This morning when I dropped my daughter off at school we talked about positive thinking and how it can have a huge impact on our lives. As we discussed the different times that negative thinking has controlled a situation and realized the role positivity has played in things ending up in our favor, I realized the important role it plays in our parenting as well.
The Power of Parenting with a Positive Attitude
Being a positive person doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to roll out of bed with a huge smile on your face like a phony mattress commercial.
Taking on a positive outlook also doesn’t mean you have to be cheery to everyone you meet or be the pushover that is expected to do everything for everyone with a smile on your face.
Children respond best to positive things and we can change little things to make a big impact. Just changing the way we speak to our kids can make a huge difference in the way they respond as well as their overall behavior.
Add please to a command rather than telling your kids to do it now!
Punishments are meant to teach a lesson, not start a fight. It makes sense that kids would want to fight back when they feel attacked, even by their parents. It is a natural reaction to be combative when someone starts a confrontation with you and it is also a natural reaction to return niceties to someone who approaches you with them.
Instead of yelling at our kids when it is time to leave the park with the famous phrase no doubt coined by a mom, let’s go now, set an exit plan before even getting to the park. When you make plans like this the only way they are going to continue to work is that you make sure you follow through each time.
When the time comes that is set to leave, everyone has to do their part or there are consequences which should be a known punishment that does not have any wiggle room.
A couple of tried and true punishments are Taking a computer away for 2 days or no television for the weekend.
Some parents find that adding a chore instead of taking something away is equally as effective and sometimes more beneficial.
Chores are another place where as a parent we tend to overreact in a negative way when it really isn’t necessary. If your kids fail to do what is expected of them instead of yelling and screaming about the problem, immediately address it. Whatever the punishment is for that offense needs to be implemented and stuck to.
Backing away from a punishment only tells your kids that there is wiggle room, so they are going to constantly try to wiggle their way out of the punishment.
Everything I have addressed in this post is easier said than done, I know, trust me I have a very headstrong daughter.
In fact, when she was in preschool her teacher came up to me after class and told me about what had happened at snack time.
They passed out pretzels to every kid in class and when they got to my daughter she refused them. Apparently, she told her teacher on the first day of school ” I don’t want your pretzels, I have my own imaginary pretzels”.
So you can see what I am dealing with here.
When you have a strong willed child, things may take some time to work in your favor and you will have to be alright with the idea of making mistakes along the way. Everything we do for the first time comes with a trial and error basis, that is how we grow. We learn from mistakes, my father in law used to say that “the only people that don’t make mistakes, don’t do anything.”
That is a great quote to remember when you are constantly measuring yourself up to other parents.
If you are putting your children first, then you are doing the right thing, no matter how many times you are told by “society” that you are doing the wrong one.
I think most moms can relate and we try our hardest for our kids which can get us down sometimes. In those times it is hard to remember to be positive but we need to remember the impact that negativity can have on our kids. So now one last quote for the road, it is from the late great Maya Angelou,
“When you know better, you do better”.
Don’t forget to share on your favorite social network and leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts on parenting with a positive attitude!