Parents consistently say “that worked!”
Positive Parenting is about being kind, being fair and not getting cross. Children feel threatened when we shout or ‘lose it’ with them, so the more you stay calm, the calmer they will be. Our job is about teaching, we need to guide and gently influence them rather than punish them.
1. Be Positive; not Negative
Notice what they have done right; and they will do a lot more right. Get into the habit of ‘accentuating the positive’; and you will eliminate the negative. Even notice the improvement, and try to see the effort; however small. Oh; and with teens; close the bedroom if untidy; it is their space!
2. Step Back or you Step into conflict
Move from being reactive to being proactive. Do not personalise their (or anybody’s behaviour); it is about them, not about you, so why let it wreck your day? One Step Back gives you a moment and you Always respond better! This does not mean you don’t deal with stuff; say ‘Deal with it later’ when I am calm and the child or teen is calmer.
3. Stop – Take a few deep breaths to self-calm
Why? Because, simply the calmer you are; the calmer everyone else is. You set the tone. What tone do you set? ‘BE QUIET!!!’ roared by you simply gives them permission to do the say when they get frustrated. Every time you are going from zero to ten, take time to take three deep abdominal breaths, and it literally takes the heat out of the moment. Plus, you’ll be a great role model and they will copy your behaviour – mine do!
4. Use Choices, not Consequences
Learn from my mistakes; consequences over time stop working and become punitive and children learn nothing from constant threats. Offer Choices as much as you can.
- ‘Would you like the red one or the blue one?’
- ‘Would you like one cookie or two?’
- ‘You can have this one or this one; which do you choose?’
- ’If you choose to put toys in the box before dinner; you’re choosing to watch TV after dinner; if you choose not to put toys away; you are choosing to skip TV for today’. Later on you may have to say (with compassion) ‘I know you wish you had chosen to put toys away; but tomorrow you can choose to put them away in time; I see you are disappointed hon’
- ‘If you choose to keep Play do on the tray; you are choosing to play with Play do today; if you choose to not use the tray; you’re choosing not to play with Play do today. You decide’
Happy Parenting, for more watch some of my videos on the site.
This article was written by Sheila O’Malley, Practical Parenting, web: www.practicalparenting.ie
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