Tag Archives: Boston Youth

What is Positive Parenting?

What is Positive Parenting?

The Positive Parenting approach has a growing trend over the last 10 years and it still continues. This is because more and more parents are realizing that Positive Parenting is not only important for the healthy development of their children, but it is also a choice in life that will bring about positive changes to the society.

If you think you can’t do much to change the world, you are wrong. By choosing the Positive Parenting approach, you are already changing the world.

Before digging deeper into what Positive Parenting is, I feel it’s important to point out to not idealize this. No one is perfect, a perfect parent nor a perfect person does not exist. If it did, our planet would probably be a planet of higher spirituality, like a heaven. But we are humans, living on planet earth. Perfect with all our imperfections, and lectures in life which serve us to help us learn and change.

The important thing is to be aware and mindful of our own thinking, emotions, and behaviors. Then we are able to recognize if and when we can do better. By practicing the Positive Parenting approach, we are doing our best already. It’s okay if we don’t succeed every time, it’s okay if we react imperfectly, the important thing is to be conscious of this and to do better next time.

The Positive Parenting Approach

Positive Parenting chooses positive discipline instead of punishments. This means demonstrating to your child that they always have a choice and that the consequences that will come, will depend on the choice they make.

As parents, we should be able to regulate our emotions and not get overwhelmed by them, which inevitably leads to us taking it out of our children. That’s why it’s important that we choose to live healthy lifestyles. Eat and sleep well, and take short moments during the day for ourselves. This way we have a lot more physical and mental energy, and the patience to use the Positive Parenting approach.

The goal is to bring up a child that will want to behave in a positive manner rather than a child that is obedient because of fear.

A child forced to obey through fear and shameful punishment will grow into an insecure and angry adult with a variety of other possible negative psychological issues.

Various studies and research on Positive Parenting have proved that having empathy and connection with a child will yield much better parenting results in the long run.


The core features of Positive Parenting

  • Empathy
  • Affection
  • Love
  • Connection
  • Talk
  • Listening
  • Respect
  • Example
  • Praise
  • Demonstration
  • Appreciation
  • Play
  • Social Interaction
positive parenting features
The Features of Positive Parenting

Positive Parenting Techniques


Allowing your child to make choices

In small day to day activities, and in moments of confrontation, you can always direct your child by showing them that they have a choice and which choices they have. Even a choice such as tidying up or not tidying up their room. Your goal should be to help them understand what the consequence of each choice would be. By doing this, you’re teaching them responsibility and leadership.

Teaching Appreciation and Gratitude

Teach your child to say thank you and to feel gratitude for the smallest things. You can go a step further by starting off the day or before bedtime, with contemplation or short conversation about the things we’re grateful for today. Gratitude is a high vibrational emotion and it will help your child, in the long run, to help them reach their goals and overcome obstacles.

Assigning Tasks

Assign certain tasks to your child during the day, this can even be a routine task such as setting the table for a meal. For smaller children, this can be taking part in self-care with simple tasks such as eating with utensils or brushing their teeth. This will help your child build self-confidence, independence, and responsibility.

Focusing on the Good

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in a cyclone of negative behavior and frustration. To avoid this, try focusing your attention on the good things that your child is doing or the things they’re usually good at, and by suggesting a change of activity. That way you’ll be empowering your child and making things easier for you and for your child at the same time.

Talk and Explain

Always explain to your child why something is not good and why you don’t want them to do something. This way, you are showing respect to your child and encouraging them to act with reasonable behavior. Rather than with destructive behavior which is usually the result of explanations such as the dreadful “Because I said so!”.

Teaching Kindness and Empathy

Teach your children to empathize and be kind, through your own example. Even at a very young age, you can teach them to be kind in small activities such as sharing toys and helping each other. You will bring up a child who will be a kind adult willing and able to help others. Children raised with such positive aspects will bring new generations of people who will make this world a better place.

