To most of us, parenting feels like a rollercoaster of emotions. One moment it is calm and you are feeling this overwhelming joy just looking at your child, the next moment everything goes over the roof with the child misbehaving and you yelling at the top of your voice. Then comes the questions of where you are going wrong, what can you do to make the child behave, and then the terrifying fear of whether your child will turn out to be a well-rounded individual.
This probably sounds familiar to most parents. However, have you tried positive parenting?
Positive parenting tells parents that parenting goes beyond just getting children to behave. It is about raising healthy, confident, self-reliant, empathetic, kind, and responsible individuals. It involves treating children with respect, encouraging them as well as teaching them instead of punishing them.
If you are in the above-described category, here are positive parenting solutions that you can implement to turn around your parenting experience.
Find the reason behind misbehaving
When a child misbehaves, the natural reaction for a parent is to punish the child. It might interest you to know that there is always a deeper cause for misbehavior than you see on the surface. What punishing will achieve is getting the current misbehavior to stop. However, this behavior will be serialized if you don’t get to the root cause of it all.
For instance, a child refusing to eat breakfast on a red plate or refusing to wear a blue dress to school could be interpreted as normal children's tantrums. However, it could be that the child is anxious about going to school. Since he or she can’t express himself or herself, or if he or she is older, she might fear to say it to you for what might follow, they result in misbehaving. Instead of punishing, take up the challenge of determining the root cause and address it.
Teach them responsibility
You might treat them like children, but they need you to see them as capable individuals who can make valuable contributions to the family.
However, the same children value their play and fun times. That is why they resist helping out around the home most of the time. If you are to raise responsible kids who value hard work, it is your duty to devise clever ways to do so.
Rather than ordering them around, incorporate fun in the chores, and encourage them to participate. Hold a family meeting and let them contribute to what chores they can handle themselves. Don’t expect them to be perfect, so you need to practice patience. Let them make mistakes and learn from them. For instance, let them help you put together ready to assemble cabinets for the kitchen. It’s a good skill to know for later in life, and it will make them feel useful!
In addition, find fun activities that instill a sense of responsibility and do them together regularly. For instance, you can start growing a vegetable garden in the backyard. If you don’t have enough space outdoors, you can grow indoors. Nurturing plants not only instills responsibility, but it gives a sense of purpose.
While you can yell, punish or threaten your kids to behave well, the truth is that you can’t always be able to control your children. However, you can be able to control your reactions to what they do. As said earlier, there is always a reason for every behavior. In addition, your children have their own free will and they will always want to exercise it. When you understand this, you will be in a better position to control your responses to them.
The next time a child misbehaves, view him or her as a person who is not yet equipped with the right skills to behave better in such a situation and then teach him or her the loops.
Set consistent routines
Children thrive through consistency. When you create a consistent routine for them, you are setting them up for success. Create routines and set some ground rules. Ensure that the routine is followed through including the weekends. Of course, children will forget most of the time. Be firm on it, but at the same time kind and gentle. Refrain from shaming, belittling, or inflicting pain when reminding them of the rules.
Offer positive attention
Most parents tend to focus on bad behavior and miss out on good behavior. If you are quick to point out mistakes, it can lead to your children misbehaving more. Kids love attention, and if negative attention is what you give them, they will do what it takes to get it. Besides, negative attention is better than none. If you want a turnaround, seek to give positive attention. You don’t have to reward it, just a mention that you noticed goes a long way.
Practicing positive parenting doesn’t always mean that you will be calm and collected when handling your children. There are days life circumstances will get you worked up that you will forget mindful parenting. Remember you are only human. Setbacks will be there, but the secret is to rise up and keep trying.