“Never fear to spoil children by making them too happy.
Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow”
I believe that you were not raised by positive parents, just like me. It was not ‘modern’ talking with your kids in those times. Growing up in a home with hitting, spanking, and yelling was a usual way for many of us. Only a few lucky ones spoke with their moms and played with their dads.
My dad was an officer, and he believed that it was enough to get food home. He didn’t have time and goodwill to talk or play with my brother and me. Even though he didn’t beat us too much, he hit my brother several times with a belt. I hated it. Now, when I have my children, I don’t want my children to feel the same. We get kids to love them, not to beat them whenever we cannot solve the problem in some other way.
Table of Contents
- 5 Top Excellent Books on Positive Parenting
- Where Do We Make Mistakes?
- The Truth about Positive Parenting
- What is Positive Parenting?
- Why Should We Practice Positive Parenting?
- Questions We should Ask Ourselves
- Three Tips for Practicing Positive Parenting
- Let’s Start
- What To Do?
5 Top Excellent Books on Positive Parenting
For a start, I can recommend you some great books which have helped me a lot. They can give you some guidelines to make positive parenting much easier for you.
- My favorite is definitely ‘Positive Discipline’ by Jane Nelsen Ed. D. She wrote this book 25 years ago, and this book has started to be the ‘gold standard’ for every parent who wants to have an excellent relationship with their child.
Jane Nelsen is a psychologist and an educator. Plus, she gave birth to seven kids, which is impressive. I am aware that that Lady knows what she is talking about. She believes that the main key to positive discipline is mutual respect, not punishment. And I believe her.
- There is one more excellent book. ‘Positive parenting‘ by well-known parenting blogger Rebecca Eanes is a guide for any parent who wants to build emotional connection instead power struggles, nagging, or yelling.
She believes that parenting advice is more important than merely getting kids to behave. The most important for any parent is to make a good connection with their children. And this mother of two little ones knows a way to accomplish it.
- ‘1-2-3 Magic: Effective Discipline for Children 2-12’ by Thomas W. Phelan is the book from the men’s point of view. It offers the techniques which can help parents to avoid types of manipulating behavior. They should try to discipline their children without yelling and arguing.
With his useful advice, you will learn how to discipline your child more easily with humor and positive attitude. My favorite part is about advice to avoid so familiar ‘talk-persuade-argue-yell-hit’ pattern.
- The book ‘Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids‘ by Dr. Laura Markham is a little bit different, and it is based on the research on the large clinical experience with numerous parents. But, the message is the same. Making a perfect emotional connection with your child without threaten or punishes is the only way to raise a happy, self-disciplined, and satisfied child.
Find this excellent guide based on the latest research on brain development. It will help you in every possible way to understand your own emotions and to understand your child.
- ‘Positive parenting with a plan‘ by Matthew A. Johnson is the book which provides strong tools not only for parents but also for schools and other institutions which take care of children. Unlike other authors, Matthew A. Johnson considers good old-fashioned parenting which is wrapped in a new and improved package without corporal punishment.
By now, this man has trained over 20 000 professionals on how to work with parents who have a lousy connection with their children. Many satisfied families are the proof that this method, which promotes parental authority and the hierarchy model, works.
Choose one of them and read carefully. After that you will ask for the other one, I promise you. The whole new view on life is on them. As much as you are a good parent, you can always improve yourself. Go for it!
Where Do We Make Mistakes?
Hitting a Child is not the most Natural Possible Way
Yes, hitting a child is the most comfortable possible way to get what you want and to impose your will on him or her. The easiest, I say. But, is it the best way for your child? I don’t think so. Have you ever noticed that every successful scientist, sportsmen or artist has the same answer to the question “How did you manage to be successful?” The answer is always the same: “Thanks to my family” and ” My family has supported me all my life”.
It seems to me that we, as a society, are programmed to believe that sentence can motivate children to behave better. But, the reality is quite the opposite. A penalty makes children bitter and angry. It only teaches them that using the power over weaker is the only way to get what you want. How do you expect your child to become a successful man, a good parent, and a self-confident personality if the only way you communicate with him is – a beat?
I haven’t seen my parents for fifteen years, and I have no desire to change anything on the matter. I surely don’t want to make that kind of relationship with my children. I want to live my life surrounded by family and playing with grandchildren.