Allow Your Child to Make Mistakes

It is important to teach a child that failure is not bad and that it is an opportunity to learn something new. By allowing children to do things their own way at their own pace, we’re encouraging them to self-discovery and self-confidence.


During moments of conflict and tantrums, it is a good idea to take time-outs. But with time-outs, it’s really important to teach your child to learn to calm down. Just by directing them to take a few deep breaths is a great way of encouraging them to learn to find peace.

Goal Setting and Learning Through Play

Setting small achievable goals through everyday tasks and games helps your child learn to be determined and consistent. Children learn through play best. You can get some great ideas for games that can be used for goal setting and other lessons you want to teach your child, or you can invent some yourself.

dance for youth

Back To School: Tips for supporting your child

Back To School: Tips for supporting your child

Whether your child is just starting off as a school child or they’re going back to school, the transition can get tough if you don’t pay attention to some crucial parts of the phase.

As a father of 4, I’ve been through this myself time and time again.

As a parent, you already know your child. You know their needs, characteristics, tendencies, and difficulties. But you don’t always have the best solutions for everything, and this is natural. So, guidelines and tips from other experienced parents and professionals are always welcome.

Besides having a well-organized schedule there are other really important points you have to pay attention to, so the back to school transition runs as smooth as possible.

These are the points that focus on your child’s emotional well-being.

But, before we begin, I’d like to tell you a story my friend told me the other day…

“As a young child, when I was starting school, I didn’t know anyone in my class. It was a neighborhood school, and most of the kids knew someone. But until I started going to school, my mom and I didn’t really mingle much with the folks from the neighborhood because we were rather new there. So basically, I was the only “stranger” in the class. Everyone found someone to sit with (as the school had pair desks) and everyone else was fast enough to sit towards the front. The little, shy me, had to take the last desk in the back, all alone. I was very sensitive and shy. So that was a horrible experience for me. So a comforting talk to my mother was the most important need during that time.”

Why am I telling you all this?

No matter what type of character your child may have, he or she is bound to experience some uncomfortable moments on an emotional level. It’s crucial to not dismiss these situations. Because no matter how silly and insignificant they may seem to you, they mean more than you may suspect, to your child.

So keeping in mind the common basics of starting off or going back to school, we’re going to take a look at these important parts from an emotional level.

These can serve you as a guide to help the school transition run smoother and healthier for your child, for you and for the whole family.

The back to school basics

Getting organized is key. Healthy routines will help your child feel more stability and confidence.

Things to remember:

School supplies – Have you double checked that your child has everything they need for school? If you’re not sure, double check with a school supplies list.

Food – Is your child carrying a lunchbox or are they eating at the school? Whatever the case, think healthy snacks. An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Routines – Do you have a set bedtime and morning routine? Add some extra care and organizational tricks into the routine.

  • Spend a moment talking to your child about the experiences of the day before going to sleep, show your child you’re listening.
  • In the morning, take the positive approach; encourage your child and give them some simple things to look forward to at school and during the day.
  • Prepare as much as you can in the evening: Check the weather forecast, prepare the clothes, lunchbox and school bag.

Transport – How’s your child traveling to school? If you are able to, take your child to school yourself at least during the first transitional period.

Activities – Are you overly focused on discipline and school work? Of course, school time is crucial for your child’s learning and development process. But overdoing it can seriously backfire. In fact, research has shown that too much work, work, and work, gets overwhelming for the human brain. Making the end results of a much lower quality.

Take the Finnish School System for example. In Finland, young school kids don’t have homework, but they still get better results at the end of the year than in any other countries.

So rather than focusing on school work constantly, remember that balance is what you’ll always be aiming for.  

There is no perfect solution and no perfect parent, but we can do our best to do what we can to support our children in a healthy way. Remember that young children especially, learn through play and exploration.

family fun

Creative movement and dance are fun activities which can help your child learn and acquire great new skills.

First days thoughts and feelings

One on One time

Stressing the fact that communication and one on one time are always important, especially during the back to school transition, because many changes and novelties are ahead. Talk to your child and ask them even about the basics; where do they leave their coats, where did he/she sit today, is there anything particular that happened today.

