Parenthood is like a walk in Jurrasic Park, one minute everything is going fine, next a Triceratops is launching at T-Rex.
Is this how you feel too?
Bringing up 3 young boys who are bursting with energy 24/7 makes us want to absorb some of their energy to deal with their squabbles and outbursts.
There has to be a solution to protect our throats from the constant yelling (and the growing wrinkles on the forehead!), so I started browsing through tons of scientific articles.
And I found the magic formula — positive parenting.
Researchers have yet to set one definition for positive parenting, but they found that positive parenting is but not limited to:
— discipline and
— positive engagement.
Question is, how do you encourage a child when she’s screaming her lungs out while refusing to eat her cereals? How do you talk to a stubborn teenager who refused to put his dirty laundry into the basket?
Here are 8 tips for you today that will help you to understand better what positive parenting is. You’re very welcome!
Secret #1 — Think About What Caused The Outburst
When your child does not get enough sleep, dirtied his diaper, or isn’t hungry, they become more cranky and will always try to make a scene at the dining table. Wanting mommy’s full attention is their full-time job and it can be exhausting as a positive mom.
Here’s a suggestion, try to record down the timings when your child has an appetite. Some children have big appetites have 3 big meals a day, while others need 6 small meals. Every child is different, and when you realized your child’s pattern, it will be easier for you to preempt the tantrums and avoid them altogether.
If they detest vegetables, Google for recipes that incorporate these veggies with their favorite food. When my elder boy was a toddler, he hated broccoli, spitting it out when I added them into his porridge. One day, I thought, ‘why not mix the veggies into the meat patties I make!’ and viola! I got a happy toddler at the table. *Pat myself on the back* Took me long enough and many lost battles to finally figure that out.
Secret #2 Talk at Your Child’s Eye Level
It’s a simple positive parenting trick that will immediately capture your child’s attention.
When talking to your child, never let your child feels that you are overpowering her. Be it your toddler or your teenager, this will create a defense in your child, which brings about the frustrations and tantrums.
Kneel, squat, or sit on a chair when talking to your child. Allow him to feel at ease, no matter what the conversation is about. You will also get to read his facial expressions easily. This is very useful when you are explaining their actions or disciplining them. Indirectly, you are telling them that ‘Mommy is listening to you, tell me why you are upset.’ Or ‘You are important to me’.
By creating eye contact with them, you are showing them respect and building their confidence. They will feel that you are interested in talking to them, they will be more expressive and improves their self-esteem.
Secret #3 Create Distractions Through Games and Humor
It is easier to distract a young child from his outbursts than a teenager. Find something else that is just as colorful or squeaky and you will get a smiling child again.
Yelling at your child when they are doing something wrong, will set off the negative behavior by becoming defensive or wailings. Turn an object into a toy, and being natural Nosy Parkers, they will want to get involved with the new game or toy.
One of the best methods with teenagers is through humor. Humor not only relieves the tension in a stressful situation, but it also catches them off guard.
They expect yellings when they leave their dirty laundry lying around. Instead, you made a funny statement. Caught unaware, it broke the resistance and both of you start laughing. Positive results will bring an increase in cooperation from them, and improve your relationship.
Secret #4 Accept Who They Are and Their Strengths
Your dream was to be on the cover page of Vogue magazine, to create a new mathematical algorithm. Your child wants to be an urban farmer when he grows up.
Many parents put the dreams they could not fulfill onto the shoulders of their children. By doing this, parents pass on many ineffective messages and feelings of rejection. Accepting your child’s dreams and strengths is to tell them you will always have their backs. The support you provide helps to develop skills for problem solving and creativity.
Secret #5 Encourage Your Child’s Intersts
Your child’s interests can vary from days to a lifetime. Every one of them has a unique way of expressing themselves even if they are siblings. You are providing them with more opportunities and exposing them to new experiences.
Get involved with your child when you bring them to places like the local library or the museum. Ask questions and explore together, you might end up learning new things too! Show them it is normal to want to know why insects fly and what are the types of origami they can create with their little fingers. Make learning experiences exciting.
Resist making the learning process about you. Give your child the freedom to explore and learn at his own pace. Watch your child’s face lit up when they plant their first seed into the soil.
Secret #6 Admit Your Mistakes
We make many mistakes in stages of our lives after all ‘everyone makes mistakes’ right? Yet most of the time, our children get scoldings because they made a mistake. We teach our children to apologize when they say something unpleasant, but have we?
Children look upon their parents as their role models. Telling them “I’m sorry”, explaining what you did wrong and why you are apologizing, you are teaching them the importance of the word ‘sorry’.
Explain to your child that it is acceptable to make mistakes, even mommy and daddy do make mistakes. Don’t avoid apologizing when you accused them wrongly. Admit that it was your mistake to have switched out your girl’s lunchbox because you were all rushing out of the house. When your child feels that both of you have the same level of responsibility, there will be deeper trust between child and parent.
Secret #7 Be Consistent In Your Daily Routines
It is very easy to set a rule, but it takes more effort to follow through it.
Consistency is important because it is a repetitive action. You need to make your bed, brush your teeth, and change out of your pajamas before having breakfast. That’s a daily routine that you want your child to execute daily, including weekends and holidays. As a parent, your job is to make sure that your child does it all before they get their breakfast. It can be an action that requires more effort from you at the start, once your child learns the structure and repeats it every day, it becomes a habit.
It helps when your child can predict how their parents will act, and put them in control of their behavior. With clear sets of boundaries and limits, despite the child’s efforts of pushing these boundaries, they will have better control of their behaviors and environments.
Secret #8 Use Positive Discipline, Not Punishment
There is a difference between discipline and punishment.
Discipline teaches your child skills involving managing his behavior, improves confidence, and responsibility. He will learn to be independent by solving his problems. Reduction in naggings and yellings leads to stronger relationship bondings. Doesn’t that sound very pleasant already?
To discipline is to explain why it is wrong to snatch away a toy and to show how to ask for the toy calmly. Children learn to follow the rules when there is consistency, and the logical consequences when they break the rules.
Always praise and reward your child, aka positive reinforcement, when they are in their good behavior. “Wow, did you share the Jell-O with your sister? I’m so proud of you, Dylan!” And don’t forget to follow through with a hug. Small positive actions and words have huge positive impacts on your child.
Punishment, contrarily, is to cause physical pain and emotional hurt. Your child will learn is that it is your responsibility to control them because they are unable to do so. If you caught your son hitting his sister and you punished him for his wrongdoing. Your child ends up being confused as to why it is reasonable for you to be hitting his sister but not him. He will feel that you are being biased, and it will cause more resentment towards his younger brother.
The more you try to control a situation through force, the more difficult it will be to engage your child. Positive parenting inclines towards discipline (positive) and eliminates punishment (negative).
In Positive Parenting,
It’s all about the practice. Don’t be too hard to be a perfect parent, like mentioned we all make mistakes. You want to teach your child responsibility, grow up to be healthy adults who can solve their problems, and tell the rights from the wrongs. All these will take time, especially if you are not doing this every day. It takes a while for our positive actions to become a habit, consistency is key. How our child behaves is a reflection of our actions, so when your child’s behavior improves, you are getting there day by day.
I hope that these positive parenting tips are as helpful to you as they are to me. These tips have been tried and proven effective because I see many improvements in my 3 boys’ behaviors. We are laughing together more often and less yelling going on in the house. If you have other tips you would like to share, do leave your comments in the comment section!
Click below to share out these wonderful tips to all your friends who want to create more positivity in the family too!
Reach out to me and I will be glad to work together with you to create more content for parenthood!