I want to say this article is about how to be a better parent, which sounds like a nice thing. But it’s not actually about that.
This article is about how to change the way you parent because there’s something wrong with the way most people are parenting. I’m going to present you with steps that will hopefully help change your parenting style and raise kids in a more positive environment, both at home and outside of home.
I’m going to share what the problems are so you understand where we’re starting from and why it needs to change, then give some examples of what we can do instead.
The problems with our Parenting style
We set up a no win condition for our kids
In order to be a parent, you sometimes have to make difficult choices about how to raise your kids. Sometimes the choices can be horrible. But the good thing is that most of the time they’re not horrible. They’re just tough and it’s hard to know what to do in those situations without any real guidelines or advice (which you will find in this article). Fortunately, whenever things get tough, there is a way out. And that way out is positive parenting: using positive reinforcement and avoiding negative reinforcement when you have a chance.
The biggest problem with our parenting style is that we’re using way too much negative reinforcement. We set up a no win condition for our kids. Yes, I’m going to keep on ranting about this because it’s the most important thing we need to fix. Positive parenting is all about building the foundation for self confidence and self esteem that will allow our kids to have successful relationships, have a good career, and generally be happy in life. And we’re not doing a good job at it!
We tell our kids when they do something wrong and when they do something right but more often than not, we forget to tell them when they do something right. We’re not very good at building our kids’ self esteem and if you’re going to be a positive parent, you need to get better at it.
But how can we do better?
We don’t tell them when they do something right! I know. It’s all about changing your mindset. That’s the most important thing to remember about parenting (and life, actually). We have to change the way we think and behave. Most parents are not very good at telling their kids when they do something right because they are thinking like this: “They did something wrong so I’m going to punish them for it. I’m not going to praise them for doing something right because I’m punishing them for it. So I’m going to punish them for it and not praise them for it.”
We need to change that thinking because the kids will only be able to learn those positive behaviours when they are praised and rewarded.
Changing the way you think is not easy. But it’s worth working towards if you want a happy family life in the future.
We only respond positively to our children’s bad behaviour
Most of us parents respond very well in certain situations, but completely ignore other situations where discipline is necessary because we want our kids to be happy “all the time”. And that’s what we think of as ‘positive parenting’. But all the while they’ve been doing bad things, we’re ignoring them and expecting them to do good things all the time.
Do you want to be a positive parent? Of course you do! I know everyone does. But as usual, good intentions are not enough. We need a way of changing our parenting style that actually works, so we can have an effective positive parenting plan that works for our kids. Which will hopefully make them happy and keep them safe and out of trouble with other people.
Positive parenting is the way of life you’ll have to live from now on if you want your kids to be happy and successful members of society later in life. So have a read and see if you can get a better sense of how to go about parenting in an effective way.
Our family is suffering because we aren’t responding enough to our children’s bad behaviour…
We are not consistent in our parenting
The world sometimes seems like it’s all about punishment. Make your kids do something bad and if they don’t, you beat them or yell at them or threaten them or something else bad. When I was a child, my father did that sometimes with his children when he was angry with them (and I got punished for not doing what he told me to do). But as I grew older, I realised that wasn’t good parenting at all.
Of course, punishment can be a useful tool for some situations, but that’s not what I’m talking about right now. I’m talking about consistency.
Some parents use positive reinforcement for good behaviour, and use negative reinforcement for bad behaviour. But that’s not very effective because you’re missing the opportunity to reinforce good behaviour when you’re busy negative reinforcing bad behaviour. And your kids will catch on pretty quick and realise you’re only doing it because you want to punish them. Which is the opposite of being a positive parent!
So what’s the solution?
Let’s take a look at why we aren’t consistent in our parenting…
We only parent the kids for behaviour that we consider bad
Our kids do lots of things that are not bad. Sure, we try to stop them from doing laps around the house and jumping on the sofa, but other than that, we let them run wild with their imagination . And sometimes they’re playing games that we don’t approve of but they know children play (like playing war or soldiers).
The problem is that if you’re a positive parent and you only respond to negative behaviour, then your children will only learn positive behaviour when they do something wrong. Which is why I say that you have to be consistent. You have to respond to good behaviour as well as bad behaviour.
So how can you do that?
First, you have to know what your kids are doing that is good. That’s where it gets tricky because their behaviour is a lot more complicated than just ‘good’ or ‘bad’. When you see your kids playing soldier for example, you don’t want to stop them from playing soldier because soldiers are good… but maybe if they’re playing with guns that’s not a good thing. You see what I mean?
So how can we learn to parent the things our kids do in positive ways?
We have never learned how to use positive reinforcement effectively
The problem with positive parenting is not the theory of it. It’s all about learning how to use positive reinforcement the way it was intended to be used. Rather than beating ourselves up for not doing it, let’s find out how to do it effectively so we can give our kids the education they deserve, to become happy and well rounded human beings.
As always, if you have any comments or questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below. I wish you all the best in your quest of becoming a positive parent!