Positive Parenting Tips - Rule With Love, Not Laws
Staying positive as a parent can sometimes be difficult. But, studies show children respond better to positive parenting than any other form. There can still be rules in a Positive Parented house but the rules come from a place of love and not control.
Here are our top tips on Positive Parenting:
Reward good behaviour
Notice their efforts. Say things like ‘thank you for tidying away your toys’ or ‘You did a great job on your homework’. Get in the habit of telling them ‘what they are doing right’ and they will do it more. When we criticise, they feel disheartened and may feel our expectations are unrealistic.
When you notice you are beginning to feel angry take a breath and try and gather yourself for a second. Take action for yourself, not against your little one. Move away if you are going to ‘lose it’ and breathe deeply until you calm down.
Be Consistent, Follow Through
If you have made an agreement with your little one that they have some screen time after they have done some chores or some exercise. Stick to your agreement and if they don’t follow through on their end of the agreement than you should never either. No matter how many tears or tantrums there are. Your child will learn to respect you more if you mean what you say.
Help them manage their feelings
Identify how they feel and help them with their feelings. Try to identify how they feel by naming their feeling ‘I’m guessing you’re feeling angry..’ and allow them to get their feelings out; so it takes the ‘heat’ out of it and they don’t have to show it through their behaviour. Help them with their feelings ‘What could you do instead of what you did?’. Listen to the child with warmth and understanding.
Say “I” not “You”
Avoid ‘You’ statements as they are heard as criticism; for instance ‘You never’ ‘You always’ makes them feel blamed and is counterproductive. Instead, tell them how you feel and what you need. ‘I feel upset you came home late, I need you home for dinner on time because its important to me that we eat together.’ State your expectations in an ‘I’ message (“I expect”) and you may get a better response.
Treat your child with respect
Children learn from the behaviour they see, and parents are their biggest influence. If we don’t show our children respect and respect their boundaries how can we expect them to treat us with respect? Same goes for all the other relationships in our lives. Children watch and learn from their parent's relationships.
Families can’t survive on rules alone. Do activities together and have fun with it. Whether it is a game of football in the local park or a dance around the living room to the ‘Trolls’ soundtrack (A personal favourite in our house) Bond with your family. Rule with love, not laws, settle for less and be flexible. The more time you spend together and positive attention you give, the less they will demand and the better relationships will be at home.
Written by Laura Doyle staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com.