Kids will be kids, but something has changed the way that children are behaving, they are becoming increasingly aggressive and angry.
What is worse is that these acts of aggression are not just happening at home anymore, they are happening in schools, at the grocery store and everywhere else that a child visits.
Many of us look at these angry children and wonder just what went wrong. The issues are being blamed on disorders, causing more and more children to be medicated.
No one seems to quite understand what is happening with the children, but the answer is quite simple it all boils down to discipline. Studies have proven that children who are disciplined negatively are more aggressive and angry than those who are disciplined positively.
Many people justify negative punishment by stating that the child will receive negative punishment if they did something wrong, therefore it is important for them to understand that bad things happen when they behave badly, but what if I told you that through using negative punishment, you were setting the child up for bad behavior in the future?
Choose Positive Discipline over Negative Punishments
When you use positive discipline, you are going to watch the bad behaviors disappear, therefore ensuring that your child will not have to deal with any negative punishments when they are adults because they are not going to be the type of person that breaks the law.
Negative punishments vary from grounding to taking away privileges to taking away toys, spanking, yelling and so forth. Negative punishment can also be taking away something that a child was looking forward to when there is bad behavior.
For example, if a child was looking forward to going to a friend’s house and you decided that since the child did not clean their room they could not go.
Many people believe that this type of punishment is only fair and that it works well, however, it only works when it is consistent and immediately follows the bad behavior which rarely happens, especially if the behavior happens outside of the home.
Negative discipline may also change the way that the child is behaving when he or she is around you.
However, it is not changing the way that the child feels about the behavior and in order to really change the behavior outside of the home, when the child is not with you, you have to change the way they feel about it.
Negative discipline to a child is nothing more than retaliation, it is cruel and they do not understand it. Children who are disciplined negatively mimic the behaviors that they see, for example, if they are spanked, they hit. If they are yelled at, they tend to yell.
On the other hand, a child whose parent uses positive discipline tends to be positive and encouraging to other children. They treat people fairly, get in trouble less often and have higher expectations for themselves.
What is Positive Parenting Exactly?
Knowing that negative discipline can have negative impacts on your child is one thing, however, it is also important for you to understand what positive parenting is.
Many parents are concerned about positive parenting, thinking that they are going to end up spoiling their children. They look back at how they were raised and they feel a bit protective of their own parents, after all, they turned out alright.
The truth is, most of our parents used positive parenting before it was ever popular. Most of our parents helped us to set goals for ourselves, they communicated their expectations clearly and avoided severe punishments such as physical discipline.
However, if your parent was a negative discipliner, it may seem much more difficult for you to implement positive parenting into your life.
Positive parenting focuses on communicating well with your children, ensuring that your child understands the expectations that you have set for them, using praise as well as other positive reinforcements when the child behaves well and avoiding all negative discipline.
Let’s for a moment imagine that you have been a parent for a while, and now you want to start using positive parenting because you are not happy with the results of other parenting techniques.
It is never too late to start using positive parenting.
Parents usually get along better with their children when they use positive parenting, they build a stronger bond with their children and they build a stronger bond with the other parent because they do not have to worry about being the bad guy or one parent disciplining more harshly than the other.
Children tend to trust their parents more when the parents use positive parenting and they generally have higher self-esteem than those who are disciplined negatively. Studies have also proven that positive discipline actually works as opposed to negative discipline which children usually learn how to tune out.
Positive parenting allows you to believe that your child wants to communicate with you. It also allows you to let your child understand what it is that you expect of them and discuss these expectations with your child. It is up to you as the parent to set clear boundaries for your child and ensure that they understand what they are.
Many people do not believe this, but children want boundaries, they do not want to be allowed to run wild and control the entire house.
However, when a parent does not take control of the home, the child will because there are no boundaries. This causes the child to become upset, confused and it makes them feel as if they are not safe.
When you practice positive parenting, you will look at the disagreements between yourself and your child as a way for you to teach your child to solve problems and to understand what they did as well as why you are disappointed with their behavior.
Many parents today feel as if they are out of control as if they cannot get their child to do what they request of them and many feel that they are not even being heard by the child. This is a very common occurrence and it is something that both single parents and married couples deal with.
It is important that you do not feel that you have failed as a parent because of this, but instead choose to use a different parenting method. That is what positive parenting is all about.
- How many times have you laid down in your bed at night and found yourself thinking about a situation that happened with your children?
- Have you found yourself feeling guilty because of the way you reacted to something that they did?
- Have you ever sat and watched your children yelling at each other and suddenly realized that they were doing nothing more than mimicking your behavior when you are upset with something they have done?
The truth is that there are many children with behavior disorders today, many of them have to go to special schools because they do not know how to communicate their anger that has built up over the years from negative discipline.
However, this does not have to continue. If parents begin using positive parenting, they will begin to see a difference in how their child behaves both at home and away.
Positive parenting addresses the mistakes that parents are making when it comes to communication with their children as well as how they teach their child to behave.
For example, instead of rambling off a long list of tasks that you expect your child to complete when they get home from school, you would create a plan which would allow the child to have a few moments of rest before starting their tasks, then you would give them short tasks to do one at a time.
Often times, parents forget that their children are well, children.
They tend to ramble off a list of tasks expecting the child to remember everything that was said and to know how to do each task perfectly. When the child is unable to, the parent suspects that the child suffers from ADHD or that the child simply does not listen to them.
Part of positive parenting is remembering that the child is still a child and not an adult. The child needs direction and they need you to set a good example.
Imagine how much more smoothly things would go if the child was allowed to have a snack and relax for a few minutes before both of you began doing whatever nightly chores needed to be done, say for example the laundry or cleaning the house.
What are you supposed to do when your child will not do what you ask of them?
This is a common question that people ask when they are using positive parenting and it is one of the reasons that parents often turn to negative discipline. When you ask something of your child and they do not do it or simply pretend that they have not heard you, it often leads to angry parents who turn to yelling or spanking in order to get their point across.
However, there is a much easier way to solve this problem and it does not require any yelling, spanking, time outs or privileges getting taken away. The first thing that you have to understand when it comes to positive parenting is that it is not your job as the parent to intimidate your child. Instead, it is your job to teach your child, expect them to respect you as their parent.
If you find that your child does not listen to what you are saying, get down on your child’s level. Look the child in the eye and calmly but firmly tell the child what you expect of him or her.
Let your child understand that you expect him or her to listen to you, just as you would listen to them.
Then you need to listen to what your child has to say. Pay attention to how the child responds.
Does the child say that you don’t listen to him or her? Remember, your child is going to behave based off of the example that you have set and if you are not listening to the child, they are not going to listen to you.
One of the biggest aspects of positive parenting is giving the child praise. This is something that so many parents seem to forget to do, especially in a day and age when we are so busy, our minds are focused on everything else that is going on in our lives instead of praising our children.
However, I want you to try something, the next time that your child tries to show you something that they have done, for example, how they made their bed, provide them with a bit of praise. Chances are that the child will begin doing more things to earn this praise.
I know it has been said a thousand times, but it is something that we all need to remind ourselves of on a regular basis, children are going to do whatever it takes to get your attention.
If this means that they have to behave badly in order to get you to pay attention to them, that is what they are going to do, however, if you provide the child with praise on a regular basis, they are going to get the attention that they desire and this means that they are not going to be displaying the bad behavior in order to get negative attention.
Remember, positive attention is a million times better for any child than negative attention, however, negative attention is better than no attention at all.
It is easy to get caught up in life and expect that our kids will simply fall in line and do as we expect them, but we have to continually remind ourselves that we are the parents and it is up to us to set the example for our children.
It is up to us to set the boundaries for our children and make sure that they understand them. It is up to us to be the parents.
How Positive Parenting Is Completely Different
There are many different parenting techniques that are used when raising a child and in this part I want to go over the most popular ones.
I also want to talk a bit about how positive parenting is different than all of the other parenting techniques at the end of this section to allow you to see what a difference it can make in your child’s life.
I want to begin by talking about the most popular as well as the most successful parenting techniques that most parents use today.
These parenting techniques help to build a strong bond between the parent and the child while allowing the parent to trust the child, understand their skills and their abilities and they ensure that the parent is aware of the relationship that is forming between them and their child.
The first parenting technique that I want to talk about is positive parenting, the main focus of this post and the most successful parenting technique that can be used.
Positive parenting is based on positive psychology, which focuses on human happiness, meaningfulness as well as fulfillment. It has been based off of happy and fulfilled people, how they became that way as well as how they were raised.
Positive parenting focuses more on long-term goals, the future of the child than it does what is going on right now, the past and even pain or illnesses. It helps children to understand their skills, inner strengths, their abilities and their dreams instead of focusing on the mistakes of the past.
This is not to say that positive parenting completely disregards the past behaviors of a child or that it allows the negative behavior to continue but instead of continually bringing it up, positive parenting allows the parent and the child to create goals which will end the behavior or ensure that it does not happen again.
Positive parenting focuses on growing instead of repairing the mistakes that have been made in the past. It is about empowering the child, providing unconditional support which boosts the child’s self-esteem, and helping to prepare the child for life on their own.
This is done by talking to the child about the behavior, not giving speeches or trying to make the child feel poorly about themselves, but discussing the situation and allowing the child to decide what he or she thinks would have been the best decision.
Your child tells you that they need five dollars for a field trip, but instead of waiting for you to get the five dollars the child gets into your purse, finds eight dollars and takes it all without saying a word. When you go to get the money for the child for the field trip, you find that the money is gone. Upon asking the child about it, the child states that he or she did not take the money but you know otherwise.
Now there are two choices here. You can use negative discipline, yell at the child, spank or stand them in the corner or you can sit the child down, explain to the child that he or she will not be going on the field trip because the money is now gone and that you will let the school know he or she cannot go.
This is going to give the child an option, they are either going to confess and give the money back, or they are going to continue to lie. This is when you have to follow up. You can either talk to the child about how it is against the law to steal, how you trusted him or her and how you would never steal from them and expect the same from them.
Or you can call the school, let them know the child will not be going without going into detail why and explain that if the child shows up with any money you are to be called and it should be returned.
If the child returns the money, you are going to have to decide if the child will go on the field trip. If the child understands that they cannot steal from you and has returned the money they should be allowed to go because if they are not, they will steal again but be more careful about getting caught next time.
Instead of putting strict rules on the child, positive parenting, focusing on teachable moments, coaching instead of preaching. It helps the parent brainstorm with the child to understand why the behavior happened and how it can be stopped in the future.
Let’s take the above example, where the child stole the money out of the mother’s purse. The mother might find, if she sat down and talked to the child that he or she has had to miss field trips in the past because the mother has forgotten to send the money to school with them. The mother might realize that this has happened and that this is why the child has behaved this way.
This will allow the mother and child to discuss how to ensure that the child is able to go on the field trips without stealing the money out of the mother’s purse.
It may turn out that the mother needs to place the money in an envelope in the child’s backpack as soon as she finds out about the field trip instead of waiting until the next day. What you might find is that some of the behaviors that the child is displaying are due to a failure on the parent’s end.
This is not to make the parent take all of the blame or feel poorly about their parenting skills but instead, it is a way of solving problems, understanding why the child behaves the way that he or she does and ensuring that the behavior does not happen in the future.
Unconditional parenting is another technique that I want to discuss and it is based off of the idea of accepting the child and supporting the child no matter what they say or what type of behavior they display.
Of course, you should unconditionally love and accept your child no matter how they behave, but the real question is what you should do when they misbehave. When it comes to unconditional parenting, the parent is supposed to use positive reinforcements when the child behaves well and instead of focusing on discipline when a child misbehaves the behavior is ignored.
It is said that when a parent does this, the child will automatically behave because they want that good attention, they understand that bad behavior gets ignored and they only get acknowledged when they behave well. The child will quickly learn that good behavior leads to attention as well as approval.
The final technique that I want to talk about is called “slow parenting“.
This type of parenting focuses on ensuring that enough time is spent with the child, that there is enough ‘family’ time, the child is allowed to take certain risks and learn from those risks, there are fewer organized activities, which means that the child is often left to entertain themselves and use their imagination, television is limited and time is spent outside exploring nature or reading books, electronic devices are not given to the children as they do not encourage creativity.
This is probably how you were raised, before children had cell phones at the age of five and while it may seem a bit difficult to do in today’s age, it is possible. The only problems that you will face is that children tend to feel left out because they do not have the same toys as their friends and parents are very busy today.
This parenting technique takes a lot of time, ensuring that the parents are interacting with the children the majority of the time and instead of focusing on quality time it focuses on the amount of time that you are with the child. This can be quite a difficult technique to use for those that work outside of the home or single parents.
Finally, I want to end this section by talking a little bit about how positive parenting is different than other parenting techniques.
Positive discipline is going to vary by parent as well as by the professional that you speak to about it, however, no matter who you talk to about positive discipline what you will learn is that it focuses on providing praise for the child when something is done right and reinforcing that behavior.
It also ensures that negative behaviors are not reinforced by providing negative attention, but that the parent helps the child understand where the negative behaviors are coming from and how it can be stopped.
In order to make positive parenting, work, the parent has to be on the watch for good behaviors, instead of constantly watching out for what the child is doing wrong, praise the child for the good behavior and provide rewards when the child is caught behaving well.
Positive parenting, just like any other parenting technique relies on the parent being consistent which means that you have to consistently praise your child. This also means that you may begin to feel like a broken record saying, “Good Job” all of the time, but it is better than feeling like a broken record yelling at your child and feeling as if you are not being heard.
On top of that, no one will ever tire of hearing that they are doing a good job, even if you tell them a thousand times a day, the child is going to take pride in their good behavior. On the other hand, if you are using negative discipline, the child is going to tire of hearing you nag all of the time and repeat the same rules over and over again, eventually causing the child to simply tune you out when you speak.
When you want your child to do something and you are using positive parenting, you will focus on making the task enjoyable. Of course not every task that a child has to do is going to be enjoyable, but this is where it is the parent’s job to focus on positive reinforcements and praise.
Negative discipline has become somewhat of the norm in today’s society because most parents do not know what else they are supposed to do when their children misbehave. The problem is that most parents have no idea how they are supposed to break away from negative discipline.
It is important to understand that no matter how much you want to use positive parenting, there are going to be instances when you will have to use some form of negative parenting.
There are going to be instances where you will have to take things away from your child in order to teach them a lesson, but this does not have to be an everyday occurrence.
Yes, it is true that you cannot praise everything that your child does every single day, but what you will find is that by using positive parenting, you will have to use negative parenting much less often.
How Does Positive Parenting Affect Our Kids?
One study that was done, over three generations of a family found that when positive parenting was used, it not only built a stronger bond with the first generation using it and ensured a more successful life for the child, but it also found that those children grew up to use the same type of parenting techniques and continued to pass their parenting skills down to the next generation.
Not only did the parenting impact how the first generation felt about themselves, but it continued to impact generations to come.
At the same time, another study was done on 203 children who were at risk for being juvenile delinquents, it found that 98 percent of these children came from homes that used negative discipline. It also found that when these children grew up and had children of their own, they continued to use negative discipline, putting their own children at risk for becoming juvenile delinquents.
However, there were those that grew up and did not follow in their parent’s footsteps, but instead choose to use positive parenting with their own children and completely broke the cycle of negative discipline in their family.
We all know that raising a child is the most difficult job on the planet, however, we also know that it is also the most rewarding. This is not true, though for those that are struggling with parenting and having a hard time understanding how they can teach their child and this is where positive parenting comes in.
The way that we parent our children affects them in so many ways, from how they feel about themselves to what the future holds for them.
It is up to us as parents to ensure that our parenting techniques are not taking away from what our children can be, that we are ensuring they have high self-esteem and that we let them know we are proud of them because their lives literally depend on it.
You really have to think about what children have to deal with in the world today. Children are committing suicide because they are being bullied not only at school, but at home as well.
When children leave us and go to school, there is not much that we can do about what they have to deal with each day, however, by using positive parenting, by providing a trusting relationship and a strong bond with our children, we can ensure that if something is going on they are not going to feel hopeless but instead they are going to come to us for help.
Children who are raised by parents that use negative discipline generally have lower self-esteem, they do not feel safe and secure at home, they do not understand how to voice their opinion because they are taught that their opinion really does not matter, and it leads to the children becoming passive.
Parents who use negative discipline often turn to physical punishments in order to get their child to behave in the way that they want them to. These parents do not cross the line into physical abuse, however, they are not teaching the child how to behave, but they are simply teaching the child how to avoid the physical punishments.
There are also parenting styles such as the permissive style that can be called almost neglectful because while the parents do interact with the child on a regular basis, but they do not set limitations for the child.
I am sure you know a parent like this, or maybe you are one of them. These types of parents take their orders from their children instead of the other way around. I actually witnessed this earlier today and it may not be as apparent as many people think.
Walking through the grocery store, I came across a mother and her child. The mother was telling the child that they had to get one item, but the child ran straight to the popsicles and grabbed a box, all the while the mom was standing hand on hip telling the child that was not what she had said they were getting.
The child grabbed the popsicles and ran back to the cart tossing them in. The mother stated that the child had already eaten two boxes this week and with a smile on her face she looked down at the child as they walked away popsicles in the cart.
Now this may not seem like such a big deal. Maybe the mom did not want to make a scene in public or maybe she gives in to the child all of the time, but what she taught the child was that she was not the boss, but instead, the child was and that she did not have to listen to her mother but instead, she could do as she pleased.
These types of parents endow their children with power, they do not set limits for the children, and rarely worry about teaching the child right from wrong. What this leads to is children that are suffering from anxiety and depression, they are actually some of the unhappiest children in the country. These children are also more likely to become violent, abuse substances, become sexually active at a young age and engage in antisocial behaviors.
Because these children have never been taught how to discipline themselves, when they grow older they often find themselves in trouble with the law and having children that are undisciplined as well. These children lack self-respect and they never feel as if they are in control of their own lives. They simply do not understand what it is like to live a structured life with high expectations of one’s self.
These children also begin to believe that they have control over adults and they learn how to manipulate those they are around when the parents use this type of discipline. This leads to them becoming manipulative adults who try to exert control over everyone in their lives.
This type of parent often allows the television, video games or computer to raise the child while they go on about their lives, unconcerned if the child is really learning anything that will help them in the future.
There is also the indulgent parenting style, in which parents are most often the child’s ‘friend’ instead of parental figure. Of course it is important for your child to view you as a friend, however, it is also important that they know there is a line that has to be drawn and you are their parent as well as the friend.
While many children raised with this parenting style are often more creative than those who have stricter disciple, these children also suffer from a lack of control when they grow into adulthood. These children become entitled adults, and this parenting style is one of the reasons that we see so many entitled adults around us today.
We all want our children to be creative and we want to be their friend, but we have to think about their future, even when they are little children. We do not want to raise children who end up feeling entitled, living off of the system and never doing anything with their lives.
This only causes depression and low self-esteem.
The truth is, that everything that we do as we raise our children affects their future greatly. I recently saw a post on social media, stating that it was time for people to stop blaming their parents, and while I believe that this is true to a point, I also believe that every action of a parent shapes what a child will be when they grow up.
Another factor that you need to look at when it comes to disciplining your children is if you discipline one differently from the other. While you may think that you are doing a great job disciplining your children, you really need to be honest with yourself about your parenting styles when it comes to all of your children.
When you take a look at people who have been raised differently and really talk to them about how they feel it affected their lives, you begin to see that it is possible that what you are doing when it comes to raising your children could completely change their future.
So the next time you feel like yelling at your child, spanking them or simply letting them do whatever they want and not talking to them about their choices, remember how every choice you make determines their future.
How to Begin Using Positive Parenting
There are three main parts of positive parenting that you as the parent must commit to if you want to make it work for you and your child.
The first thing that you as the parent must commit to is regulating your own emotions.
This means that when you are angry, stress, you do not scream, yell or take your anger out on your child. You must take responsibility for your own emotions as well as your own actions and not allow yourself to blame your behavior on the way your child has been behaving.
The second thing that you as the parent must commit to is strengthening the bond that you and your child have as well as ensuring that you have an open line of communication with your child or children.
The only way that a child is going to listen to what you have to say is if you listen to what they have to say. You cannot expect them to cooperate with you if they feel as if they are not being heard.
The third thing that you as the parent must commit to is providing unconditional love for the child.
You should never withhold love from your child as a form of discipline and you should never withhold love from your child no matter how angry they make you.
This type of discipline is used to manipulate and control a child, not to teach the child the lessons that he or she needs to learn in order to prepare them for life as an adult.
Instead of disciplining this way, you have to view yourself as the child’s coach and understand that it is your job to provide guidance for them, which will allow them to choose the proper behaviors and manage their own emotions.
Many parents tend to overlook the need for a child to play. We have to remember that it is a child’s job to play, this is how they learn and how they interact with the world. You as the parent, need to make sure that your children, have time to play every single day for at least one hour per day.
This is something that seems to have been lost in recent years. Many of us can remember playing as children from the time that we woke up in the mornings until we were called in for dinner at night. However, today’s world is much more fast paced than it used to be and there is more technology available, which means that children are playing less and less every day.
You have to limit the amount of time that children are using technology each day and this includes the amount of time that they are watching the television but you also need to limit the amount of time that children are doing chores each day. It is very easy to fill a child’s day with tons of chores such as cleaning their room or the yard, but you have to remember that there is only so much work a child can do in one day, the rest of the time, they need to be playing, outside and using their imagination.
You do not have to be involved in all of the play, but it is a great idea to spend some time each day doing a physical activity with your children such as playing soccer or going for a walk after dinner. Not only will this create great memories for your children, but it will help you to build a stronger bond.
The next thing that you need to do if you want to use positive parenting and build a stronger bond with your child is to make sure that you are the first source of information for them.
When something happens in the world, you need to be the first person to talk to your child about it, no matter what happens, you are the parent, you know how to relay the information to your child so that they understand what is going on and if there is bad news, it is best that they hear it from you instead of another child at school or some other truly uninformed person.
When the child receives their information from you, they are going to feel that you respect them, that you feel they are mature enough to handle the information and this is going to ensure that they feel secure in a world that can be quite terrifying.
Spend time every day talking and listening to your child. Dinnertime is a great time for you and your child to sit down at the dinner table and talk about their day as well as any problems they are having.
When you give direction, get down on the child’s level, tell the child what you need them to do in short sentences giving one direction at a time. You also need to remember that non-verbal communication is important as well.
Not only do you need to provide your child with hugs and smile, but a disapproving look can go a long way when a child that respects their parents misbehaves.
As a parent, it is your job to ensure that you build your child’s brain while taking care of their body. This is something that so many parents forget but you are responsible for the health of your child.
Not only do you want to ensure that your child is learning, reading and taking part in brain-building activities, but you need to make sure that you are providing healthy meals and snacks teaching your child how to eat healthily. It is also important that you spend time exercising with your child and encourage physical activities instead of just sitting in front of the television whenever you have free time.
Make sure that you are supporting what your child is doing in school and encourage him or her to learn by taking him to places such as the library, museum or the zoo. On top of this, make sure that you are helping the child with their homework, not becoming frustrated when the child is unable to understand how to solve a problem and provide the child with a comfortable learning environment.
One thing that I have heard so many parents state is that the child will not remember how clean or dirty their house was while they were growing up but that they will remember the fun they had in the home. I can tell you that this is nothing more than an excuse for not cleaning your home in hopes that your child will not hold it against you or possibly will not remember when they grow older.
It does not take a lot of time to provide your children with a HEALTHY, SAFE and COMFORTABLE environment if it is clean every day. Your children are not going to respect you if they feel that you are too lazy to clean your own home, especially if you are making them keep up with the chores while you do nothing.
Don’t ever feel as if you have to listen to what other parents say when it comes to your own child. You know your child better than anyone else and you know exactly what it is that your child needs.
Make sure that you know how your child is developing intellectually, physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and morally. When you take the time to know your child, you will not find yourself questioning your parenting techniques when someone offers you some advice about your child.
Remember that your child is an individual, support them as an individual. Make sure that you show interest in the things that interest your child, do your best to spend time alone with each child individually each day. Never compare your child to any other child, nor ask them why they cannot behave the way another child does or why they are not like another child.
Create a routine for the entire family, ensuring that everyone knows exactly what the routine will be and what is expected of them. Each child should know that when they get toys out and play with them, they need to put them away when they are done.
There should be a routine when the child comes home from school, for example, having a snack, doing homework, spending time playing and then doing chores before dinner.
Make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them after dinner, such as dinner, clean up, dishes, laundry and baths. Doing this will ensure that there is success in the household, the home is stress free and a place that everyone can feel safe and secure.
You also have to take care of yourself if you want to use positive parenting. The fact is that if you do not take care of yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else.
If you are tired, you need to rest, if you are overly stressed, you need to find a way to destress, if you are overworked, you need to take the time to take a break. Not only this but you need to make sure that you are eating healthy meals, sleep and getting enough exercise in order to prevent illness.
You have to remember that if you are sick, you are going to be the one that has to be taken care of and will not be able to take care of anyone else.
You should also make sure that you are spending time as a family at least one day a week. This is what was once known as family day, but has been forgotten over the years.
Most of us work 6 days per week, we have a lot of tasks to get done each day and most people just want to rest when they have a day off but it is vital that we spend this time with our families.
Finally, if you want to use positive parenting, you have to teach your child right from wrong. It is more than just looking both ways before they crossed the road, it is about preparing your child for their future.
Your job is to raise adults that have morals, who are respectful, kind and that are hardworking. You have to remember that it is your job to do what is best for your child instead of just what you want to do.
No one wants to discipline their children, no one wants to make their child do things that they do not enjoy, but it is your job to do what is going to give your child the life that they deserve.
Always remember when you are making any decision when it comes to how you will discipline your child you need to ask yourself if the action that you are taking is benefiting your relationship or destroying it. No matter what your child has done, there is no excuse for you to behave in such a way that would tear your relationship with your child apart.
If you find that you are getting ready to behave in a way that is not beneficial to your relationship with your child, you need to take a breath and walk away from the situation because you are not using positive parenting but are instead getting ready to use negative discipline.
Changing Negative Communication to Positive
From the time that your child is born, communication is vital not only to your relationship with your child but to the child’s overall wellbeing.
Communicating positively with the child will help to ensure that you are reinforcing good behavior, help you to understand why your child displays bad behaviors, and it will help you to eliminate those bad behaviors.
While it is important that you focus on this good communication from the instant the child is born, if you have not done so, there is still hope.
I am sure that throughout this book, you have noticed that there is one common theme and it is changing your own behavior in order to change your child’s. There is nothing that your child does that has not been learned and there is nothing that your child does that cannot be unlearned.
However, as I already stated, it all begins with changing your own behaviors. The first thing that you need to do is to start communicating with the child.
This can feel a bit awkward in the beginning, especially if you are not used to communicating with your child, but it is up to you to make it easy for the child.
Begin by sitting at the table for dinner instead of in front of the television. When we have dinner in front of the television, not only do we not realize how much food we are eating, but we do not focus on those that we love, instead our focus is on the television.
When you sit down at the table, ask each person at the table how their day was. Ask them what their favorite part of their day was as well as the worst part. Ask them, if there is anything that you can do to help them when they talk about the worst part of their day.
Do not overreact when your child tells you about the bad parts of their day. If they tell you that someone is picking on them at school or that a teacher is not being fair to them, calmly talk to them about the situation and help them resolve it on their own.
If you become the type of parent that rushes to solve the child’s problems and cause a scene, embarrassing the child, he or she will no longer come to you with their problems.
It is natural for any parent to want to protect their children from anything that could upset them or cause them harm and there are times when you should step in even if you have to make a scene, but the majority of the time, the child can handle the problem on their own with just a bit of guidance and that is what you are supposed to provide.
Remember, it is your job to provide guidance for your child, to teach them how to solve problems and not to solve the problems for them.
You can ask your child if there was anything that caused him or her worry that day, or if there is anything that they specifically wanted to talk to you about. Ask the child who they spent time with at school, what they learned, what they played at recess and if they made any new friends.
Even if you feel extremely busy and don’t know when you would have time to talk to your child, if you really look at your life, chances are that you can find the time. Instead of listening to the radio on the way home after picking up your child, turn the radio down and get to know the person you are raising.
Talk to your child and spend time bonding as you walk to and from the bus stop or as you wait on the bus each morning. Instead of spending time staring on your phone while you wait in line at the grocery store or while you are waiting for a sibling to finish practice, spend time talking to your child about their day.
You don’t have to spend an hour at a time talking to your child, this will only cause them to become bored and agitated that you are taking up so much of their time, but spent 10 or 15 minutes at a time talking about their day, their life and what is bothering them.
The conversations that you have need to let your child know that they are important to you, that you care about what they are going through and that you love them. Show them that you are interested in the things that interest them and that you discuss the things that they are going through in their life.
Even if it is something that is minor, something that you know really does not matter and will not matter the next day, it is important for you to listen and talk to your child because this is ensuring that if more serious issues come up, the child is going to feel comfortable coming to you and talking to you.
One mistake that many parents make when it comes to communicating with their child is that they label the child in a negative way instead of labeling the behavior.
For example, instead of asking your child why they have to be so bad all of the time, a parent might tell the child that it hurts their feelings when the child speaks to them in a specific way.
You should always ensure that you begin your sentence with a positive statement instead of a negative statement.
For example, instead of asking, why the child is not getting their homework done, tell the child that you know she is smart and want to discuss why the homework is not getting finished.
You see, you are letting the child know that you understand she is a smart child, that there is no excuse that she can give you as to why the work is not getting done, then you are letting her know that you want to understand why the work is not getting done. Then you need to ask the child if there is anything that you can do to help make sure that they are getting their work done.
It is also important that you acknowledge the child’s feelings. Let the child know that you understand they want to continue playing and that after they finish their chores, they can continue to play.
By doing this, you are showing the child that you do understand that he or she does not want to stop what they are doing, but you are also letting the child know that as soon as he or she finishes his or her responsibilities, he or she can go back to having fun.
If the child is having a difficult time focusing on the chores or if this is something new to the child, offer to help the child, providing direction until the child understands what is expected of him or her.
Share your feelings when you are talking to your child. Tell them how you feel when they do something right as well as how you feel when they misbehave.
For example, “It makes me feel so proud when your room is clean,” or “It makes me feel sad when you do not do as you are told.” Tell the child you are happy that they put their toys away or that you are proud they finished all of their homework.
Show them that when they do well, you are happy and proud of them, but when they do not, you are disappointed. Use words instead of physical punishment and you will be amazed at how much of a difference you will see.
Use the word ‘You’ when you are making statements about the way a child is behaving. “You have done a great job at making your bed.” “You did awesome on your homework.” Instead of telling the child that the room looks nice or you are glad they are done with their homework, let the child know that they have done something that you acknowledge. This will allow the child to take pride in what they have done and not feel as if it is simply being overlooked.
Use the word ‘I’ when the child misbehaves or upsets you instead of the word ‘You’. “How could YOU do this?” “Do YOU know what YOU have done?” Instead, focus on how the behavior makes you feel. “I was so afraid when you did not call to let me know you were going to be late.” “It makes me angry when you are late for your curfew. I worry that something has happened to you.”
