Life is busy. Whether its work or a full family schedule, we are often mentally and physically exhausted. As a parent you know how tiring life can be sometimes. We try our best to maintain our own schedules as well as the needs of our children. We also try to be the best parents we can be. Sometimes we may fall short of perfect, and that’s completely okay. I for one know after a long day of work and busy kid schedules I can sometimes fail in the parenting department. I’ll be the first to admit that in times of frustration I may not always offer a positive parenting perspective. I think we all go through moments of stress, feeling discourages, and overwhelmed as a parent. To grow as a parent and really find a balance of parenting with a busy schedule began researching positive parenting.
Positive parenting can mean a variety of things. It can be positive words, actions, morals, ethics, and your personal perspective of life. When I started to research Positive Parenting I really gravitated to The American Society for the Positive Care of Children (SPCC), which gives four main aspects of Positive Parenting. The four main points of Positive Parenting include an effective parent, consistent parent, an active parent, and an attentive parent (SPCC, 2016).
So what do these four main aspects really mean? Effective parenting points towards the way in which you as the parent interact with the world. How do your words and actions affect others? The attitude and actions you project to the world, are often that which your child will also display. This aspect is so important because being a parent can sometimes mean our words and actions are displayed without realizing the effect we have on our children.
Consistent parenting. What in the world is consistent parenting? Simple, its making choices and sticking with them. If your child has rules to follow hold them to it. If you have a system for breaking rules stick to that system. I know we have all been that parent in the grocery store, feeding handfuls of snacks to our child to keep them from being naughty. I know I’ve bent and broke to the will of a toddler on some days. I have make rules and broke those rules myself. Consistency helps support your child in following instructions, encouraging them to work with you, and the most importantly teaching your child responsibility. Though it can be hard to be consistent, just remember in the end we are helping our kids. So encourage open lines of communication and work alongside your spouse to focus on being consistent with parenting.
Let’s get active. I’m not talking about twenty minutes on the treadmill or running a 5k marathon. We are going to be active in our child’s life. Explore the world with them. Start adventures. Discover new aspects of life together. Being active in your child’s life is being a friend, while still being a parent. Its knowing your child like you know yourself. Really getting into understanding how they think, feel, and act. Each child has such a different personality and by getting to know them you are better able to understand and parent them. I have two very opposite children. I have the active, loud, fun, friendly child. My other child is quiet, reserved, and sensitive. I could not parent my two children the same, as they each have separate needs. They each look at the world different so they need my parenting to reflect these aspects of their personality. It took me a long time to figure this out and by actively employing this area of parenting, my relationship with my children has really blossomed.
The last aspect of Positive Parenting as described by SPCC is being an Attentive Parent. Attentive parenting goes hand in hand with being an active parent. Much like active parenting, attentive parenting is having a close relationship in which you know what is going on in your child’s life (SPCC, 2016). You have met their friends and understand relationships your children may have with others. This can also include paying attention to your child’s education. Giving attention to their emotions and working with them when life’s little problems may arise can help create an attentive and caring environment for your child.
Positive parenting is such a helpful tool in the never perfect world of parenting. It can help to teach patience, understanding, attention, and how parents can influence their children. I know I have grown as a parent by the use of positive parenting skills. I hope other parents can find this way of parenting as educational and influential. Parenting can be hard at times and if you are seeking tips and ideas for parenting the CDC offers many great ideas!