”
    • Be developmentally appropriate
    • Example of how this might look: My child comes to me upset about not being able to date until they are 16, and I help them understand why the church’s standards are what they are and explain why and explain that because I love them I have expectations for them that include following that rule and avoiding the potential consequences.
    • (L. Walker, Lecture 12: Parenting Teens, SFL 240, Winter 2017)
  3.   Repetition without control
    •  Having your child recite the rules to you or you repeating them angrily does not help them make the rules their own
    • Give children multiple chances to try again for the best chance of internalization
    • Repeated opportunities to make tough choices also increases internalization – kids learn to stand up for what they believe in
    • Example of how this might look: When my child messes up, instead of grabbing them out of the situation right away, I will calmly ask them to change their behavior. If they don’t immediately I will calmly remind them, and then after 3 strikes, then I will pull them aside to talk about it. I will give them chances to make their own choices, which will lead to their own consequences.
    • (L. Walker, Lecture 3: Overview of Positive Parenting, SFL 240, Winter 2017)


  • Proactive parenting to avoid miscommunication of expectations –
    • For the Strength of the Youth is a great guide to proactive parenting and the kinds of rules that should be set up before there is a problem. There are the types of proactive parenting:
      • Cocooning – shelter child from any influence (works for younger children)
      • Pre-arming – preparing child for influence
      • Deference – after pre-arming allowing child to make own decisions while you monitor some
    • It is a huge part of positive parenting because it keeps your kids from making all the mistakes in the world, yet the mistakes they do make will be while they are still at home, so you can work together to fix them.
    • (L. Walker, Lecture 3: Overview of Positive Parenting, SFL 240, Winter 2017)

My behavior required to meet this goal:

  1.  Knowledge of what works best at what age
    •  Here’s some tips:
      • Cocooning – works best with younger children
      • Use FTSY as a helper – it will help you foresee issues coming
    • Example of how this might look: Once again looking at my toolkit for advice, I will find out what kind of proactive parenting I can do for my child at each age to best suit them. That way I don’t cocoon my fifteen year old.
  2.  Not letting yourself become reactive parent
    • Take the time to set up guidelines before things become an issue
    • Don’t get lazy with the younger kids
    • Recognize issues that may be approaching by looking at toolkit milestones
    • Example of how this might look: After my child reaches another age group I will do research to see what issues are approaching, so I can discuss them with my husband, set up rules, and then talk with my children about them – keeping my from being reactive to the issues.
    • (L. Walker, Lecture 3: Overview of Positive Parenting, SFL 240, Winter 2017)
  3.  Knowing how to monitor for good deference
    • Use it as an expression of trust (Hansen, 2005)
    • Be willing to tell kids that you will read their messages and see their social media posts – that way they know they are accountable
    • If an issue arises – talk about it, have open communication about monitoring – linked to lower delinquency & drug use
    • Example of how this might look:  
    • (L. Walker, Lecture 12: Parenting Teens, SFL 240, Winter 2017)

Two challenges I may face in achieving all of the above goals:

  1. Overcoming my desire to please everyone – especially kids
    • Raising happy kids requires not always rushing to fix their problems (Berman)
    • Kids are often defiant when they want to feel significant – remind them of their progress (Wilson, 2013)
    • Specific ways to deal:
      • Remember you’re the parent – remind yourself of the why
      • Remember you want the best for them
      • Remember you want them to internalize and not turn against your values
  2. Overcoming my impatient attitude
    • Smile! (Heiselt, 2014)
      • Play the re-framing game, “well maybe this is why…” (can be serious or silly)
    • Play along! (Heiselt, 2014)
      • Enjoy the time with your kids
    • Re-energize! (Merrill)
      • Make time for you to re-energize – nap, draw, take a deep breath, exercise
    • Have realistic expectations! (Merrill)
      • You took a parenting course, now put it to work.


Berman, R. (n.d.). Unhappiness: The Key to Raising Happy Kids. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from

Grant, A. (2014, April 11). Raising a Moral Child. The New York Times. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from

Hansen, K. (2005, December 19). Parents perceive greater threat on adolescents’ values from media than from peers. BYU News. Retrieved April 18, 2017, from

Heiselt, L. (2014). Stop Yelling! 15 Ways To Practice Patience With Your Kids. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from

Merrill, S. B. (n.d.). 5 Reasons Moms Lose Patience and 5 Ways to Build It. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from

Wilson, M. B. (2013, April 16). When Children Are Defiant. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from