The Power of Positive Parenting
By Dalia Abu Alam
Hand in Hand Parenting Instructor
Parenting is more than raising children; they need to listen to you and follow your guidance. It’s about developing personality and preparing children for the life ahead of them.
Raising children positively is a very challenging job. It’s like any other job which requires training and practice, where parents need to challenge themselves and look at the situation from different perspectives, their children’s and their own. Practicing, learning and developing parenting skills can help parents become the best they wish to be.
Here is an example from a mother facing day-to-day challenges with her son, with a simple few steps to demonstrate positive behaviour in the stressful moments we often face with our children:
A mother was picking her son up from nursery; the boy asks: “Can I go to the playground?”
The mother replies: “Ok, but only for 5 minutes as we can’t stay long. I have many things to do, I don’t have the time to stay and play for more than that.”
On their way home, the child asks his mum if he could eat some McDonald’s. The mother refuses and says: “No, we can’t have burger now, enough!”
When they’re at home, the boy starts to play in the house and drops a vase by mistake. The mother says: “Stop destroying furniture around the house!”
These were the two hours the mother spent with her son after picking him up from school:
What message did the child receive in these three situations?
His mother has approved for him to play in the playground, but not for so long as she had other priorities (this is not what the mother said, this was the message understood by the child).
His mother refused to buy him McDonald’s without considering or understanding his request.
“Stop destroying the house.” I’m a destroyer: this will be the child’s belief about himself, especially if it’s repeated frequently. He’ll begin to drop and destroy things, but this time he’ll do it intentionally.
Small comments we say to our children are the reason for their behaviour, stubbornness and negative attitude. Not only that, but they shape their beliefs and personalities.
What we can do and how should we behave positively in these situations?
1. Give yourself a few seconds to think before you answer your child.
2. If you said any negative comments, ask yourself: if you were in your child’s place, what would you have liked to hear from your parents? Judge yourself as a parent and change your comments.
3. Train yourself to say the same message, but positively.
Here are other suggestions for that same example:
1. In the playground, she could have said: “Ok, let’s play together for 5 minutes.” When it’s time to go: “Can we leave now dear as we need to get going?”
When you consider your child’s priorities without conditions he’ll be able to listen to you.
2. In the McDonald’s situation, the mother could have replied: “Oh, I know you love burger, but I’m sorry we can’t have it now. When we go home, we can order.”
Ensure to stick to your promise when you go home.
Keep your promises to your child so they keep their promises to you. Show them understanding so they can understand you.
3. When the boy dropped the vase, the mother could have said: “I know you didn’t want to break it, but next time can you please be more careful and play with your toys instead?
Give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
A parent’s positive attitude leads to a child’s positive behaviour.