Is Positive Parenting about giving your child everything they want? Is is about making them do what you think will make them happy even if they don’t want to? I think positive parenting occurs when a parent is more focused on how they do what they do, rather than what they do.
I am writing about this topic today to remind myself of this important message.
In fact, I think this is important in every area of our life so I am going to say it again and louder because I really need to hear it at the moment.
It’s not what I do but how I do it that really counts!
When it comes to parenting, there are so many different views about the best way to do this and the right way to do that. Some people think it’s best for children to be given lots of chores, others believe they should be left to be children while they can. Some parents think it’s best for children to have lots of extra curricula activities while others believe our children should learn to be bored and not be stimulated by so many activities.
I don’t want to enter a debate about these topics or any other views on parenting, not because I don’t have an opinion but because I think there is something much more important that can get lost. That something is… drumroll….
It is not what we do that really counts, it is how we do it.
I know when I focus on how I do something rather then what I am doing, the results are always better and everyone is happier. If I have made a decision to say no to my child’s latest request and do it from a place of love and understanding while communicating honestly, this is much more positive then saying ‘yes’ and feeling resentful and getting cranky. It is not saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ that creates a positive parenting experience, it is the way I do it. It is the communication, sharing of feelings and even knowing what my feelings are when it comes to the decision.
It is not important how many jobs my child does around the house compared to someone else’s child. It is important how we come to the decision together and how that decision is executed.
The main aspects I find important when it comes to positive parenting are:
- Knowing how I feel in any situation and talking honestly with my child. Sharing my story.
- Listening to my child’s thoughts and discussing why I agree or disagree.
- Noticing and pointing out to my child their positive traits and behaviours.
- Notice and point out when my child is trying to make improvements. (Sometimes it is easy not to notice they are cleaning up after themselves more and only notice the one thing they didn’t do. I am certainly guilty of this one and I love it when my kids point this out to me.)
- Be open to my child communicating their feelings with me. For example, telling me I hadn’t noticed how much harder they had been trying.
- Apologising when I realise I have gone off the positive parenting rails and letting my kids see that I am human.
- Following through with my decision once I have explained it and being ok with my child not agreeing with me. (Another one I put in the challenging basket.)
Focussing more on the how than the what improves so many areas of life.
I can be busy (the what) while feeling calm and relaxed (the how). When I practice this it really works (hence why I need the reminder, you actually need to do it for it to work). Often it isn’t being busy that is the problem, it is how you are doing busy. Getting the calm feeling is easy if you practice ‘Fake it until you make it”.
Do you have any steps you can share about what positive parenting is to you? If so, comment below, I would love to hear what they are.
How could you apply this in your life? When could you pay more attention to how you are doing something rather then what you are doing and what impact do you think it would have?
Do you know someone who may benefit from this information or have something to add to the conversation? If so, share with them I would love to hear what others have to say.