Firstly, what is ‘positive parenting’? As a mum or dad, you have probably heard this term thrown around. But what does it actually mean? Whether you have one child or three, parenting is never easy. Every day throws up a new set of challenges that makes us feel as though there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. No matter if you have a toddler or a teenager, parenting will sometimes feel like a marathon. And that’s where the method of positive parenting and learning how to be a positive parent comes in.
Now positive parenting isn’t a method that won’t allow for discipline to misbehaviour. Positive parenting will help you to develop a stronger relationship with your child by empowering them through setting realistic standards. Showing your child that you care about their opinions and that you listen to them, your child can learn how to adapt to different situations successfully. Based on the work of acclaimed psychologist Alfred Adler, positive parenting is used by millions of parents around the world.
So how can you be a positive parent? Here are five simple ways!
1. Spend quality time with your children every day
This might seem obvious, but by spending time with your children every day you will be able to build a strong relationship. No matter how long you spend with them – whether it’s 15 minutes or more, this quality time will show you what they are interested in, what they are thinking about, what they care about, etc. Turn off the TV and put your phone on silent and take them to the park or go on a walk with them. You could even just simply play a game with them (if they are young enough to still want to do that, of course). If you work full time this might seem challenging. But when you come back from work, spend some time with your children, asking about their day and how they are doing at school.
2. Teach them to help around the house
By encouraging everyone in the house to pitch in, it will teach your child how to be responsible, teach them valuable life skills and it can bring the family together. Children need to know that they can’t rely on you to always clear up after them – they need to help too. Now, when it comes time to implement a routine, you shouldn’t do it in a way that makes them feel as though it’s not a chore. You will need to do it in a way that shows that everyone in the family is equal – you could do this by changing up the cleaning routine, by introducing rewards, etc.
3. Create a Daily routine
Children tend to flourish when they stick to a routine, so it’s a good idea to create a clearly defined one for them to follow each day. But this shouldn’t be done in a controlling and forceful way. Work with your children to create a routine that they will want to stick to. For example, they can decide whether they want to brush their teeth or if they get dressed first. By laying out a routine, challenging times of the day (i.e. dinner time) will gradually become easier. If you have a younger child, this routine can be created using a sticker chart which they can decorate themselves.
4. Find out the source of misbehaviour
Often when your child is misbehaving, it’s a sign of a deeper issue. In order to fix the issue, take a moment to think about what might be causing it. For example, your child might be throwing a tantrum because you have given him water in a different cup than what he wanted. Although you might initially think this is silly, it’s really an issue that’s stemmed from him not being able to choose the cup that he really wanted. By taking the time to discover what is causing the issue, you will be able to find the right method to solve it.
Stop comparing your parenting to others
As a mum or dad, it’s easy to compare your parenting skills to others. But this isn’t helping you or your children. Take a step back and applaud yourself. Parenting is hard and it’s a learning curve. Lay off the pressure and try to realise that there is no such thing as the perfect parent. You’re doing the best that you can and as long as your children know how much they mean to you, you are on the path to success. By being confident about your parenting abilities, your children will feel supported and they will know that you are doing the best job possible.
Positive parenting is something that we truly believe in here on KiddyCharts. We have a few other ideas for you to help your kids. From printables to just some good old fashioned advice:
- Printable Worry Tree to help kids who suffer from Anxiety a little bit,
- Printable bookmarks for kids, that are designed to show how important friendship is in helping them talk and face their worries,
- Advice on creating a positive bedtime routine for your kids, which can also help them to talk to you when they need to, and
- Just a great big long list of things that you can do to help make memories with your kids.
Of course, there are other approaches to how to be a positive parent too:
- Imperfect families has a lovely book list for positive parenting,
- Racheous has an excellent post on the idea that misbehaviour always has a reason and we need to look for the source. It is often a signal for something else, and
- Parenting Chaos talks about the 5 principles of positive parenting. Go take a look and all worth remembering as we raise our kids:
- Proactive parenting,
- Empathetic leadership, and
- Positive discipline.
We hope you like this article on how to be a positive parent. And if you do – come back for more!
See you soon.