Posts Tagged ‘ Parental Criticism ’

Parenting Principle #1: Be Positive

Monday, June 30th, 2014

What are the key parenting principles for raising happy, well-adjusted, children? Here the focus is on the power of being positive.

Parenting is hard. It is demanding. It can be exhausting and frustrating. But …

The reality is that parents make a choice on how they think about themselves as parents, and how they act as parents. And focusing on the positive is a fundamental key to making parenting easier and more effective.

How do you do this? First, remind yourself of the importance of being a parent. Yes, you have all kinds of competing things that weigh on your mind and drain your time. But what matters to you most? Simply reminding yourself everyday – however you want to do this (listen to a song, look at a picture, recall a memory, think back to when you didn’t have a child and how you knew you wanted one, say a prayer) – of the simple fact that having a child is an extraordinary gift is an effective way to recalibrate emotionally.

Next, put this into practice. When a baby is crying, remind yourself that you are doing something magical by trying to soothe them (even if it’s not working). Replace anger with compassion (your child is dependent on you). Look for the little wonders (simply a smile) even in the stream of the craziness. And, most importantly, discover for yourself that the more positive you are, the more positive your child acts.

Try to eliminate the criticism. Babies and kids are, by definition, always learning. Criticism assumes they should know what to do and how to do it all the time. Teach them. Nurture them. Share their joy when they hear what you are saying and find that it works.

Finally, soak up the joy that babies and kids find in the world. They aren’t concerned with all the things that concern adults. They don’t care if you are late – they just want to look at the dog across the street. They don’t care what they are wearing – they just want to jump in the puddle because it’s fun. They find the world, and you, fascinating. Try to live in their world. It’s a good world to live in.

This isn’t about indulgence. Pick your spots. Set real rules and find ways of enforcing them consistently, without yelling and screaming. If it’s not the right time to jump in the puddle, explain that, and find something else interesting to redirect their attention. They can be persuaded easily.

A positive parent is an inviting guide to the world. Positivity makes for happier parents and kids and makes life easier. The more you try it, the more you will reap the rewards.

More in This Series

Find out which parenting style you have.

Parenting Style: Positive Parenting
Parenting Style: Positive Parenting
Parenting Style: Positive Parenting

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