When I was pregnant my husband and I talked about how we will be as parents we both agree that physical punishment is not the ONLY way to discipline a child. We started practicing positive parenting the moment our little girl was born and so far our daughter is growing really well. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my bouts of being a stressed out Mom and yes, I screamed and got fed up with parenting and household responsibilities but I got through it and did everything to hold myself all together when things get overwhelming.
What is Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting is about:
Believing children want to communicate with you, listening to children, discussing with your children what you want them to do, being very clear about what you want them to do, setting clear limits and boundaries, being firm and consistent, giving the same message every time, viewing disagreements between parents and children as opportunities to develop problem-solving and negotiation skills ~ credit
Parenthood is a gift and a privilege that we all should be thankful for. Not everyone is called to be a parent and not all parents are worthy of becoming one because parenting is not easy. It takes a lot of effort and sacrifices to become one. Here are few tips that I hope will help you practice positive parenting.
Children react on things differently.
Young children may throw tantrums when they’re faced with feelings or emotions that they don’t understand and feel frustrated that no one understands them. Children misbehave and it’s not unusual. It is through them that children learn about what is right and wrong. They will push their limits and see where their parents will draw the line, they want to know what they can and can’t do.
Now it’s up to you to direct your disciplinary skills and find out what works for you and your child. Positive parenting aims to always treat the child’s misbehavior to a positive one.
Children misbehave for a reason
And no, it’s not because they want to annoy you or frustrate you. Often times it’s because they can’t express what they are feeling and they can’t identify the emotion that they feel. It may also be:
- they are upset or anxious about school;
- they feel jealous of their brother or sister ;
- they want their parent to listen to them;
- they want their parent to spend time with them.
Listen to your child
Give your child the attention that he needs and be interested on what he or she has to say. Get to know them- what makes them happy or sad and what triggers their misbehavior. Knowing these is important so you would know how to go around it and prevent it from happening.
Like for us, my daughter feels irritated and fussy when she doesn’t take her afternoon nap so I make sure she does especially when we’re traveling. I make sure during her naptime we’re at a certain place where we I can take her to sleep even for an hour.
Try to use positive words when calling their attention. Say, “Please tidy up your room so you won’t trip” instead of “Why do you always make a mess?”
Say, “If you finish your dinner, you can choose which movie do watch tonight” instead of throwing threats like “If you don’t finishing your dinner, no movies”.
Use different tones and volume
When I’m angry I make sure it shows well on my voice. I speak louder than usual and very stern. Sometimes, one loud and strong call of her name, my daughter knows that I am mad and I mean it.
Change your tones when you’re angry, sad and happy. Also you should mean what you say, if it’s a NO make sure you don’t melt and give in.
Involve your child
Explain to you child the whys when you are setting ground rules and what’s it for. Don’t just say she’s not allowed to put things inside her mouth or up her nose. You should explain WHY and what happens if she does. Often times if it gets too complicated, I show her pictures of the “consequences”.
This also works when my child’s picky with something. I give her choices (which still favors me!) and I let her make her own choice. It makes them feel in control and “grown” up.
Allow them to be silly
Let her wear whatever dress she wants to wear even if the colors doesn’t match. Let her sing her heart out even if you know singing
can’t be isn’t her career in the future. Let her run around in circles until she fells dizzy. Let her teach the cat how to dance. Let her laugh all she wants until she feels gassy. And most of all, be silly with them.
Grow With them
And make them understand the changes that comes with growing up. Talk about the things he or she should look forward to when they grow up. As they grow, you also grow as a parent and you discover things that you didn’t think you can do. In time you will also learn how to deal with your children’s misbehavior.
Deal With Tantrums Postively
Recognize things that trigger meltdowns and avoid it. I wake up earlier than my husband and daughter so I can have few minutes of time alone or at peace. Make the kids help like when they’re old enough, assign chores and reward them when they finish it.
If unavoidable and the child is having a meltdown, step away from the room (just make sure the child is safe). Breathe and clear your head. Ask somebody to look after the child if you must. Then go back when you’re ready to calm the child. Remember, you can’t calm a child when you’re not calm yourself.
I always say, let the child cry he/she wants. What harm will crying bring? They’ll just stop when they realize no one sympathizes with them no matter how loud they cry.
Time out could also work. The child should be able to understand that as punishment, they are staying in one place until you tell them otherwise. The time limit is one minute in every year of your child’s age. So if she’s 4, that’s 4 minutes of time out.
Be a Role model
You are your child’s idol and he or she will do what you do and say what you say whether in front of you or with someone else. Do not lie in front of your child because this will tell her that lying is acceptable. Do not bad mouth (it’s not even right to bad mouth anyone with or without a child) anyone when your child is within earshot.
The best way to teach a child is by showing them how to do it. When we first had our cat, Peaches’ natural reaction was to hold tight, squeeze and pinch but showing her how to “handle” the cat made her understood how to be gentle with cats.
When things become difficult, relax.
I like to call myself walk out Mom. I leave when my daughter becomes difficult and when I feel like I will burst and lose control. I ask somebody else to take my place to pacify my daughter while I go and calm myself. You need to.
Remember though that parenting is never easy. Your child will learn how to get away with things and you as a parent should learn how to be one step ahead of them. Your child will learn how to reason and make sure you reason out well. The most important thing is that your child feels loved and happy even when sometimes things are difficult.