How to Parent Positively

Posted by Cindy Perry on 7/27/2016

How to Parent Positively

It can be hard to stay positive as a parent. Some days are dawn-to-dusk nonstop. You’re exhausted and your kids won’t behave. Even if you don’t explode in anger often, you may notice a general negativity that’s seeped into your household. Here are some ways to stay positive.

1. Schedule quality time

Ideally we should spend dedicated time with our kids every day when we put our phones away and truly bond. I know this isn’t practical for a lot of families, but do it at least once a week. Try not to lead. Find out what your child wants and follow their lead. Make them feel like they are an important part of your life and worthy of your attention. You’ll boost their self-esteem and make them valuable, which improves all other components of their life.

2. Mind your own emotions

Often we are the cause of negativity in our children’s life. (Not always, but it happens.) Children have emotional responses all the time. They don’t have enough experience controlling their emotions and behavior to avoid the occasional outburst or teary moment. When these moments happen, don’t lose control yourself. You may be frustrated that your kid is angry again, but responding with anger only breeds hostility and negativity.

3. Don’t invalidate their feelings

Feelings are impossible to measure. We can’t say that one person’s feelings are less or more valid than another person’s. (This doesn’t mean people/children aren’t responsible for their behavior.) When they express a feeling, don’t downplay or invalidate it with phrases like, “Stop, you’re OK” or “Oh, that isn’t so bad.” These comments rarely reassure anyone. Acknowledge their feelings and offer positive, actionable advice to change their future reactions without making them feel bad.

4. Create a hostility-free home

Hostility breeds hostility. If you communicate with shouts, yells, curses, or insults, your children will learn that these are valid ways to build relationships. Outside of your home, they’ll struggle to connect with other (positive) people who don’t want hostility in their lives. I don’t mean you have to complement each other every time you pass in the hall, but avoid addressing problems with emotional outburst.

5. Use positive reinforcement

Negative reinforcement is when you punish or chastise a child for a poor behavior. It only tells kids what not to do, not what you expect. For example, if you ground your child for bringing home a poor report card, the solution your child chooses may be to just hide the report card from you next time, or forge the grades. They’ll seek to avoid the negativity.

Positive reinforcement means deliberately praises the behaviors you want your children to repeat. Praise your children for their good grades. Make it clear that affection and positivity are rewards for good behaviors. They’ll be more likely to repeat the behavior to get the reward.

How do you stay positive as a parent?

luxe floor pillowWritten by Cindy Perry, Inventor of the pello, Luxe Floor Pillows

Cindy, a Texas girl, put herself through college working at a children’s library and sewing at night. When she met her husband and had her two boys, she decided to stay home to care for them while designing window treatments and bedding.

When Cindy’s first son was learning to sit up, he would always fall through the pillows she set around him, hit his head, and cry. Besides, setting her child down on the hardwood floors on just a blanket always seemed so cold. Using her years of sewing and design skills, Cindy took inspiration from a woman in her breastfeeding class and got to work. With some scrap fabric and a few tweaks, pello was born! pello is a luxe floor pillow that helps children feel safe, warm and protected.

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