The Best Positive Parenting Lessons I’ve Learned
I have always been fascinated with how parenting style can impact children and the adults they become. Since becoming a parent I am very conscious of how the way we parent is shaping our children for the rest of their lives. In fact, shaping the next generations for years to come. Studies show children learn all they need to know about relationships and parenting from how they were raised and the home they were raised in.
As the saying goes, "there’s no manual for parenting". And even with such in-depth information at our fingertips, with the internet and books etc, we’re still human beings who experience pushed buttons and triggered feelings.
The following lessons are ones I keep learning more from and continue working on, but they’re making me a happier, more effective mum and person.
I’ve learned that as a parent, I can’t throw temper tantrums when I’m feeling stressed about work or life. Parenting isn’t about what our child does, but about how we respond. When we don’t regulate our emotional reactions as parents, we have children that don’t know how to regulate theirs. We have to model patience, and the careful choice of our words, tone, volume, and behaviours so our kids can learn to do the same.
Children need to understand why they do the things they do and how their actions impact them and the world around them. A great way to teach them this is to ask our kids what’s important to them, their thoughts about movies and news stories, and what they’re grateful for. It is also important to support children’s passions and talking to them about the importance of pursuing goals.
Growing your little one’s gratitude diminishes materialism, promotes kindness, and boosts happiness and positivity. Focus children on why good things happen to them and on the people responsible. Modelling and encouraging saying “thank you” to those who provide a service or kindness, and practising daily gratitude rituals helps to grow their gratitude.
Be Kind, Always
The more children are kind to other people, the more they’ll learn about what it means to be generous, and they’ll also see how others appreciate their kindness. Parents can demonstrate kindness by doing something nice for family, friends, or neighbours. We can also engage kids in assisting around the house, helping a friend, or doing volunteer work.
When a problem arises, we can show our kids we see beyond it. When they encounter a challenge, we can remind them of the ways we’ve seen them work through problems in the past. We can teach them that challenges and mistakes are part of life and we use what we learn to create a positive future.
Parent Through Love
Love and connection are at the centre of all things that really matter. We can’t tell our little ones “I love you” too many times or give too many hugs. Playing and laughing together IS precious. Endless studies show parental affection can influence kids’ outlook on life.
Celebrate success and failure
In life, we often measure success by outcomes like money, degrees, and titles. Studies show children praised only for great finished products, believe they’re admired and loved for winning but disliked and rejected for losing. Celebrate all the little steps that happen in between big challenges and big successes. Studies also show when children are raised this way and encounter failure, rather than break down over it or avoid it to feel positive, they’ll confront it, look to see what they did wrong specifically and try to improve on it.
Mums and dads, this goes for us too, let’s celebrate our learning and little wins on this parenting journey!
Written by Laura Doyle staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.lovelifeandlittleones.com.