When my kids were younger I felt like I was bluffing through this whole parenting thing. Anyone else ever feel like this? I tried to make it look good, but inside I was a screaming mess!
I had no idea what I was doing and most days it took all my strength to make it through the day without losing it. I was so tired of trying new things that were not working or that were counter productive and set us all back emotionally. I made mistakes…like, lots of them…I went to bed at night wondering where I went wrong and how I could mess this up so bad.
When enough was enough, I began a long road of discovery…I read a lot of books, attended lectures, opened my mind to new ideas, built a support team around me, and started to trust the kind of parent that I wanted to be…and that worked for our family.
I stopped doubting my abilities…I stopped trying to be perfect when I clearly wasn’t…I stopped trying to keep up to the neighbours that seemed to have it all together, and I started living life the way that I wanted and the way that worked for my family…with love and patience.
It was around this time that I discovered positive discipline and all the techniques and ideas that I was starting to use all made sense. Positive discipline spoke to how I wanted my kids to feel about themselves and about me. Our days became calmer…no more yelling and frustrations…the kids just knew what to do without me asking five times, never having to yell or bribe them to behave! (OK, I still may offer the odd ice cream!) The sibling rivalry was getting out of hand, and after using Positive Discipline tools, there was seldom arguments that couldn’t be resolved on their own! (Anyone with more than one child should be clapping for joy right now:)
We began to communicate better, we thought about how the kids must be thinking and feeling when we talked to them, and we changed our words.
I am not saying that all of this was easy, and it didn’t happen overnight, but once we started we couldn’t stop. It just felt good to love on our kids like we knew we wanted to, to wake up in the morning more sure about our actions, to observe a stronger and healthier bond between us as parents and the kids. I started loving who I was and loving who each child was becoming. On the toughest of days, I would think about what kind of relationship I wanted to have with my children…and then I treated them like we were there already.
The base of everything that I teach is positive discipline. Almost everything that we do in a day can be categorized into one or more of these criteria.
Without further delay, here are the 5 Criteria of Positive Discipline!
1. Is kind and firm at the same time. (Respectful and encouraging)
2. Helps children feel a sense of belonging and significance. (Connection)
3. Is effective long-term. (See the next two)
4. Teaches valuable social and life skills for good character.
5. Invites children to discover how capable they are and to use their power constructively.
So…if this sounds like something that you want to dive deeper into…sign up to receive our FREE ‘7 Days to Peace’ video series, and see what kind of difference it makes in your life.