Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

When All Else Fails, Parent with Humor

Parenting works best with jokes, playfulness, and cooperation -- not threats and demands.

Playfulness, not parenting power plays continued...

How do you learn to take a lighter touch? Try these tips from Nelson.

Think about the long-term results of parenting

“We don’t want our kids to just be obedient,” says parenting expert Jane Nelsen, EdD. “We want them to do things because they feel capable, because they want to cooperate, because they understand.”

Respect your child.

“Kids have the ability to see things differently, feel differently … and parents need to do that, too.”

Parent positively

“Think positive, not just controlling vs. permissive. All these positive tools are about being kind, firm, and respectful,” says Nelsen. “All at the same time.”

Avoid teasing your child

“Any kind of humor that is hurtful or disrespectful or a poorly disguised put-down is no good,” Nelsen says. “You know the difference, and they know the difference.”

1 | 2
Reviewed on October 17, 2013

Today on WebMD

family walking on the beach
two boys in a swing
woman with cleaning products
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd