The Truth About Positive Parenting
"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have for instance."
Franklin P. Jones
I knew that when I was pregnant with Jordan, that I would want to implement positive parenting. Yelling and beating wasn't something I wanted for my child or for myself. Those tactics didn't work for me. I actually can't recall getting beat often.
But OMG! Being positive all of the time and cool, calm, and collected will cause you to go crazy. Because let's be honest, we all lose our shit sometimes.
With this positive parenting, I've learned that the more patient you are with Jordan, the better she responds.
So for starters we do not raise our voices. Yelling isn't going to solve anything. You're usually yelling because you're frustrated which then makes the child frustrated. Or you're yelling because you feel out of control in the situation and you're trying to put your foot down and show that you have all of the power. It's the tone of your voice that catches their attention, not the yelling. The louder you are does not mean you are getting your point across. I can be very quiet and have a firm tone when talking to Jordan or even my husband. It draws them in, causing them to focus, like "oh crap, mom is serious," or "dad does not sound happy."
When negative behavior strikes, strike back with a positive. I simply ask Jordan what could she have done differently in a situation. What behavior is accepted and what behavior is disrespectful and not tolerated. It gets her to think. It gets her to brain storm and problem solve, because sometimes quite frankly she may not have known a better way to respond, or to express herself. It causes her to also prepare for the next time she faces a similar situation. I have literally seen Jordan getting ready to do something she shouldn't, say "my bad," and then correct herself.
You have to set boundaries and stick to them. Do not be lenient in these situations. Ever! If they see some inches to take advantage of, they'll take a foot. Oh, they'll be watching too! Children do not miss anything. It causes us to hold ourselves accountable just as we hold our children accountable.
Manners are used in every sentence. I was raised that way and my husband was too. It's a respect thing. Also while communicating you are to provide eye contact. Again a respect thing.
Now everything I have mentioned sounds all great and dandy. It's not! It requires a lot of patience. It's a lot of work! It's a lot of work for them and it's a lot of work for us. Jordan will respond "yeah," or look at something behind you rather than in your eyes. She'll change the subject and redirect the conversation herself. She'll go for the mile when she sees us lacking in certain areas.
Sometimes it doesn't always click to her. So a five minute conversation turns into thirty minutes. It is so easy to just call it quits and leave that inch. And it's so easy to do when the daily rush starts to get to you. When the exhaustion starts to get to you, it's easy to start slacking, but that's the thing about positive parenting. It takes patience and consistency. It takes time and self-control. It can be down right exhausting and draining to your physical and emotional well-being.
But let me tell you, it's so worth it. I have found that with positive parenting, my child is able to express herself better. She isn't afraid to express her emotions and how she's feeling or what she's thinking. It gets her to understand why there are boundaries and rules. It helps me personally control my emotions and not punish out of anger.
Sometimes we do have to resort to a timeout for her and for ourselves. I've had to walk away a few times while parenting, recollect my thoughts and then go back and try the parenting thing. I'll be honest. I literally had to quit parenting for five minutes or so because I was so angry, or so exhausted and feeling completely helpless. Jordan has even had to walk away and just sit on her bed before she was ready to talk.
Like I said, positive parenting takes patience. It takes time and a lot of it. I read a blog post from HuffPost and I'll link it here. It was really just explaining how exhausting positive parenting can be.
Not everything you read will work for your personal parenting style. Parenting is personal but it doesn't hurt to share our personal parenting experiences because it may spark something for another parent.