Positive Parenting means all things to all parents. It is not one size fits all. Sometimes it is referred to as gentle guidance or positive discipline. The commonalities, however, in most people’s approach to positive parenting is that it actively avoids punishment and control. Instead it leans more towards connection to cultivate cooperation, empathy and natural cause and effect of our actions.
I have found Positive Parenting has worked for me. It has helped me develop some pretty amazing skills and also to really know myself. It is still a challenge to find the right balance but after thirteen years of parenting I have gained some fantastic insights. I hope these insights support you in some way to stick with your positive parenting journey and whatever that is for you. It’s worth it!
It’s connection not control that cultivates cooperation, trust, love, resilience and independence. Connection is at the heart of our relationship.
I can lose my cool sometimes and still be a positive, gentle parent. It’s what I do next that matters most. The ability to reflect and learn from my own mistakes is what leads me towards gentleness for myself and my child. Saying a meaningful sorry can help.
Guilt is healthy. I don’t have to own it or wear it like a perfume. I learn to feel it, grow from it and be inspired to change. I can use the guilt I feel for good not evil. I can use it to reflect and know myself better.
My imperfections are just what me, my family and my child needs. I am growing and evolving – as is my entire family. What a relief to know that there is courage in being vulnerable and that my child can learn and grow from my imperfections too!
It’s a long term thing. I’ve learnt to not just focus or rely on short term outcomes and know that sometimes the growth is in the long term approach. Values, awareness and consistency is where the gold is.
I get to practice being calm. This practice alone has made me a more mindful, gentle, compassionate and caring person. I get to practice not yelling, nagging, punishing, threatening and bribing and all the things that deplete me of energy, confidence and self-worth.
Gratitude for my Village. The village is not just for my child. There is always someone in my life that will listen with an open heart and allow me to share my parental fears without judgment. I have grown to open my ears to feedback and truly listen to my village too.
It takes practice not perfection to be the parent I want to be. Just as my child is learning to be the adult he will become, I am learning to be the parent he requires at each particular stage. Having an attitude of ‘practice not perfection’ strengthens me in the tough times and helps me to be more flexible when things aren’t working.
There is no ‘one’ way. We each have our own parenting philosophy and values system. Each of us, regardless of whether we choose a particular way, still parents uniquely. This releases the need for competition and comparison. Parenting is not a competitive sport.
That I am not responsible for my child. I am responsible to him. When I release the feelings of overwhelming responsibility, I control less and connect more. I allow my son to learn through the natural cause and effect of his own choices to build upon his resilience. When I am responsible to my child I facilitate the learning through supporting, guiding, encouraging and connecting. It takes the pressure off me to take on everything and to whole-heartedly know that my child is more than capable of handling disappointments and whatever life throws his way.
I’d love to hear the insights you have gained from your parenting approach!
Happy, whole-hearted parenting.
Kerry Spina is a mum of a beautiful 11(and a bit) boy Isaac as well as a Parent Coach and Yoga teacher for adults and children. She lives in Sunny Townsville Queenland Australia and loves to share her passion of gentle parenting approaches and values education. Kerry is also the creator of Kidsin Harmony ~ A music and values program for newborns to 9yrs and is the author of Harmony Cards for Kids.
P.S. -Kerry’s book The LIttle Book of Harmony is a wonderful resource for talking to children about virtues like Gratitude, Kindness, Persistence and Patience!
Latest posts by Kerry Spina ( see all)
- Nurturing Love: 5 Beautiful Ways to Grow the Bonds of Love with your Child - June 28, 2016
- What you Don’t Want to Say to Stop Unwanted Behaviors - November 30, 2015
- 4 Mindfulness Practices to Move from Surviving to Thriving in Parenting - January 22, 2015