What is positive parenting?
Positive parenting is seeing behavior as teachable moments, NOT a chance to punish. When your child does something undesirable in your eyes, take a moment and think about whether or not you’ve taught your child if that’s acceptable behavior or not.
The reason I like PP so much is that it focuses a lot on respecting our children. Believe it or not, they are actual people, too. With real emotions and beliefs and desires. We get upset with our kids when those thoughts and desires of theirs don’t align with ours. But, let’s think a minute – do we not want our kids to be independent thinkers? Do we not want our kids to feel confident in their beliefs? Do we not want our kids to challenge conventions?
Here’s my story…
I’ve noticed with my own children (who have plenty of teachable moments) that when the intensity of the big moments have passed, they are much better equipped to simply move on. My 3 year old gets so upset when her 1 ½ year old sister takes something she’s playing with. After helping her understand that sissy is trying to play with her (and letting her get out her tears) she is fully welcoming in letting sissy play with her.
Also, the other night I had laid the oldest down for bed and she began sobbing. I went in to check on her, fully aware of my own tiredness and crankiness, and asked her what was wrong. She told me “I just want you and I just want to cry for a minute.” I said, “Okay, I’m here baby”. And, within a minute or two she was calm and asked me to sing to her for a couple minutes before I left her (fully awake) to go “night night” myself.
I think it’s amazing that at three years old she is beginning to understand her emotions and verbalize them. I still struggle with that as an adult! This drives me to continue practicing positive parenting both with my children and with others.
As a teacher, I have changed a lot this year with regard to discipline. I have a very rambunctious group of students. Who hasn’t though, right? Well, our school has no behavior system in place, and neither does my classroom. We have class rules to follow but what I do is try to find my students doing something positive. And, that’s what I focus on and point out to the rest of the class. I gave my students specific examples of things that I consider positive, with the allowance that my list was not exhaustive.
What I’ve found is that even though there are times punishment would definitely be warranted, I do not have to referee as many arguments because the students are starting to handle it themselves. There is less negative talk toward each other and more of a focus on doing something helpful for others and themselves.
Kids of all ages are very receptive to the vibes that adults give off. If we can get ourselves to be more positive, then our kids will follow.
Your Challenge: When your child or student behaves undesirably, do two things. 1. Notice your own emotions, are you projecting? 2. Have you specifically taught your child that the behavior they exhibited is upsetting? If so, then remind them with respect. If not, use this time to do so.
Please feel free to comment with a response to your challenge.
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