Although we all have our share of bad parenting moments where we wish we could hit REPLAY and take back our angry actions or words – most of the time…we are doing a fantastic job with our kids (even if we don’t realize it!).
You’re not going to find us harshly berating our children at the grocery store for having a public meltdown.
You won’t find us shaming our kids online in front of millions.
You won’t ever see us warning our children endlessly that they better behave or they’re going to get a spanking.
Who are we? We are positive parents – and we are strong, insightful, and just plain awesome! Today is my ode to you – my fellow parents and friends.
The irony with positive parents is that even though we often give our kids the benefit of the doubt and lots of chances to improve their behaviour, we often don’t give ourselves enough credit for doing a good job.
Because we are highly concerned with how we raise our kids, and we often have high expectations for behaviour, we also have high expectations for ourselves too. But none of us are the perfect parent.
And that’s okay – we don’t have to be to raise amazing kids. But as far as I’m concerned, just the fact that we’re trying to raise our kids in a positive way, makes us effective and fabulous!
Reasons Why Positive Parents are Awesome!
1. We are peacekeepers with self-control.
We usually control our tempers (or at least we TRY to…most of the time…!).
We rarely yell harshly at our kids. And we don’t hit them, or hurt them intentionally…ever.
We highly value the respectful CONNECTION we have with our children and recognize that when that connection is impaired, our kids are hurting, and parenting gets a LOT tougher.
We also understand that our kids are always doing the very best they can with the skills and knowledge that they have at the time.
That’s why we don’t label their annoying or challenging behaviours as “misbehaviour.” They are just misguided attempts to get needs met, and deserve our empathy and support – not our anger (or at least that’s what we try to remind ourselves constantly!).
This is why we strive to…
- Model the kinds of behaviours we want our kids to display when they are angry or upset
- Treat our kids how we would want to be treated
- Time ourselves out when we are getting too upset to remain clear-headed
- Apologize to our kids when we mess up or have difficulty regulating ourselves
It’s definitely not easy for us to try to do all these things…and we deserve kudos…and applause…and maybe even cookies!
2. We are highly insightful.
Because we consciously choose how to parent, we can avoid blindly repeating dysfunctional family patterns we grew up with, or following along with what most other parents are doing.
We question the benefits of common parenting practices like time-outs, and sticker reward charts because we know that research shows they are ineffective and can backfire to make problems worse.
We also know that trying to control our kids, instead of guiding them, impairs our connection with them – and can negatively affect our kids’ self-esteem and emotional health in their adulthoods.
We continually strive to parent SMARTER…not harder – by listening to, and sharing strategies and stories with other positive parenting minded folks.
It’s not always easy to be a positive parent.
Choosing to go against the tide of the “time-out happy” multitudes often puts us in disagreements with friends and family members who try to give us helpful advice, and can be a lonely journey.
Way to keep trekking my friend!
3. We are creative teachers.
We set limits for our kids and expect follow-through, all without the use of punishment. Sometimes that can be really tricky! And require some creative lesson teaching.
We understand that punishing our kids for “misbehaviours” doesn’t help our kids learn how to cope or get their needs met in a healthy way. So, instead, we focus on finding positive and proactive strategies to help our kids navigate childhood.
When our kids struggle to meet expectations, or develop unhealthy or annoying behaviours, we problem-solve with them, try to figure out what they need, and teach them healthy ways to get those needs met.
I think that makes us pretty great! and SMART!
4. We are emotionally intelligent.
We recognize that although we have high ideals, we are human and we make mistakes with our kids, and that’s okay.
We know that we don’t need to be perfect parents for our kids to turn out to be amazing people.
We also don’t expect our children to be perfect. We empathize with their struggles, instead of diminishing their feelings, blaming, shaming, or lecturing them.
We know that when we really listen to our kids, they can teach US a lot about how to live life too.
We know that the things we struggle with the most with our kids, tell us more about ourselves and challenges that we need to overcome – and we use that knowledge to become better people.
5. We have awesome kids!
Our kids are fun to be around – that’s why we spend so much time with them.
They are growing up to be honest, polite, empathetic, responsible, confident, kind, emotionally healthy, and mature people (Now, I didn’t say they were there just yet..but give them time!).
And even though we may be exhausted at the end of the day from all the time and energy we give to our kids, we can go to sleep knowing that we are doing a hugely important job – incredibly well!
We know that our kids will be the positive leaders of tomorrow.
And that makes our efforts (and our exhaustion), our time (and our sacrifices)…all worth it!
You did something truly AWESOME today…
you were a positive parent!
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I love hearing your thoughts and ideas! Leave a comment below and tell me what you did today to be a better parent – or just tell me how awesome your kids are!