The biggest goal I wanted to achieve when becoming a parent was to learn how to be a positive parent. Right off the bat, I wanted to learn how to instill positive values into my children! After all, my biggest job as their mama is to set them up for a successful life. I knew that parenting tests your patience on every level so I needed to learn how to first manage my patience so I could become a more positive parent to them. The biggest struggle I believe is knowing what to say that will have a positive impact on them and teaching them how to work through their feelings. Take a look at this post I wrote on the negative impact yelling has on your kids. Just by constantly yelling, your setting your children up for failure. Want to see examples of what to say to encourage them to work through their feelings and to promote a positive approach? You can find that in my Free Resource Library along with all kinds of other amazing printabels for you and your kids. I promise you will love everything in there!
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What is Positive Parenting
First let’s talk about positive parenting and what it even means! Positive parenting according to Kars 4 Kids is a parenting style that is “focused on developing a strong, deeply committed relationship between parent and child based on communication and mutual respect.” It focuses on teaching children not just about the “what” but also the “why”. For example; your toddler does something you don’t want them to like pushing buttons on the dishwasher while it’s running (my son does this). You tell them they should not do that (the what) because it will ruin the wash cycle and we would have to run it all over again (the why). Continue reading for a more in depth scenario of positive parenting.
Consider this example
For example lets say you are trying to leave for work and your 5 year old (Bentley) does not want to find his shoes.
You say- Bentley, can you get your shoes on so we can leave the house for work.
Bentley- I don’t want to look for them as he says in a fit. This might sound like a lazy gesture at first but there could be more going on here.
You then kneel down to his level and ask “why don’t you want to look for your shoes?”
Bentley- “I don’t want to go to the baby sitters today” You calmly ask “why don’t you want to go today?” Bentley- “I don’t want see Mrs. Kelly” (the baby sitter). “Why don’t you want to see her today Bentley?” After a minute or two Bentley tells you that Mrs. Kelly put him in timeout yesterday.
You than ask him “why did she put you in timeout?”. Bentley tells you that he was put in time out because he kept taking a toy away from another kid. “Bentley, why did you take the toy away from someone else?”. He says “I wanted to play with it”. You will than help him work through how it made him feel to have the toy taken away from him and why he should not have taken the toy away from another kid.
You say “Bentley, taking toys away from other kids is not nice. When they took the toy back from you how did that make you feel?” (This is a good opportunity to have an emotions chart in the house incase they don’t want to talk about or can’t express the way they are feeling). He says it made him sad because he wanted to play with that toy to. Then you would explain that the way you are feeling is how the other little kid was feeling when you took the toy from them. “That’s not a good feeling is it Bentley?”. Now explain what he could have done instead.
“The next time you want to play with a toy that someone else is playing with what could you do instead of taking the toy away without asking?”. The answer should be to ask the other kid if he can play with it to. If they don’t than you can help them get to that conclusion.
With this situation when Bentley said he didn’t want to find his shoes you could have started yelling at him and telling him how we are in a hurry and he better find his shoes now or he will be punished in some way. But, that would not be the positive approach and there is often times an underlying reason for their behavior. We want to help our children work through their feelings.
Why is Positive Parenting so important
Positive parenting is so important because it helps open your eyes to seeing what is actually going on with your children and why they are feeling what they are feeling. It also lets you help them work through their feelings in a positive way. Which will help them have more positive behavior because they learn how to work through their feelings instead of holding them in and than lashing out in some way or misbehaving.
How to be patient with your children
In order to become a positive parent you need to have a ton of patience. Being a parent will open the doors to a ton of toddler tantrums and outbursts of bad behavior. If you want to help them work through their tantrums you need to be patient with them. There are things you can do to learn to be a more patient parent including;
1. Identify your triggers
Try to figure out what exactly makes you loose your patience. It could be at night because your overly tired and worn out from the day. Or it could be when your toddler throws things because you think they should know better than to throw things by now.
2. Look at how your body reacts to those triggers
Do you get shortness of breath every time your toddler has a temper tantrum or maybe high blood pressure? For me I tend to get sweaty with anger and sometimes ill even micro blackout because I hate not being in control and in certain situations with my toddler I’m not in control at all!
3. Figure out how to handle your triggers
Now that you are aware of your triggers and how you react to them you can come up with a plan to better control them. Planning out what you can do during the situation will help you have more control over the situation. For instance, if your in public and your toddler starts to have a temper tantrum figure out what you are going to do when this happens. It could look something like this. Phase one– ask your toddler why they are upset and asking them to calm down so you can hear them and tell you what is wrong. If this does not work (which most of the time it probably won’t) but you should at least try to have them talk about what is wrong and what their feeling. Usually once they get to the point of a tantrum they have a hard time feeling anything besides anger. Phase two– this could be taking your kids and going out to the car so there is less stimuli and your toddler can better focus their breathing and on what is actually bothering them.
Having a game plan on what exactly you need to do will help build your patience tremendously!
4. Take care of yourself
Often times us mamas think nothing of ourselves and our self care. Probably because were to busy with the world on our shoulders. You might not realize it but taking care of yourself will help you become a better mother. Go get that drink with your girlfriends, go take a 2 hour long bubble bath, get a massage or even spend the night away from the home just to recharge your batteries. Our minds sometimes need to reset in order to feel like a normal person again and not just someone’s mom.
Check out this article on at home date night ideas to have with your partner. This is perfect for “adult” time, which we need to have time away from our kids to stay mentally healthy.
How to become a positive parent
1. Understand that when your child misbehaves, its their way of trying to tell you they have an unmet need.
This need could be they are feeling lonely and want more attention from you, it could be because they are sad and don’t know how to handle feeling that way or it could be something totally different. It’s up to you to try and understand what they are feeling.
2. Let your child know they did a good job.
Your kids need validation just as much as you do. Let them know when they have done something right or even if they tried hard at something let them know you are proud of their efforts.
3. Give your child respect!
If you want to have a positive relationship with your child, you have to give them the same respect you want them to give you. Don’t lash out at them for things, but instead talk to them at their level about what they did wrong or what your expectations of them are and what they should be doing. Want to look at a guide on what to say to your child? You can have that and lots more in my Free Resource Library that you can have full access to by signing up to my weekly newsletter above.
4. Always encourage your child to express their feelings and avoid making them feel bad about having feelings.
A lot of the time they might not understand why they are feeling them. Instead you should help them work through their feelings and helping them understand why they might be feeling that way.
5. Allow for them to do things over.
Sometimes they may forget to do something. Maybe they forgot that taking someone’s toy is not a nice thing to do. Simply respond by saying something like this, ” I know you may have forgotten that taking a toy away from someone is hurtful” and ask them what they can do instead of taking the toy away from someone. It’s all about helping them get to the conclusion themselves with guidance.
It’s hard to have the responsibility of bringing up and raising a human being. But it’s our jobs to make sure we are setting them to have a successful life. Helping them learn to deal with their feelings and emotions is one of the best things you can do for them. It might not seem like you are doing a good job at being a positive parent but I promise you are and in the long run it will pay off.
Make sure to always remember that your children are still learning how to deal with things. Sometimes they may forget how to handle a certain situation but always remember you need to help them get to where they need to be. Don’t just tell them what you want of them, help them figure it out themselves.
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