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?