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What do parents need to know about 3 Rs of parenting?

Team StoryWeavers|June 21, 2022, 16:59 IST|

“Where your attention goes, your time goes”  –  Idowu Koyenikan

Most parents want to keep a close eye on their child and want to know what the child is up to in their day-to-day life. The key reason for this watchful behaviour is wanting to keep the child on an honest and morally correct path. All parents intend to support and guide the child towards choices that will uphold the child’s emotional well-being and response to challenges. 

However, in the 21st century, keeping an eye on children is not that simple as there are many factors that impact their security and stability. This is where the Three Rs of Parenting can help  parents raise emotionally secure children. 

3 Rs of parenting to raise emotionally stable children

Dr Rick Capaldi has been a practising family therapist for 40 years. He is a former Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine University’s Graduate MFT counselling program. His latest book, 21st Century Parenting: A Guide to Raising Emotionally Resilient Children in an Unstable World, published in 2019, lists 3 Rs of parenting – Reading, Regulating and Redirecting. These three Rs will help parents instil an inner sense of confidence, security, and control in their children. 

Also read, 

Reading: Reading refers to reading the child’s world. Parents need to make an effort to learn about the different challenges, opportunities, and conflicts surrounding their child’s everyday environment. They also have to figure out what influences their child’s world and their probable impact. 

Here are some tips that might help you read your child’s world:

  • Ask yourself questions, such as who, what, when, where, and how to get clarity on your child’s world.
  • Know that your child’s world, just like yours, is constantly changing and often bombarded with influencers in or outside the child’s control.
  • Knowledge of external factors impacting your child is essential since that could potentially lead the child to make choices that may not be in their best interest.
  • Help your child navigate opportunities by teaching them how to identify options that are dangerous vs opportunities that help them grow.

Regulating: Another important R that parents must pay attention to is regulation. Parents act as role models for their children, and naturally, it is upto them to model self-regulation strategies for their children. It involves teaching their child about emotional regulation , so they learn how to bounce back from a negative state of mind in a healthy manner. It will equip the child to deal better with the responses the child receives from the world. 

Here are a few abilities that a child with positive emotional regulation can demonstrate:

  • The ability to cope with disappointments.
  • The ability to develop positive social relationships.
  • The ability to express emotions appropriately.
  • The ability to demonstrate consideration for others.
  • The ability to understand how one’s behaviour impacts others.

Redirecting: Once parents have a thorough understanding of the child’s world and the opportunities and conflicts present in that world, parents must learn to redirect their child towards the choices that will result in positive outcomes. These typically result in higher self-esteem, self-worth, and a sense of balance that stays with the child throughout their life. Parents may use the connect and redirect approach so that redirecting can be done in a way that supports the parent-child relationship. 

As you may have noticed, these three Rs address three critical aspects of the child’s life – environment, emotion, and behaviour.  By adopting these three Rs in life, parents can help children make sense of their world and themselves, thereby bringing security and stability to their emotional lives. Here are some useful self assessment questions that all parents need to ask themselves.

Did you find this article helpful? Did you know about these 3 Rs of parenting? Do share your thoughts and comments below. We would love to hear from you. 


Capaldi, R. (2019). 21st Century Parenting: A Guide to Raising Emotionally Resilient Children in an Unstable World. United States: Central Recovery Press, LLC.

About the Author

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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