Theres so many ways of Parenting and being a Christian just mixes things up a little… or actually it should be easier just following the advice of the Holy Spirit but having discernment and keeping your perceptions sharp on how to raise your children remains a daily process revolving around endless mistakes and accomplishments. We are flooded with parenting advice on worldly standards and keeping true to what God intended remains the one and only goal.
Having Positive Parenting in the mix, I believe has its benefits as long as you stick to having rules and boundaries and don’t lack in the very important process of guidance.
Parenting with love and having an angle on the positive does not mean children should be allowed to do what they want or feel like they are being praised when they do something wrong.
I recently got a 2 year old Sausage (the kind with four legs and an ever- so- wagging tail) called Oliver from a rescue shelter and its been a huge challenge training him with toddlers in the house. With my previous dogs it was easy, I just gave them a smack if they did something wrong but this little rascal, set in his un- trained ways for 2 years, has that puppy face that makes my heart melt every time he is guilty of a crime and having the children around when he does do something wrong reminds me not to yell or smack when I get angry. I now have tiny human beings that will yell and smack who and whatever for whatever reason when they see me smacking a dog and it can actually become dangerous when they start smacking any dog they see as if thats the thing to do with dogs.
So, Im getting it right this time. Yes I am, yes I am, yes I am!
I have found it astounding how much easier it is to be calm, yet strict when teaching Oliver what not to do as he becomes much more approachable. Its as if the lights go off in his head when I yell and it seems like nothing goes through. If he poo’s in the house I will go there with him, tell him strictly but calmly that its not ok to poo there, take the poo with him outside, put it on the grass and tell him friendly and with lots of love and cuddles, “Good doggy, yes poo’s go on the grass.” As time goes by his poo-ing in the house is becoming less and less and he is getting the fact that its much more rewarding to poo outside.
So how do we train our children as human beings?
If I try not to yell at my dog, I surely will try not yell at my children! If I dont smack him for every little thing he does wrong, why would I smack them for every little thing they do wrong? Dont get me wrong, I know many people will disagree but I still believe theres a place for a hiding but there are boundaries when it comes to that. Our main approach should always be in love and guidance and using positive words with a calm spirit is much more peaceful and successful. This should be a no-brainer but our upbringing and pre conceived ideas on parenting has left us blinded to other approaches. What if our way is not the only and possibly not the best way? Can’t we learn from worldly principles by keeping discernment and allowing the Holy Spirit to show us what we can take and keep of it?
As a parent of twins I have made so, so many mistakes and I am making them daily. I can only pray that my mistakes wont ruin my children for life and that the consequences we all bear daily will be short lived.
Having twins is difficult. You sometimes have to grab something dangerous out of the ones hand so you can run to catch the other one that is about to fall. Most of the time you are just so gut- wrenchingly sleep deprived that you have no built in warning light to tell you when you have a wrong approach to something so you just go on. Thats all you do. You just. go. on.
I have done many things I am not proud of… I have yelled, I have smacked on the fly, I have acted like a lunatic (oh so many times) and I wish I never did, but I was in survival mode, so I did. If I knew what I know now I think it would have been easier and I may never have gone through all of that but I did and unfortunately my kids did so we make do with what we have… Grace and forgiveness and the ability to move forward.
I cant believe the difference in my children since I started applying positive parenting techniques. Here is some of the changes that I have been seeing the past few months:
- We aced potty training in a quick 2 months at the age of 20-22 months by being positive. I know theres much controversy on sticker charts and rewards and I do agree with the negative views on it but at the end I opted for it and its amazing how fast they learned when there was positive focus on what they did right instead of negative focus on what they did wrong. Now, 4 months later they have no accidents and they don’t think they should get a reward every time they do something right. As much as they loved the rewards and stickers, they never expected anything when they did something right, but getting something surely encouraged them.
- We have another controversial approach… time-out. I know it doesn’t work with all kids but with mine it works wonders. When they do something wrong they are not being yelled at (most of the time) and they have to go sit in their room to think and cool off a bit. We usually say its time for them to have a bit of alone time off so they will fell re charged. Focusing their attention.
- Tantrums… oh the tantrums…. I have two 2 year olds. Case closed! Ok no really, they can and did throw a lot of tantrums but I have found it manageable by focusing their attention on something positive. If that doesn’t work, I usually tell them in a calm voice that I understand that they are upset but that their behavior is not ok and what the reason is for whatever they are not allowed to do that caused the tantrum. After that I don’t focus any attention to the tantrum otherwise they learn to throw tantrums in order to get attention. After the tantrum is the most important time to give the attention so they will know that the tantrum did nothing, but stopping to do it gave the attention they needed.
- Hurting each other. Hitting, biting and pushing is one of those things a lot of toddlers go through… especially twins. They have to share everything a lot of the time and share my attention most of the time. Fighting is inevitable. When they do fight I speak in a calm voice and encourage them to share and take turns. They always have to hug it out and they usually do, knitting them closer together.
Having positive parenting in my pareinting-mix means having a positive outlook in life and it does me good. I am not as highly strung as I used to be and have much less stress because of it. It means I almost always have to think twice and breathe in deep before I reprimand them and it means I have to let the little things go. Children have to be children sometimes and dirt all over the patio does not always have to be a bad thing. Once in a while, join in the fun… it will make you a cool parent and a little fun will do you good too!