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Parenting Skill: How to Demonstrate Positive Involvement in Your Child’s Interests

Positive involvement

Erica HerzogBy Erica Herzog, LMFT
Supervisor of Family Preservation, KVC Kansas

This article from the KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation is the last in an 12-part series on parenting skills. See previous articles.


As children grow up, they discover hobbies and activities that interest them and help build their sense of self. These interests may include sports, drawing, arts and crafts, recreational activities, music, cooking and more. For parents, this provides an opportunity to build a deeper bond with the child, cultivate his or her self-esteem and open up lines of communication through the use of positive involvement.

Positive involvement requires parents to show a genuine interest in their child’s interests and, in some cases, participate in those interests right along with them! For example, if your child enjoys playing video games, ask them what they enjoy about the game, what is the objective and if you can play the game with him or her. Or if your child enjoys playing with legos, ask questions about the different colors and shapes or why they built something a certain way. Positive involvement can occur every day and in various settings including at home, at the child’s school and in the community.

Positive involvement is a critical part of parenting that helps build your child’s strengths and abilities and also builds your relationship. This gives your child a strong foundation of support that sets him or her up for future success.

More examples of positive involvement:

  1. Encouraging your child for good behavior
  2. Arranging and participating in family activities of mutual interest
  3. Facilitating problem-solving discussions
  4. Attending school activities 
  5. Engaging in study routines

Interested in practicing positive involvement with your child? Download this practice sheet!

Positive involvement is one of twelve skills taught in the Parent Management Training- Oregon (PMTO) model. PMTO is developed on forty years of research and practice with the core belief that parents are their children’s best teachers. KVC teaches this empowering evidence-based practice to parents and caregivers involved in the child welfare system, but the lessons learned from this model can be beneficial for any parent or caregiver. To learn about PMTO in Kansas, visit the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ website.

Read the other articles in this parenting skills blog series.

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