Please, remember one thing! The way how you treat your child from the very beginning will be the way how your child will treat you to the very end. No more, no less. It’s up to you. Think about it in time.
Do not Demand, Ask
For a start, every time try to ask first, not to merely demand. Make an effort to ask. Any time your child wants to share something with you, you shouldn’t give a simple conclusion. Ask her what she wants and what she will do about the problem.
Imagine a situation that your child comes from school and tells you that another child pulled her hair. Why would you think that you need to solve that problem? If you say: “You should..”, it is your decision, and there are no possibilities for her opinion. Why wouldn’t you try with a question such as: “Do you want to do something about that?” On that way, you allow your child to think about the problem and to make her own decision.
“Because I said so.” is not the Answer!
I know that very often your first impulse is to lash out. We learned that from our parents. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. It’s not the only way you can react. Try to stop yourself and to respond differently. Try to choose the better way.
You should be aware that no one parent is perfect. Actually, it is impossible being perfect. But, you can try to be a better parent than your parents were. If you knew that their path was wrong and that you were unhappy with their decisions, why would you, for Christ’s sake, do the same?
That moment when you ask yourself a question “Why would it be easier for me to tell my child ‘Because I said so’ than to talk with her”, you will be prepared for the better way. Think about Positive Parenting. It will ultimately change your life and make your child happy and satisfied person. And that is the primary goal of every parent who loves their child.
The Truth about Positive Parenting
What is Positive Parenting?
In my opinion, positive parenting is your way of responding to your children’s emotions and needs with love and sensitivity. It helps us ask what do our children need and on which way we can help them. The goal is to help them, instead to force them to do what she’s told to do.
You should help your kid to solve the problem she has, not to control her behavior. Our mission should be to support our child, not to punish her. We should honor our kid not to spank her, shame her or use ugly words which only can kill her self-confidence.
Do you want an insecure child who is not able to become a happy and prosperous man? I believe that you don’t want something like that. Well, maybe it’s time to change the way our parents did it.
Why Should We Practice Positive Parenting?
Positive parenting leads to more confident children too. Avoiding punitive parenting, you avoid focusing on child’s faults. All the situation leads to a child who is self-confident. In the same time, if you positively parent your kid, you do it with a full trust in your instincts. Your confidence will be a guideline for your child’s behavior.
Positive parenting makes the parent-child relationship stronger. With trust in you, your child will feel safe and secure. She will be less aggressive because positive parenting encourages children in proper behavior. They will be happier, more empathetic, and have higher self-esteem.
Positive parenting is undoubtedly difficult, but it’s a powerful tool for growing a happy and healthy child. And, don’t forget, it’s also beneficial to you in every possible way.
Questions We should Ask Ourselves
1. What did my parents do well and what did I get from them which I would like to pass on to my children?
As an officer, my father wasn’t at home for most of the time. He didn’t beat me, probably because I was a girl and ‘crazy enough’ to hit him back. But, I remember that he hit my brother several times using an officer’s belt. I don’t believe that this has helped my brother become a good man. On the contrary, he is now an unsure father full of complexes who beat his children.
My mother didn’t want children at all. I was the first child. If I had been a boy, she would not have given birth to another child. But, my father wanted a son, and she did what was expected of her. That’s it.
But, I was blessed with my grandparents. They gave me all the love I needed, and they taught me what kind of parental love was necessary for a child to grow up in a healthy person.
2. The question which immediately follows is what I want to do in a different manner
Well, first of all, I wanted my children. And I love them the most in the world. And I don’t want them to learn from other people what it means to be loved.
3. Knowing what not to do is not the same as not doing it
Just knowing that punishing and yelling is not a right way to educate your child doesn’t mean that you know how to deal with challenges of the parenting. You should make a list of alternatives to punishment and stick to it although your first reaction is maybe to yell or to raise your hand to the child.
Three Tips for Practicing Positive Parenting
1. Be a positive role model
Our children learn how to think or solve problems watching people from their surroundings, above all their parents. There is a huge possibility that they will treat their children in the same way as we relate to them.
Put your anger under control and your child will learn how to build significant relationships with other people from that model. Avoid ‘the blame game’! You cannot blame everyone else for problems you have. On the contrary, you should think what you have done to avoid the problem in the first place. It’s the only way to teach your child to be a responsible person.
If you made a mistake, admit it. Don’t let your child grows up in a conviction that she has to be perfect. Admit when you make a mistake, learn from them, and take responsibility for your decisions. In that way, your kid will learn to do the same.
