Wow. Positive Parenting is clearly a hot topic. I had no idea what I was stumbling into a few weeks ago when I found the term. I had no idea that it fit me like a glove, and the strategies that are utilized under this “positive parenting” umbrella were exactly the way I wanted to handle situations, but I was trying to follow the social norm and act a different way instead.
And I had no idea how many other people out there are interested in the same topic – I can only assume they have, or have had, trying and challenging children who have put them to the test, wondering how they can make the best choices in parenting and still make it through the day with some sanity.
My first post in what I’m now calling my “Positive Parenting Series” hit home for a lot of people, bringing in more views to this blog (and my old blog) than ever before. Many of my new viewers have signed up to receive my posts by email (THANK YOU, and WELCOME!!) and I can only assume – you want to know more about this parenting journey I’m on, from the land of time-outs and yelling to a new kind of place that doesn’t do either of those things. Because maybe, you’re on the same journey. And you’re at your wits end, like I was. You can read about a few instances where I barely kept my patience intact (before positive parenting) HERE and HERE. Heck, I’ve been struggling with my son for over a year, and he’s only 2 and a half.
But now that I’ve entered into this new realm of parenting, there’s no looking back. And I’m a better person for it. The best part of positive parenting so far?
I thought “positive parenting” would be hard. I really did. I set a few goals when I allowed myself to start parenting the way I always wanted to: During a meltdown, I would
- Keep a calm, steady tone. No raising my voice (or at least try my very best!).
- Not overtalk. UGH – I was so bad with this one. I kept trying to explain my son out of his meltdowns. He couldn’t even hear me and what he did hear, he argued with in between screaming.
- Acknowledge his feelings.
- Offer a hug, and
- Put the power and control back in his hands
Those were my goals going into this. At first I thought – there’s no way. No way I’m going to keep my patience and not raise my voice. He was a screamer, a roll-around-on-the-floor kid, sometimes a hitter and a thrower, and most of all – the most argumentative, rude, controlling child.
WHEN was he these things? When he was upset. When he got going, he couldn’t control himself and he turned into a nightmare. I was in tears multiple times, wondering, how is this my child? A child who doesn’t witness back-talking, hitting, throwing or screaming at home. I was so sad FOR him. That he was miserable in life. Because these meltdowns were daily, if not multiple times a day.
Because he was so challenging, I didn’t know HOW I would keep my calm tone. How I would offer a hug when I might want to walk away. How I would give him the power and control to end it and move on.
Here’s the thing: It was easier than I thought. SO much easier. How? I started to see results with my son almost immediately. The first couple incidents I was running on adrenaline. I was able to keep my tone calm and steady. I did not talk much to him during this time – no explaining, no reasoning, no “sorry bud that’s the way it is”. None of that. The only words I said were, “That’s so frustrating isn’t it?” or “You must be feeling very sad!”. I offered a hug. And then I gave him ALL the control back (not just two choices – because that never worked for him) – I said, “When you’re ready to ______, let me know.”
Running on adrenaline, that’s what I did. And it WORKED.
And now? Only a few weeks later? It’s so EASY!
I have patience ALL the time, more than I ever had before. I’m seeing results and my son is happy, therefore, I have patience.
Maybe, just maybe, I was losing my patience before and yelling because I was mad at myself – I didn’t like the way I was handling these incidents and I took it out on him as it was happening.
I’m saying what feels natural to my son. He’s sad, and I hurt for him. Now I get to tell him so. Now he asks for a hug and lets me wrap him in my arms and it feels. so. good.
I like how I feel after I’ve handled another situation and avoided another meltdown. I feel proud of myself. I feel like a parent on the road to success.
Best of all? My son is so happy. He’s so himself; the child I knew he was. He’s so excited he can’t contain his enthusiasm. He’s so loving he can’t stop hugging me and telling me I’m his best friend. He’s so curious, he’s engrossed in the moon, in the names of birds, in his cars, in – everything.
The anxiety, the anger, the worries – have lessened. And it’s not that he doesn’t get upset. He still does every single day. He’s a toddler. But they aren’t meltdowns. Not even close. I stick to my plan, my goals – he knows what I’m going to say next and he’s there for the hug before I’ve offered it. How can I lose my patience with that? How is that hard?
For me, it’s easy. So much easier than I thought.
Positive Parenting Series:
New reader? Welcome! Thank you so much for stopping by this little corner of the internet. As I continue my journey into Positive Parenting, I want to hear from you – the ups and downs of your parenting journey. This blog is “new”, a continuation from my old one (Twin Talk), which you’re welcome to visit. I plan to start a weekly newsletter in place of post emails soon, so please bear with me for now!
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