Discipline Children without Tears
Learning to be Self Disciplined
An Awesome Parent, an Awesome Child.
Parenting is an awesome responsibility. Remembering that awe is defined as: 'an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration or fear produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful' . in that sense, if anyone really had any idea how awesome (arousing fear) being a parent is, it may not be entered into as readily as it is. Most of us would recognize we are ill-equipped to be a parent. Yet, we do have children and we muddle through and luckily for our offspring, they survive all of our mistakes and misdirections.
When someone asks me about parenting, I continue to say...'it is awesome!!' and in so doing I am incorporating all of the innuendos that the word 'awe' suggests. There is nothing like being a parent or grandparent but it requires and asks much of the parents.
What qualifies me to espouse 'parenting tips' is that I Mothered my 8 nieces and nephews, have been a Mother to my own child, was a Parenting Specialist for a school system for three years during which time I walked in the moccasins of many parents from all walks of life. This taught me humility and gave me insight where I had none before about some topics.
In addition, I Mothered to an extent many many students over the years as a teacher of forty years. Receiving positive parenting advice gives us more ideas to consider and try.
We can all be awesome parents and use positive parenting effectively. Don't take yourself too seriously even though it is serious...be willing to laugh and lighten the tone when needed.
Parents who are afraid to put their foot down usually have children who step on their toes.— Chinese Proverb
Open the Channels of Communication
Early on in your child's life, establish communication that lets your children know that you will be there and listen to whatever they have to tell you (without freaking out). If you can have that openness with your children even when some life shattering moment comes, your children will come to you. That does not mean that there won't be consequences or that you will not show displeasure but it does mean, you are a safe haven and will listen and counsel.
Without this openness, it is difficult to have truly effective positive parenting. It is important that the first time that your child comes to you and tells you something they have done that makes you want to scream and run out of the room that you do not react in a way that will signal to your child to stop talking.
If you start ranting and raving rather than listening, your child will no longer believe that they can trust that you will listen and not over-react. You do not want to be your child's best friend. But, you do want to be the person that is ready to listen and counsel. Again that does not mean you accept what has been shared with it and give it a nod of approval. It means you will listen and be ready to give a rational response. Sometimes we are so upset by what we hear that we do not have time to think it through and come up with a response that is appropriate.
You May Not Agree with Everything She Says...But Much of What She Says Works
Be consistent. If you say something is to be done a certain way or that something is not allowed, then it should be ever thus! It is confusing to a child including teens for them to have a set of 'rules' that are flexible. If putting dishes in the sink or dishwasher is a nightly routine, then there should be no discussion on the topic. If doing homework before playing is the routine, then it is the routine.
Children like routine; they like for things to be predictable. That is not to say that once in a great while that routine cannot vary. It is most effective though if an established pattern is the general way of things in the home; it avoids uncertainty and confusion.
Being consistent is one 'law' you will be glad you follow.
Likewise, 'say what you mean, and mean what you say'. If you say, "If you do you chores without being reminded each day this week, we will go to the park on Saturday', then follow through. Making promises of things to come without following through is disappointing and leads to a break down in positive parenting.
I try not to use 'always' and 'never' too often but in this case it needs to be used. NEVER ever promise something, positive or negative that you know you will be unable to do. Now, sometimes emergencies occur and whatever was promised needs to be delayed but that should only happen in rare cases.
Choose Your Battles
Probably one of the most important things you can do is this one: pick your battles.
Decide what you absolutely will not tolerate, ever, under any circumstances.
Then let other less trivial issues become just that ~~~trivial.
You do not have to be right every time. You do not need to win every time.
And when you are wrong, admit it.
Think before you speak and act.
And remember you are human...and so are your precious children.
This law is one that some consider controversial. And, I respect anyone's right to disagree. I did not do this when my child was a toddler but I do so wish I had. I learned later, much later, how much it would have improved things around our home.
If you have a toddler, invest in baby gates. This sounds like a no brainer. More than one is a great idea. You are not walling baby out of where you are; you are walling baby in to where you are and away from danger.
If you have a family room or living room or other area that is the center of activity in your home, make a corner in it just for your baby. Put up, out of reach, fragile objects and knick knacks that would be ever so interesting to Baby. This is where the controversy comes in to play. Some say, "Oh, no. I want my baby to learn not to touch things that are not meant to be played with." That is fine. You will find you are saying, 'no, no' more often than you wish. If you rearrange and put some things out of reach, then the area you are in is 'kid friendly' and makes for a much happier atmosphere for all.
Think like a child. Expect the unexpected. Children are not little adults. They are learning what their limits are, what you consider safe for them, but they are naturally curious and will do exactly what you least expect. If you keep this in the forefront of your mind, you will be one step ahead and avoid tantrums and even possible injury.
Be a child once n a while. Think about how what you say to your child would make you feel if it were being said to you. If the answer is 'horrid' then perhaps you are engaging in Negative Parenting rather than Positive.
You can be firm and discipline well without making your child feel horrible after you are finished chastising. Recognize the infraction, address it, express your displeasure, and administer the consequences. Do not do like I did at least a few times (or more)...do not save up all of the 'infractions' they have done, and, then when a new one occurs, dredge up all of the infractions from the time your children were old enough to be disciplined!
A Few Laws
Laws of parenting (for the parent)
- be consistent
- be fair
- be firm
- 'say what you mean, mean what you say'
- consider reorganizing your home to make it kid friendly
- think like a child
- 'be a child' (some days) so you can remember what it feels like
- know that your children are watching what you do
- when it is necessary to punish, do so immediately, tell the child why the punishment is occurring, and show your displeasure without making your child feel like the pits!
- choose your battles carefully
If I had my child to raise all over again, I'd build self esteem first and the house later.
I'd finger paint more, and finger point less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and (would) seriously play.I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.— Diane Loomis
Single Positive Parent
Everything that is said here is for any parent. I was a single parent and so decision making about all issues was up to me. If you are a single parent, you are in the same situation. It was challenging at times but I listened to others and listened to how they approached different issues with their children, I read a lot, and finally used what worked for my life and the lives of those I was parenting.
Ideas and suggestions on this topic
Decide what is important
Choose your battles. Some things are worth holding your ground for...and this may sound contradictory. Let me back up a bit. Above I stated....if you say something, follow through on it. So in order to not back yourself in a corner, do not have so many 'rules' or 'must be dones' that the children have no out..
A good example is the whole 'keeping the room clean' thing. Unless it is necessary to go in with a bulldozer, close the door if the room is a mess. If things are crawling out under the door, then it is time to clean. Establish what you will and will not allow...a biggie is no dishes or food trashes left in the room to some. If that is a biggie to you, then address it.
Dr. Wayne Dyer who has written extensively on parenting issues suggests that many arguments can be avoided by closing bedroom doors. He makes a statement that encompasses so many areas of positive parenting.
"Conflict cannot survive without your participation.'
If you are looking for conflict, you probably always will find it. The opposite is also true. Again....choose your battles carefully.
As was stated at the onset, this is an awesome task...parenting in general, positive parenting specifically. It can be done and all will be better for it.
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