Why I Don’t Believe in Only Positive Parenting

Positive parenting is a trendy as well, I’m a mom I don’t know what’s trendy anymore. It sounds great in theory, when your child acts a fool as children are known to do respond calmly and positively. There are certainly situations where this is appropriate, but I don’t believe in this method exclusively. Here are my reasons why.

It’s Not Real Life

My ultimate job, along with my husband, is to raise kids that can function independently in the real world. Guess what? People are gonna yell at my kids. They are gonna treat them terribly. I don’t mean to say because other people are going to break their hearts I should practice breaking their precious hearts now. What I mean is sometimes when you mess up there is a logical negative consequence to that action. If I bulldoze every consequence for them, I am not helping them. I am hindering them. Granted my babies are still very little and I anticipate this getting more and more challenging as the steaks get higher. I already feel some mama bear tendencies rearing their ugliness when other kiddos are, well kids, to my babies.

It’s Not Me

I am an imperfect person. I am not that calm, cool collected mother on the cereal commercial. (read Ways to Calm Down When You Are Gonna Loose Your Mama Mind) Part of me would love to be, but would pretending to be someone I am not be a good lesson to teach my children either? I have learned more about my own emotions attempting to teach them to my small humans than ever before in my life. Just recently in the car, I was attempting to explain the meaning of being “flexible” when plans don’t go our way to my three year old. My husband busted out laughing stating that it was ironic that I (who is occasionally a little rigid in my ideas of how things should go) was the one doing the explaining. To this day the best piece of advice on parenting I have ever received was from my Aunt Lisa, “parent within your personality.”

I Want to Teach My Children That People Have Limits

I am sure there is a perfect way to “do positive parenting”, but as I stated I am an imperfect person. Much of what I have seen and read has shown me that no matter what your child does you are to remain calm. To me this shows the child that they can run wild and I’ll just take it. Ummm no thanks. Maybe I am missing the whole point because I certainly believe in acting respectfully toward my children. Though I will admit I have messed this up often too raising my voice or acting out with no more control than an angry toddler. That’s not what I mean. I mean to say it’s important to show children that their action impact other people.

I Want Them to See Me Apologize and Practice it Themselves

As an apology junkie in recovery, I want my kids to know what a real I’m sorry means. Not empty words said to placate or keep the peace, but something real. When I mess up (which is often) I want to show them that I am truly sorry for my behavior both in words and actions. I want to teach them to do the same.

Why It Matters

I read articles every day blaming technology for “kids today” or some other thing that I am not sure gets at the heart of the problem. I am not great at setting limits with myself (my screen time log would be a great example or my cheese drawer…yikes), but more than that I am not great at setting emotional limits with myself. It is so so much easier in the moment, and I know because it is often me as a mother, to give in to my kids rather than stay consistent with the limits I have set. Then I wonder why they don’t listen. It’s not them then. It’s me. I have shown them that my words don’t matter. Push enough and I’ll topple because parenting is hard.

My children are great and do listen the majority of the time. Maybe my standards are high, but my dreams for them are lofty so I believe my standards should be as well.

What are your thoughts on parenting methods?

14 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Believe in Only Positive Parenting

  1. Yes, yes, and YES! I absolutely agree. My kids need to see me “lose it” occasionally. Like you said it teaches them that everyone has limits. And when I do lose it, afterwards I talk to them about why. We are all only human and they need to see and experience real life.

  2. Great thoughts here. Thank you for sharing! I do believe it’s important to help prepare our children for adulthood.

  3. Thank you for being so blatantly honest! I would love to do only positive parenting, I have learned the benefits of it, but that is just not me. Kid DO need to learn that people have limits. Kids DO need to learn that other people will be mean to them at times. You make some very good points!

  4. I actually completely agree with you. I write about positive parenting, and practice it at home, but that does not mean that it is the only type of parenting that is “allowed” to happen in a household. I even hate to slap a label on any parenting style because there is no cookie cutter method to parenting.

    1. Exactly! I think that’s where we get into that awful world of mommy shaming when we label too much! I’ll have to check out your positive parenting posts! Sounds like a balance that I can get on board with. Thanks for reading!

  5. Speak truth momma! I have seen so many kids that have never had constructive criticism or been told no so they do not know how to process it. My children will no people have limits and just because you want it doesn’t mean you get it. It’s not bad parenting but totally practical parenting.

  6. Great article! I think positive parenting is something that sounds great on paper but just isn’t all that realistic (in my world at least)! Love your perspective.

  7. What an honest post! I try to stay as calm and positive as I can – but I totally agree with you people (even Mama) have limits. And it is healthy for our kids to hear us apologize when the time(s) arise!

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