I get asked this alot! When I share about using positive psychology applied to parenting, some parents fear that it's a free-for-all and that i'm happy so i'm positive all the time, so the kids run amok.
Actually, that is not true! According to a researcher into parenting styles (Baumrind), the most effective style is what they call democratic parenting - where the parent sets some rules, but leaving flexibility and autonomy for the child to make decisions too. The rules enforce the discipline and are set where the consequences may turn out to be harmful. For example, rules need to be enforced when it comes to the child's safety. There will be consequences if the child does not follow instructions about road crossing, or jumping off tables, or swimming in the deep end. This doesn't mean that you have to scream and shout, it means being FIRM & CONSISTENT.
On the other hand, where the consequences are not severe i.e. whether she wears a pink or green t-shirt of her choosing, some FLEXIBILITY and AUTONOMY can be given to the child.
It means choosing the appropriate time to mete out discipline rather than getting angry, or punishing the child for every single little thing he/she gets wrong. Remember they are still learning to understand how the world works, and like us, would like some KINDNESS and PATIENCE when learning something for the first time.
PS: The other parenting styles are:
>> Authoritarian aka Tiger Parent
>> Permissive aka Everything Goes Parent
>> Neglectful aka Absent Parent