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We all know that the quality of the relationship between a parent and child is important. In order to have a positive relationship, we need to be as positive as we can. We strive to be the best parent to our children and being positive also allows us to be more
– sensitive to our child’s needs
– responsive to our child’s feelings
– be consistent with our discipline with our child.
Being a parent also face several challenges such as a child’s behaviour, picky eating, bedtime issues and more. So, how can we stay positive all the time when there are so many challenges along the way? One way is Positive Discipline. You may learn more about what positive discipline at Understanding Positive Discipline and its importance.
With a better understanding of what positive discipline is about and its importance, we shall dive deeper into the tools to use for positive discipline. I love my 3 Rs and 2 Cs system which I have been using and get me from good to great.
Many times we got frustrated and embarrassed wondering why our child is not showing respect to us or not respecting our rules and words. A child is born without knowing what is respect unless we teach and show them. We will need to be more intentional while parenting our child. Show them what is respect and allow them to develop a sense of capability and build feelings of trust and wellbeing.
One of the ways to show them respect is to be an active listener and not responding too quickly to what your child says. No, I don’t mean you take a long time to respond to their query or request. What I mean is cutting them short of the question or replying immediately just to get it over and done with. The child will learn that and the next moment they will respond the same way as you did. Remember that!
Respect starts from HOME and to gain your child’s respect doesn’t mean that you need to be a harsh parent. The next R, we will talk about how to respond.
Respond with interest
I’ve talked to many children and most of them will tell me that they have generation age-gap with their parents. Their parents are always talking right above them. Trust me, I was there. I used to talk above my children and they didn’t show me the respect that I was expecting and they always responded to me just to get it over and done with.
I used to snap at them for asking me questions or just brushed them off with a quick answer. Our house became a war zone with everyone feeling frustrated and impatient with each other. This wasn’t right and I wanted to make it right.
I started to take the active role of listening to my children. Showing them my interest. Then I respond to them by keeping my communication open with encouragement. How do I do that?
Child: I don’t know how to do this Math question?
Parent: You have done this so many times and you still don’t know?
Parent: Which part of the question that you find is difficult? What is the problem asking you to solve?
Keep calm and respond appropriately.
Recognise and regulate
Many times we lost our cool due to the accumulation of too many emotions and pressure in us. The amount of work that we need to do, family to take care of, housework to work on, etc. As the pressure adds on, without releasing, it can be a disaster to our relationship with our children.
Take time out to regulate your feelings and take care of your own needs. If you are always snapping at them or about to snap at them, step back and recognise or evaluate what causes that emotion and behaviour of yours. Find the cause of it and work on resolving it so that you can bring more positivity to you and your family.
Connect before Correct
What does this actually mean? Fixing problems for a child is NOT connection. Overprotecting is NOT connection. A genuine connection is where you acknowledge the child’s feelings and sharing your love with your child regardless of good times or bad. A long term positive relationship will flourish from there.
Very often we like to correct before we connect. For example:
Correction: Go and brush your teeth now! How many times have I reminded you to do it!
Connection: (Get to their eye level) I know you are tired and you want to head straight to bed now. How about we brush together before we sleep?
The importance of connecting with your child creates the feeling of belonging and with the belonging, your child will be more willing to work with you instead of against you.
Consistency is so important when it comes to parenting as well as in anything that we do. Being consistent allows a child to know what comes next without second-guessing. Your child will have a clear understanding of the procedures, thus resulting in better control of their actions.
Let’s take the brushing of teeth as an example. Imagine you allow your child to brush his/her teeth some days but not every day. Your child will get confused. Some days you yell at the child for not brushing, some days you tolerated it. Your child is not able to predict what to do.
If you make brushing of teeth as a MUST-DO activity before bedtime, it becomes a routine. Your child will knowingly brush their teeth before bedtime because they can predict if they don’t, there will be consequences.
Is difficult to be consistent all the time but consistency is one of the essentials to raise a secure, independent and confident child.
We all know parenting can be really stressful at times especially when a child is working conscientiously toward driving us up the wall. Missteps are natural during our parenting journey, therefore don’t beat yourself up for those missteps. All you need to do is to REFLECT and MOVE FORWARD.
Have more tips to share? Feel free to comment or email us.