By doing this, you are not telling the child that they are bad or labeling them because of their behavior, but you are showing the child that their behavior affects other people, not just themselves and that you really do care about them.
Use the word ‘You’ when you are making statements about the way a child is behaving. “You have done a great job at making your bed.” “You did awesome on your homework.”
Instead of telling the child that the room looks nice or you are glad they are done with their homework, let the child know that they have done something that you acknowledge. This will allow the child to take pride in what they have done and not feel as if it is simply being overlooked.
Use the word ‘I’ when the child misbehaves or upsets you instead of the word ‘You’. “How could YOU do this?” “Do YOU know what YOU have done?”
Instead, focus on how the behavior makes you feel. “I was so afraid when you did not call to let me know you were going to be late.” “It makes me angry when you are late for your curfew. I worry that something has happened to you.”
By doing this, you are not telling the child that they are bad or labeling them because of their behavior, but you are showing the child that their behavior affects other people, not just themselves and that you really do care about them.
In order to change your negative speech into positive speech with your child, you are going to have to focus on doing this in other areas of your life as well. You see, you cannot be a negative person and speak negatively and hope to use positive parenting.
This can seem quite difficult at times, depending on what is going on in your life but it is possible. The first thing that you should do is take part in positive meditation.
There are many guided meditations available online for you to begin using. The second thing that you need to start doing is to begin practicing gratitude. Do this by taking a few moments each day to list out at least five things that you are thankful for. Don’t be generic, such as “I am thankful to be alive,” but instead, think about the things that happened that day.
This means that even if you have had a bad day, look for the silver lining.
The final thing that you have to do is change the way that you speak. When you find yourself thinking or speaking negatively, turn the way that you are thinking or speaking around and focus on positive thinking or speech.
This is important throughout your entire life, however, it is vital if you want to practice positive parenting. When you begin focusing on the negative when you speak to your child such as, “Why are you such a slob,” turn the way that you are thinking and speaking around and focus on the positive, “I know that you can keep your room clean, it is important if you want to have a nice place to play and sleep so let’s spend a few minutes cleaning up this mess.”
If you have to take a few seconds to gather your thoughts and get control of your feelings, that is fine. Walk away, take a few deep breaths and THINK about what it is that you are going to say to your child.
It is very easy to become frustrated with your child when they do not behave the way that you expect them to, however, it is vital that you take control of your own emotions so that you can coach your child, ensuring that they are making the correct decisions.
12 Tips for Positive Parenting
To finish up this book, I want to give you some tips on positive parenting to ensure that you know exactly what you need to do in any situation with your child.
- While routine might seem as if it is not part of positive parenting, it is vital if you want positive parenting to work. All children need a routine because they need to know what is expected of them, they need to know what they are supposed to be doing right now as well as what they are supposed to do next.
Children do not do well with a large amount of unstructured time and this is often when children find themselves getting into trouble. Even if you do not plan out every minute of every day, it is very important for you to create routines for the hardest parts of the day such as in the morning and right after school.
- You need to make sure that you take sleep very seriously when it comes to your child.
While as adults we often find ourselves going without sleep in order to get more done, this should NEVER be the case with your child.
Depending on your child’s age, you need to make sure they are getting between 8 and 10 hours of sleep every night. This means, of course that you need to set a bedtime instead of allowing the child to stay up as late as they want or allowing the child to go to bed when you do.
It is also vital that you ensure the child is sleeping in their own bed, in a comfortable room that is clean. Many people have gotten into the routine of allowing their children to sleep wherever they want, on couches, chairs and even on the living room floor.
However, this is not going to provide your child with a good night’s sleep. You should make sure that the child has enough blankets, a fan if needed, a night light if they need one and that they clean their room each night before going to bed.
- Make sure that the children are pitching in when it comes to house and yard work.
Many parents try to take all of this on without expecting the child to help and what happens is that the parents begin feeling like nothing more than a maid.
This causes parents to become resentful, angry and short-tempered with their children. This is not how a household runs smoothly. Each person, including children, should have assigned responsibilities that are appropriate for the child’s age.
You should take the time to teach the child how to complete each of their chores and let them know that you are going to be checking to make sure the job is completed correctly.
You have to make sure that you do check to ensure the job is done correctly because if the child sees that you do not check, they are going to quickly understand that you are never going to know if they do not do the chore.
- Find ways to say yes.
As parents, most of us find that our children are asking hundreds of questions every single day and more often than not, we have to tell the child no, however we need to become the type of parent that looks for a way to tell the child yes.
For example, let’s say that it is Tuesday after school and it has been a very hot day, the child asks if you can go to the river to go swimming but you know that there simply is too much to do. Most parents would simply tell the child no but you are going to find a way to say yes.
This does not mean that you have to drop everything and take off to the river, but instead, ask the child if they think there is a better time for you as a family to go to the river and offer a different day such as Saturday.
If the child wants pizza for dinner, tell the child that pizza would be great, explain that you have already started to make pasta and ask the child when they think would be a great night to make pizza.
This will allow the child to feel as if what they want matters, it will reduce the amount of times that you have to tell the child no and it will make them feel confident when asking for something in the future.
- Teach your children to be happy people.
We all have to deal with large amounts of stress, we all have work that has to be done, chores that have to be completed, bills that have to be paid and emails that have to be answered however some of us deal with it differently than others.
