I see you, mama. You want to be calm and connected with your child. You want to be able to respond to your child’s struggles in a respectful way. You want to be able to give your child whatever they need in a moment of distress. The problem is, you don’t just have one child.Continue reading “7 Practical Ways to Use Positive Parenting with Multiple Children”
“I’m angry, I need to go take a break”
Words I never thought I’d hear my 4-year-old say in the heat of frustration, as he walks himself over to the break area to calm down.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t how he handles every frustration (actually not even close), but the fact that this happened means that he is ON HIS WAY to learning how to manage his emotions without aggression or outbursts.
Isn’t that what every parent wants? For our kids to know how to calm themselves down when they get upset? For them to be able to stop, breathe, and think before acting on their emotions? Of course it is! But how do we help our kids to get there?
No parent WANTS to yell at their kids. That look in your child’s eyes right after you’ve yelled at them feels terrible, I know. I’ve been there too. But there ARE ways to break the cycle and to find a new pattern of behavior, both for you and for your child.
The fact is that every parent at some point or another ends up losing it and yelling at their kids. Every parent has a breaking point. Some parents reach their breaking point after weeks of built-up exhaustion and fatigue, while other parent reach their breaking point nearly every single day.
One of the most frustrating aspects of parenting is figuring out how to get your child to listen the *first time* you ask them to do something. Nothing is more irritating that feeling like you need to repeat yourself, yell, or resort to punishment over simple requests. If you are struggling with little kids who don’t listen the first time, stick with me for the one simple strategy that actually works.
But first, here’s why it doesn’t work to repeat yourself in the first place:
Young children have a lot of BIG feelings, and it is our job to help them learn how to take all of those big feelings and turn them into positive social interactions. On top of teaching them how to act on their own feelings, we also want to make sure that they are also learning how to empathize with others when they are struggling.
Little ones have a hard time with empathy because of one simple reason: They don’t understand theory of mind.
These days, there is an absolutely overwhelming amount of parenting advice out there. We have access to all the information we could ever want with just the click of a button. As a result of this instant gratification, we become overwhelmed by hearing how SO many other moms do it, start judging ourselves, and enter into a vicious cycle of self-loathing.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
The number one frustration of parents everywhere seems to be figuring out how to deal with power struggles. It’s the theme that keeps repeating itself over and over again, from generation to generation.
We’ve come up with all sorts of nifty ideas about how to solve power struggles…. Timeouts and taking away “privileges” always top the list for the most common techniques. Those are closely followed by more positive strategies like giving choices, being playful, or using distractions.
But none of these options get to the root of the issue, and therefore none of them work in isolation for very long. To figure out how to solve power struggles once and for all, we need to address where they actually come from.
Is your child one that gives up easily? Do they sulk and say “I can’t do it” when things get difficult?
Or is your child brave & resilient, knowing that with the right effort and strategies, she can accomplish anything?
These two very different mindsets start during childhood and follow your child right into adulthood. They are described by Dr Carol Dweck at Stanford University as a Fixed mindset vs a Growth mindset.
Kids are notoriously terrible at waiting. Patience is just not something that comes easily to young children who want everything RIGHT NOW.
With every new piece of technology that comes out, our kids become more and more dependent on instant gratification. As a society we’ve forgotten how to stick with long-term projects and reap the rewards of our patience and hard work.
Ahh, toddlers. You’ve got to love them. Toddlerhood is actually my favorite age of childhood, because it’s a time of such huge growth. One of the most notable changes happening during this phase is child’s desire to be independent… the child’s desire to do things their way.
Wanting to do everything their way, along with other major cognitive and social gains creates the perfect storm for negative behaviors (like screaming, hitting, biting, saying “no”) to rear their ugly head.