This transition period is also a great opportunity to teach your child to talk about and express their emotions.

It’s easy to get caught up in the busy life, especially if you’re working full time and taking care of your kids. This often causes parents to neglect precious family moments that are crucial for all family members, especially for children. So keep in mind that you and your child need to have some set moments of relaxation and one on one time.

It is important to communicate with your child so they are assured that you will always be there for them. In difficult situations and even in cases of bullying, a child must know that they can rely on someone to help them.

Friendships make the world go around

Playdates are a great way to help your child build friendships at school. But they’re also good for parents because you also get to make new friends.

If you don’t like making new friends or you don’t find that child’s parent an interesting friend, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t help your child nurture that friendship.

Ask your child about their friends; do they have a favorite? Reach out to the parents of the friend, start off the communication with them. And set a playdate, a few hours at the park maybe or a trip to the zoo even.

Homework and challenges

Helping your child with homework shouldn’t be taken as a “must do task”. It’s better to take a more relaxed and fun approach. Talk to your child about homework. Is there something that they are finding difficult and challenging?

But, don’t always give them direct solutions. In many cases, it’s better to help the child find a solution themselves. That way you’ll be helping them build self-confidence.

school is cool

Nurture creativity rather than strict discipline

While discipline is extremely important, it’s also crucial to not overdo it. Focusing on discipline only, can really overwhelm a child and suffocate their creativity.

Many parents still believe in this style of parenting, but studies have shown and proven time and time again that over disciplined children often develop tendencies such as stress, anxiety, perfectionism, rebellion and even psychological disorders.

So, instead of constantly putting an emphasis on discipline, look for balance. Find ways that allow your child to use their creativity.

Every child is different, but every child is also creative. Give them more options and help them find an activity they like most.

Creativity is crucial for the healthy mental development of a child. Consider the benefits of dance and creative movement for children, it’s definitely something to think about.

Dance and Creative Movement are activities which help children develop creativity in many different aspects. Check out Dance for youth classes at BMDS.

The Top 20 Schools in Greater Boston, MA

The Top 20 Schools in Greater Boston, MA

Choosing the best school for your child in Boston may be time-consuming. With so many different types of schools and visions; public, charter, magnet, pilot, private, and with the reform that the Boston school system has faced, it can get overwhelming.

That’s why we thought we’d try and make this task easier for you by researching the best schools in Boston sharing the list and some useful info with you.

As parents, we always want the best possible solutions for our children. We want them to have a good education, to take part in useful activities, excel in their talents and so on.

But, the most important thing that we need to keep in mind (which is sometimes easy to forget), is that we’re the ones that need to invest time and attention to bringing up our children. The best-rated school doesn’t necessarily have to be the right school for your child.

It’s crucial to keep in mind the needs, character and tendencies of your child when choosing the right school for them.

This is why we’ve compiled a list of schools which is based on ratings, our own experiences and on experiences of many other parents like you. Keep in mind that the list is not ordered from best to least best, but randomly. The choice of school for your child is up to you.

Take a look at our descriptive list of The Top 20 Best Schools in Boston, Ma

We hope it will serve you as a helpful guide to help you decide which school you should choose for your child.

We’ve even gone a step further to make your life easier. Get the printable version of this guide with additional info and spaces to take important notes.

  1. Eliot Elementary School

Type of school: Public and Charter Schools

Location: Boston

Grades: K-8

Admission: Free

Special programs: After School Programs – “Champions Extended Learning” and “Global Premier Soccer”.

Core Values: Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe, Be Kind, and Be Inclusive.

