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As parents, we all want our children to be raised in a house full of love and support. Sometimes it can be hard to be the positive parent we always envisioned ourselves being, at least it is for me! Start with the little things such as trying to yell less and you’ll find other things falling into place. In an effort to be more positive, this is week three of positive parenting tips. The weeks of positive parenting in this month guide really build on each other, so if you missed week one, you can find it HERE, week two is HERE. Some of these ideas might seem simple, some you might already do, but all of them are positive. Ideally, by the end of the 30 days, you’re house will be a happier, more positive place! Start with weeks one and two to build on some basic positive suggestions, moving onto week three. I suggest bookmarking the articles or printing them out so you can keep track of which day you are on, working through the list.
Build a fort, order pizza and eat dinner in the fort! Building a fort can be as simple as throwing a sheet over your dinning room table. Something as simple as this will be something your children will remember forever.
Are you still yelling and nagging? Today is a goal for you day. Set a goal to not yell at all today. Remember things that we’ve been doing such as saying I love you, giving 5-10 minute warnings before changes happen, and letting your child make simple choices such as what to wear. Those are fabulous! Now today, focus on you and how you react to the small things. Make it a complete effort to have a 100% NO YELLING day at your house. Then, carry it on. Try to do it tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
Treat your children with respect. Listen to their ideas. Take them for a walk and just enjoy the time together. Don’t have any expectations of what will happen, then you won’t be disappointed when the walk turns into a scavenger hunt for the coolest rock on earth or to look for as many butterflies as you can find. Just enjoy your child for who he or she is. Let them be themselves.
Join a school or community event that you can do as a family. This might be a day volunteering to clean up a park or help at a recycling plant. What’s great about this is that it’s not only helping the community, but it’s helping your family community as well since you’re doing it together.
Set goals with your child. Even the youngest of children (who can have conversations) can set simple goals. Depending on the age of your child will be the type of goal question you ask. But, generally speaking, ask your child, “What would you like to accomplish this month/week/etc…?” For my older daughter, it is getting a scholarship to a private high school. So we discuss steps to reach that goal. For my preschooler, a goal for him is to use the iPad. For him to be able to use the iPad, he has to have a certain set of behaviors. Teaching goal setting and strategies to reach goals from an early age is so helpful to children! It teaches them to follow through, which is why I wrote the article: I don’t let my kids quit…and that makes me??
When you see your child doing something mischievous or that they shouldn’t be doing, try to find something positive about what they are doing. Turn it into a song, rap, or something rhymed redirecting their behavior to a new activity. For example, my son wants to help with everything whether it’s appropriate for him to help with or not. So I often have to find ways to him to help me with cleaning or cooking in ways that he won’t get hurt. Then he still feels welcome and involved, but has boundaries and is participating.
Create a new family tradition. Something that your family has never done (or rarely) before, always wanted to try and would like to make a habit out of! Maybe it’s hunting for beach glass once a month and getting ice cream afterward. Maybe it’s hiking in the woods and looking for tracks. Maybe it’s having breakfast in bed once a month. Every family is different, so everyone’s new tradition is going to be different! Have fun with this one and get creative!
This is such a work in progress–parenting that is. No one has it perfect and everyone is trying their best. If you have tips to share on how you’ve created a positive household, please share with our readers!
Come back for days 22-30 to complete your month of positive parenting!