You have to teach your child how to deal with stress and how to focus on the positive instead of the negative in life. Many people have been raised by parents who were very negative and it is a struggle every day for them to be positive people, if you are one of these people, imagine how much easier your life would be if you had been taught how to be positive from the time you were a child.
If you have ever practiced positivity, you know what a difference it can make in your life. Don’t you want your child to experience that as well? If you have never practiced positivity, that is the first thing that you need to do if you want to practice positive parenting.
- Understand that bad behavior always has a source.
Children do not misbehave simply because they want to misbehave. All bad behavior has a source and it is up to you to determine what that source is.
It may be difficult for you at times, but it is important for you to stay calm and try to understand what is causing the child to misbehave.
For example, if you are setting the table and find your child screaming that he wants the orange plate, you may think that he is just trying to make your life more difficult, but if you take a step back and try to understand what is causing the behavior, you might find that the child is trying to be independent and wanted to be given a choice about which plate he wanted to use at dinner.
You might find that you are the source of the bad behavior as well.
For example, if your child continues to interrupt your work, you might realize that you have been working for the past four hours without paying any attention to your child and he or she is needing some attention, therefore, they are misbehaving in order to get that attention.
- Encourage your child daily.
It is important for you to provide encouragement to your child each day, do not lie to your child telling him or her that they are the smartest person on the planet, however, tell the child how smart they are or how proud you are of them.
Tell the child that there is nothing they cannot do if they set their minds to it because that is the truth after all and it is important to their future that they know it.
Everyone loves to hear encouragement, even as adults, there are days that we just don’t know if we will make it through, but when we receive a word of encouragement, we know we can handle it.
When you think about the type of encouragement that your child needs, think about what type of encouragement you like and provide that for your child.
- Never put your child down.
This is very important when your child is talking about their interests, fears or concerns. You never want to make the child feel as if they are less than human or that their interests or fears make them weird.
If you do this, your child is going to have low self-esteem and the child is not going to come to you with problems in the future. Of course, we are not always going to be interested in the same things that our children are interested in but that does not mean that we cannot show interest in our children.
When your child is interested in something, it is something that makes your child who they are and who they are going to be and that is something that you as their parent should be interested in.
NEVER make fun of the child or tease the child, especially when it comes to things that are out of their control. You should never tease a child about the way that their body is developing, about puberty, pimples or voice changes.
This is not kidding, but instead, it is damaging behavior that could affect your child for the rest of their life.
While you may feel that it is not that big of a deal right now, you have to remember that you are not the one that is being made fun of when you are at your most vulnerable. Making fun of a child is never acceptable.
- Show your child that you love them on the good days as well as on a bad day.
Even when you are upset with the way that your child has been behaving, let the child know that you love them. Hug them, smile at them and tell them that you love them.
Many people forget that love is not shown through what you buy a person and find themselves trying to buy their child’s love but this is never going to work.
Yes, you can buy your child everything they could ever want, but that is not going to let them know that you love them. It is simply going to make them feel entitled.
- Find positive characteristics about your child and point them out.
It does not matter what your child is good at, make sure that you focus on it on a regular basis. If your child is great with animals, let the child know that you recognize those skills.
Encourage those skills, for example, taking your child to the local animal shelter and let them volunteer with the animals there. If the child is interested in gardening, help the child create a garden of their own in your back yard.
Let the child know that these are great characteristics and that you are proud of these characteristics. Never focus on anything negative about your child because it will make them have low self-esteem, but instead focus on the positive.
- Teach your child to respect themselves and others.
So often, parents forget to teach their children that they deserve respect and this is one of the reasons that so many people grow up lacking respect for themselves. These children grow up to be adults that allow people to walk all over them, not feeling that they deserve to be treated fairly or with any respect at all.
Often times, this happens because the parent does not show the child any respect as they are growing up. When you show your child respect, you are teaching your child that they deserve respect and you will ensure that they demand respect from other people in their lives.
You should also teach your child to respect others by setting an example for them and respecting those that you come into contact with on a daily basis. This means that you do not come home from work and gossip about what is going on, that you do not hang up the phone from a friend or relative and begin bad mouthing the person.
You do not want your child to believe that this is normal behavior because if they do, they will allow people to treat them that way when they grow up.
- Encourage good work habits and explain to your child why it is important.
If you have a job, you know how rare it is to find people who are actually willing to work or have been taught good work habits. Your child needs to understand at an early age why it is important to work hard and to do so every day because they are going to take this lesson with them when they grow up and enter the workplace.
If you do not stress how important work is, they are going to be lazy and will have a hard time keeping a job when they grow up, chances are, you will end up supporting them even into adulthood.
Teaching your child about good work habits is going to ensure their success not only now, while they are in school, but it is going to ensure their success when they grow up and get their first job all the way until they retire from the career that they choose.
Yes, kids are going to be kids, but they do not have to be angry and resentful children that do not know how to manage their own emotions. We do not have to live in homes that are chaotic and controlled by upset little children who do not understand why their world seems as if it is turned upside down.
When you choose to use positive parenting, you will find that through your positivity, the child is going to become more positive and that they are going to experience less bad behaviors. You are going to see a happier child, one that wants to spend time with you and that you want to spend time with.
No longer are your days going to be filled with headaches and the feeling of being out of control, but by using positive parenting, you are finally going to be able to take control back from your child.