How To Be A Positive Parent

I doubt that it would even be debated by my family if I said that we weren’t raised by positive parents.  So that raises the question as we whether we can be a positive parent if we wern’t raised by positive parenting.  I say a positive YES!  You can absolutely be a positive parent, so let’s look at a few ways to help you on your way.

Take a moment and list the various topics and situations that caused the problems in your home when you were growing up.  You might have things like a lack of agreement on discipline between you parents, how to get kids to be accountable in school, dating rules or use of the family car.  Once you have your list, think about the age grouping for your child:  Prenatal, Baby: 0-12 months, Toddler: 1-3 years, Preschool: 3-5 years, Grade school: 5-12 years, Teen: 12-18, Young Adult: 18-21.  Next take a moment to reflect on some of the challenges that came up during some of these years.  You may not be able to think of them all, but in general what were the issues?

Once you have your list of upcoming challenges, take a look at your child’s age group.  How close are they to moving to the next group?  How mature are they for their age?  Take a look at your list and choose some of the challenges and begin to think about how best to ensure that they aren’t problems for your household. Sit down with your spouse or significant other and begin to discuss some key issues and come to an agreement as to how to handle them.  For example driving is a big decision.  Many parents have various thoughts on when, how to pay for insurance, if they should have their own car or use the family car, what are the rules, what if the rules are broken.  The idea here is to anticipate some of the problems before they happen and to both be on the same page.

With my parents, sometimes it would look like a ping-pong match.  Can I use the car, “As your mother.”  “Mom,” I would ask, “Can I use the car.”  “You have to get your dad to clear that.”  Hmm, that is confusing to a child and can create unnecessary tension for the kids as well as between parents.  We will discuss further positive parenting, but in this short writing, I would like to encourage you as a parent to anticipate the issues and discuss them with your spouse and significant other, as well as your child.  Asking questions like, How will be handle this?  Get the child’s input and then look for alignment between what you believe as parents.

Anticipation makes parenting more fun and enjoyable because when an issue comes up, in many cases, you have already worked out the details in advance and everyone knows the expectations and processes that will be followed.

Yours for Better Parenting,

Rich