  1. Edward Brooke Charter Schools

Type of school: Charter Schools

Location: Boston, East Boston, Roslindale, Mattapan

Grades: High School

Admission: Free

Special programs: Computer Science

Core Values: Focus, Integrity, Respect, Self-determination, Teamwork

  1. Excel Academy Charter School

Type of school: Charter

Location: East Boston, Chelsea,

Grades: Middle and High School

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Graduate Services & Post Secondary Support, Growth Capital

Mission/Core Values: “Excel Academy’s mission is to prepare students to succeed in high school and college, apply their learning to solve relevant problems and engage productively in their communities.”

  1. Boston Latin School

Type of school: Public School

Location: Boston

Grades: 7 – 12

Admission: Free, ISEE test

Special programs: Latin, Athletics, Clough Center for Global Understanding, Deitch Leadership Institute, McCarthy Institute for Transition and Support, College Counseling, The Wolk Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Mission/Core Values: “Boston Latin School seeks to ground its students in a contemporary classical education as preparation for successful college studies, responsible and engaged citizenship, and a rewarding life.”

  1. Boston Collegiate Charter School

Type of school: Charter

Location: Boston

Grades: All grades

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Special Education and English Language Learners, Homework Club, Afterschool Tutoring, Saturday Learning Center, Afterschool Program, Athletics.

Core Values: “We want to show kids what school and their future can be and not what it has to be. This is the ethos of our school.”

  1. Hale Elementary School

Type of school: Public

Location: Roxbury

Grades: Elementary

Admission: Free

Special programs: Computer Lab, ITEAMS Astronomy-Technology Project, MATH, MUSIC


  1. Match Charter Public School

Type of school: Charter

Location: Boston, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain

Grades: All

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Match More Learning and Summer Camps

Core Values/Mission: “The mission of Match More is to ensure every student in our preK–12 school has access to high-quality summer experiences that drive their learning and development — in the great outdoors, service, sports, academics, the arts, and beyond.”

  1. Up Academy Charter School Of Boston

Type of school: Charter

Location: Lawrence, Boston, Dorchester

Grades: 6-8

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Up Education Network, Restart

Core Values/Mission: “We incorporate innovations in the areas of instructional practice, time, resources, and technology from the highest-performing district and charter schools into our restart schools, creating a new, high-quality, public school model where our schools remain a part of our respective districts.”

  1. Meadowbrook School

Type of school: Private

Location: Weston

Grades: Lower and Middle School

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Arts, Athletics, Innovation & Technology, Multiculturalism, Student Support Services, Community Service, After School, Lunch Program, Leadership, Vacation Programs, Summer Programs.

Core Values: to know, love, and challenge every child.

  1. Harrington Elementary School

Type of school: Public

Location: Lexington

Grades: Elementary

Admission: Free

Special programs: Community services, Special Education, After School Care and Activities, Responsive Classroom, PTA, Big Backyard, Open Circle

Core Values: Academic Excellence for All Children, Respectful and Caring Relationships, A Culture of Reflection, Conversation, Collaboration and Commitment to Continuous Improvement.

  1. Lexington Montessori School

Type of school: Private

Location: Lexington

Grades: Toddlers through grade 8

Admission: Click here for tuition fees


Core Values/Mission: “Our program provides a creative and adaptive environment that responds to the needs of the children. We seek to balance academic and social development to foster responsibility and cooperation within a supportive learning community.”

  1. Adams Montessori School

Type of school: Private

Location: Quincy

Grades: Toddler, Pre-School, Kindergarten, and Elementary Through Grade 6

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Children’s House prepared environment as defined by the Montessori program, Supplemental Care, Enrichment, Summer Program.

Core Values/Mission: “Adams Montessori School is a diverse community of children, their families, and staff who are passionate about learning and discovery. Our mission is to provide a stimulating Montessori environment that inspires a lifelong love of learning and individual growth.”

  1. Young Achievers Math and Science School

Type of school: Pilot School

Location: Mattapan

Grades: Kindergarten through eighth grade

Admission: Free, Lottery

Special programs: Science and Math

Core Values/Mission: “We are participants of the Experiential Education Demonstration Project, which provides resources to build environmental experiential education curricula at each grade level. These multi-disciplinary study units encompass field trips, visits from experts and hands-on learning and make use of local environmental resources.”