2. Try to get rid of bad old habits
I know that it’s hard, but I believe it is not impossible. The secret is to discover your negative patterns. For example, life is not a 24/7 crisis. Life is much more than that. If your child fell or spilled something, it’s not the end of the world. It can be fixed.
Forget about strict parents who think that giving a hug or kissing their child will spoil her. Freely show your emotions. Your kid should know that you love her. No one has ever been spoiled with too much love. Allowing your child to misbehave is not the same as showing that you love her.
Avoid posing requests as questions. If you want a child to listen to you, clarity is a key. Ask her to do something. Don’t ask your child if she wants to do a task.
It’s not the same if you say:
- ”Get dressed for the park, please”. That means that she should start with dressing, but it is a polite way which will not sound like a demand.
- ”Get dressed for the park. OK?”. It means that she has the option of not doing it.
Don’t be too much critic. You should be a coach and a teacher to your child. Why would you criticize every child’s mistake? Giving more praises than put-downs will make your child self-confident and secure.
3. Try to do it in a different way
Forgive yourself making mistakes. Be patient with yourself. Take your time. Positive parenting will make a better parent of you, but you can’t be perfect. No one can. If you raise your voice in some situation, learn from it. Apologize to your kid. Do not make the same mistake again. That’s the start.
Forgive your child and be patient with her. There are a lot of awful things that children do. We know that that is not appropriate, but that is entirely natural for them. Try to accept even though you do not like or allow these activities. It’s the first step for you to find a creative way to show respect to your child. There are many ways to show your child that you don’t like their behavior. It’s incredible how quickly your child will learn to behave adequately.
Make your life easier and find other positive parents. There are not a lot of parents who share your way of parenting. You can even find out that your parents or friends judge your way. You need other people who share a similar view of parenting with you. There are also online groups where positive parents share their experiences. It will be easier if you get support.
For a start, be aware that it’s not enough only to change your parenting techniques or to avoid your parent’s mistakes. During my pregnancy, I spent a lot of time thinking about my relationship with parents. Some things they did well, for sure, but there were things which they could have done better. My primary goal has always been to create a new, better framework for my children and to improve things I hated in relationships with my father and mother.
What To Do?
- Keep in mind that children don’t always need to get their way. It is more important that they feel understood. Positive parenting is not a way to get a naughty and churlish child.
- As I said before, positive parenting doesn’t allow bad behavior. Of course that you should set some limits. But, the winning combination is including emotions. The goal is to get a good and happy kid who will become a good and happy adult one day.
- Use ‘Yes’ more often. Make limits of ‘No’ answers during the day. My grandma told me a joke about the boy who thought that NO was his name. Don’t let your kid thinks that her name is ‘No’.
- Instead of repeating what child can’t do, try to tell her what she can do. For example, instead of “Stop banging the ball around the house!” try with “You can play ball outside later. Let’s play with the truck in the house.”
- Laugh with your child every day. It will be an enjoyable experience for her and healing for you as well. Do you know that laughing increases hormones of happiness? That means that you will strengthen a relationship with your child when you laugh with her.
- Set a particular time for you two every single day. Just pour your love into your child, and she will answer immediately. Every person needs the tangible expression of love. When it comes to the child, consider that her need for love is much higher.
- Play with your child. You will connect with your beloved little one, and help her to develop emotionally, socially, and cognitively at the same time. Play puzzles or board-games. Children adore them, and you will enjoy them again like when you were a kid. Go outside and play with your child in the park. Both of you need daily fresh air and movement to relax and de-stress.
- Turn off the TV and Smartphone, and spend some time during the day only with your child. These appliances can’t be more important that your little one. Do that, and she will remember it for a long time.
- Talk with your child and listen to her. It is a way to ensures that your child starts to have confidence in you. If you listen to your child, she will get a habit to come and talk to you in any situation. The real benefits of that kind of relationship you will get when your child becomes a teenager. And that will happen so fast!
Keep in mind that positive parenting is not the same as permissive parenting. Positive parenting relies on partnership. It is a way to respect the desires of both parents and children.
This way will not make your children spoiled. No! It has been proven that children raised in this way do better academically. They are less aggressive with other kids, and it’s less likely to smoke or do drugs. Also, they are more independent and cooperative and show more self-discipline and initiative than their peers.