It’s fair to say we all want to do the best for our children, but sometimes you find yourself in that situation with your kids that’s breaking new ground and you have no reference point. You feel unsure how to respond. Other times you’ve been in the situation often, but wish you could find a better way to handle it. In this article I’m going to share seven positive parenting techniques that work to help you maintain your cool and keep your focus on positive parenting.
Approaching situations in a positive way with the right frame of mind is so powerful to achieving the positive outcomes we desire. Before we go into these successful tactics, let’s define the word “tactics”. Tactics simply means to “apply a strategy that achieves a certain objective”. An objective might be that you want your 5 year old to stop their temper tantrum and behave calmly. Another objective is to build a relationship with your children that is open and honest. Other parenting objectives might include overcoming low self-confidence or having them take pride and give their best in their school work. As parents, our jobs seem to be ever changing as our child grows and faces new challenges. These positive parenting techniques should help.
Positive Parenting Techniques To Help You Meet Parenting Challenges
1. Take 10 – Take a few minutes to yourself if you feel the tension is too high. Go take some deep breaths and get some perspective on the situation. A few minutes may be what each of you needs to reset and calm down.
Sometimes kids get their knickers in a twist. It might be over homework, it might be something that happened at school , or it might be that they’re having adolescent mood swings. Rather than get sucked in, the best things to do is say, “Sorry, I can’t talk to you when you speak to me like that” and leave the room. You’ll find it’s a lot easier for you to leave the room than to get them to go to their room. If you leave there’s no tantrum. You’ve told them you don’t like their behavior and now they have the space to think about their behavior and come back into balance.
What’s great is that if they have ticked you off, you get time-out to think about your next move. Doing this has saved me from boiling over more than once! Try it and see how you get on. Staying calm will help you make better parenting choices and think about how to address the root of the problem.
2. Lead Them –This is my favorite. I’m not a fan of dishing out discipline and the best way to avoid it is to involve the children (if its age appropriate to do so) in the discussions about what’s expected from them. If they have input into a solution or idea, they are much more likely to comply with what’s needed because they were part of the decision process.
Here, you are leading them to choose what is right so they can exert their own personal power. Having conversations where they see the what the objective is and they get to help decide how things can get done and what they will be responsible for will help them learn to problem solve and develop a sense of responsibility. This is much better than having them misbehave and you then having to exert your force to get them to comply to a set of rules they didn’t even know existed.
3. Be Direct And Concise– When you have to correct your kids or give directions, keep it short and simple. Try to say what you need to say in 30 seconds or less, because if you start to lecture their little eyes will glaze over and they will switch off.
To do this effectively you can’t dwell on what went wrong. Just cut straight to what you expect or need to happen in the future. Here’s an example, “When we are driving in the car, I need to be able to focus on the road and driving safely. I expect you to try to get along with your sister and behave so that I don’t get distracted. Is that clear?” If you start talking about the teasing or the pinching the message of what you expect will get lost.
4. Be Aware – You have to pause and think about your children from time to time. Take a few minutes weekly to just stop and think “What do they need right now?”
If you think stop about the cause of their poor behavior, you might see it is a need for more direct attention from you. Or maybe it is a sign that they need more sleep each night. Or maybe they are just hungry. See if you can put your finger on what is causing their poor behavior and talk them about it to see if they can become self-aware and learn to express their needs.
On the other hand, what behaviors are they doing really well with that might need some encouragement or recognition? If they seem to be reading more often, maybe they need more books and to be notice for their efforts. Do they need some inspiration or materials for drawing? This is one of the positive parenting techniques I use when I am thinking about my children’s birthday or Christmas presents. I notice an area of life where they are showing interest or promise and I select something that will help them develop even more.
5. Don’t Judge – This is a tough one for many parents. We want to leap in and advise. We want to correct them and show them the “right way” when we feel they are wrong. However, whenever we do this, we risk alienating our children and we make it harder for them to learn things for themselves. It is a good idea to let them explore and figure things out on their own when possible. While, that doesn’t work in dangerous situations, it is best most of the time because we learn from failure. We learn to be resilient. We learn to try new techniques and we build new skills. We learn why things don’t work. As Thomas Edison said about the invention of the lightbulb, “I haven’t failed — I’ve just found 10,000 that won’t work.”
The best method is to draw out of your kids all the information on whatever they tell you. Instead of correcting them immediately and telling them “the better way”, ask them why they did something. Ask them how they felt about it. Ask them if they think they would ever do it again. If you feel they are wrong, ask them if you can say what’s on your mind. If you have their permission to speak about what they said, they are more likely to listen.
6. Don’t Let It Build – When you notice your child doing something that bothers you, deal with it early. Don’t wait and then be explosive. Deal with things early and quickly while your frustration and anger can be easily controlled.
I once saw a boy continually pushing his sister over and the mother kept saying “Stop it…Stop it… Stop it…” Until eventually she shot out of her chair and smacked him. Had she got up the first time the child pushed his sister and moved him away from the sister, the mother wouldn’t have gotten so angry, the sister wouldn’t have been pushed repeatedly, and the boy would have learned his behavior was unacceptable immediately.
7. Share One-On-One Time – Build a routine with your children. Put some special time aside for you and them each week to do something nurturing together. Listen, talk, share stories and life together. It doesn’t have to be for hours, it can just be 15-30 minutes, but it will bring you closer together. It can be during snack time when they come home, a trip out to grab a slushie together, or a date to play cards together. Just something fun to you to enjoy together and be able to share experiences or concerns in a safe place that is all about them.
I hope you enjoy these seven positive parenting techniques that will help you keep build a solid foundation and respond appropriately when you hit any rough patches. Parenting is a challenge on occasion but buckle up and you’ll get through it with flying colors because it is one of the most special relationships you can have. Being a parent is truly a gift for which we should remember to always be thankful. What are some positive parenting techniques that you find helpful?