  1. Beginnings School

Type of school: Private

Location: Weston

Grades: Kindergarten

Admission: Through Admission Application

Special programs: ECSEL Method, Lower School, Upper School, After School, Summer Exploration, Specialized Needs.

Core Values/Mission: “Our ECSEL method’s focus on the emotional foundations of learning is based on best practices and principles in early childhood education, child development, and research. We continually incorporate the latest research and parent feedback into a child’s day-to-day experience.”

  1. Walnut Park Montessori School

Type of school: Private

Location: Newton

Grades: 18 months to 6 years

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Pre-primary/Toddler, Multi-aged learning communities, Montessori materials, Individual instruction, Educating for peace, Kids’ Corner, After school activities, Summer fun.

Core Values/Mission: “The Mission of Walnut Park Montessori School, a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, is to provide a Montessori education in a child-centered/family-sensitive community. We promote a love of God, respect for each individual and an appreciation of diversity in a peaceful environment for a peaceful world.”

  1. Jackson School

Type of school: Private

Location: Newton

Grades: K-6

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Multi-aged learning communities, Montessori materials, Individual instruction, Educating for peace, Kids’ Corner, After school activities, Summer fun.

Core Values/Mission: “In an educational environment which instills mutual respect, we strive to meet the learning differences of children in order that each child may experience continuous success. We are committed to providing for the spiritual, intellectual, physical and social needs of the total school community. In all of our endeavors, we reinforce the Gospel mandate, “that all may be one”; and foster unity and reconciliation of people with God, with one another and with all of God’s creation.”

  1. German International School

Type of school: Private

Location: Boston

Grades: Ages 3 to grade 12

Admission: Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Bilingual School, Preschool, and Kindergarten, Elementary School, Middle School, Upper School, International Student Program, After School Programs and Camp.

Core Values/Mission: “A student who completes our academic program achieves: native-level proficiency in German and English, an advanced math and science education, a Massachusetts High School Diploma, a German International Abitur.”

  1. Brooks School

Type of school: Private

Location: North Andover

Grades: High School

Admission: Testing, Click here for tuition fees

Special programs: Arts, Summer Programs, Winter Term, Athletics, Chapel, Campaign for Brooks, Exchanges, Summer reading, Still Waters School Magazine, Afternoon Programs.

Core Values/Mission: “Within an environment of academic excellence, Brooks strives to promote and focus intellectual growth and curiosity. The school encourages students to develop analytic and creative capacities; to read critically; to think, speak, and write with cogency and precision; to broaden aesthetic sensibility; to make effective use of technology in the learning process, and to be aware of the larger world beyond the school community.”

  1. Atrium School

Type of school: Private

Location: Watertown

Grades: Pre-K to Middle School Grades 6 to 8

Admission: Click here for Admission Instructions

Special programs: Studio Art, Music, Performing Arts, Spanish, Physical Education, After School Programs.

Core Values/Mission: “Atrium assumes an ongoing responsibility to act as part of a larger community. In our recruitment practices for both families and faculty, we strive to create a community whose membership reflects the diversity inherent in the greater Boston area, as well as in the world. In our curriculum, such topics as race, ethnicity, family structure, gender, religion, physical attributes, sexual orientation, and economic differences are introduced and studied in ways that are developmentally appropriate. In our assemblies, special events, guest lectures, and extra-curricular activities, we work to further our commitment to diversity.”

  1. Stanley School

Type of school: Public

Location: Swampscott

Grades: Elementary

Admission: Free

Special programs: Extended day program, PTO, The Literacy Lounge.

We hope this list of the top 20 schools in Boston has been helpful with the initial information you will need to get a better idea of the right school for your child.

Share your thoughts with us. If you think we’ve missed a good school that deserves mentioning, feel free to post in the comments below and let other parents know too.

Get the printable version of this guide with additional info and spaces to take important notes.

dance for youth