• Looking for conscious high-level, yet practical positive parenting tips?
• To me these 10 parenting tips or parental guidelines have made my everyday life easier and a lot more pleasurable (I hope they will for you, too!) ...
• ... Also, these tips on parenting are deeply rooted in a children empowerment philosophy aiming at fuelling kids with genuine high self esteem!
Your Child Is A Living Copying Machine - What You Give Is What You Get!
Many parents go through life unaware of how much their unconscious actions and choices affect their kids.
One of the very first steps to conscious parenting and children empowerment is noticing what we're actually doing.
Trying to pay attention to how we are talking to our child, how we handle conflicts, what ideas and norms we live by etc.
Why is this awareness so important?
Because our child is like a living copying machine!
Whatever our child sees us being and doing: For instance, the energy we emit, our communication skills, our coping strategies, our way reasoning, our type of presence, our general attitude to life and so on and so forth our child will to a large degree copy this.
It's logical, it's what children do!
We feel life is constant battle and we generally feel tense and are unapproachable ...
We treat our child with disrespect by generally overruling our child ...
We don't stay fully present and take our time to listen to our child ...
We tend to become angry in conflicts and force our way through because that's quicker than trying understand things from our kid's perspective ...
... Our kid will give us these exact actions and coping strategies right back in our own faces, smack!
Therefore firmly storing the knowledge of "my child is a copying machine" in back of our heads can actually be really helpful (even though the metaphor is somewhat odd!)
Every time we feel challenged, it can be a good idea to return to this metaphor or higher awareness insight. This awareness will help us turn our behavior around to something more positive and thereby help us empower our kids rather disempowering them.
The following 10 parenting tips are based in this knowledge of "What you give is what you get"!
These tips on parenting are about giving your children empowerment, in terms of respect, understanding, a degree of autonomy, unconditional love and support.
1) Giving Your Child the Power of Positive Attitude!
Our kids are often very, very sensitive and susceptible to our own mental state.
They're like clean slates - they just 'suck in' whatever mood you give them. And the younger they are, the more they just readily take in what you give them.
For instance, if I feel that: "Jeez, my son is difficult today." Chances are that most likely he has sucked up some of my own 'stressed' or 'negative' energy.
So being conscious of your own mood and behavior and making a choice as to what you want to transmit to your kid is one of the first steps in conscious and positive parenting
Here are more positive parenting tips on positive attitude:
Consider yourself a mirror: "What I emit, will become what my child will feel." This insight will help you become more conscious of your mood and attitude.
Notice they way you speak about the world: Do you focus on possibilities (It's raining, now we'll get a chance to put on boots and jump in puddles) or limitations (It's raining and we'll get wet and cold if we go out!)
2) Positive Expectations Bring out the Best in Your Child!
Not only may we view our child as copying machine - the universe is also a big copying machine.
And it works like this: Whatever you focus on, you'll get! It's almost like a natural law!
So if you have positive expectations of your child, he or she will do his or her best to live up to them.
However, it also goes the other way around: If you expect your child to disobey you, your clever kid will sense this lack of trust and 'obey' your unsaid intentions: You'll get what you expect!
So in a way this about choice! Your choice as to what you want!
Here are more parenting tips about positive expectations:
Expect your child to manage a moderately challenging task and show this trust to your child in an energy of confidence and patience! This basic trust from you is true children empowerment!
Positively prepare your child for upcoming events by talking about them in terms of possibilities and positive expectations!
Expect your evenings to be calm, joyful and full of deep presence and notice how much power your positive expectations have!
3) Passing on Beliefs That Actually Work and Make Sense!
The beliefs in our head are powerful - in both good and bad ways.
Unfortunately they often work like an invisible software virus that guides our actions without us knowing what is going on. You could say that we're like puppets! And I'm really not exaggerating!
Often these beliefs are just general norms and rules that are inefficient and - sorry to use the word - downright stupid!
When your child revolts against your idea (e.g. doesn't feel like shopping every single afternoon after kindergarden) - your child is actually doing you a favor by forcing you to rethink your belief and its right for further existence!
Here are more positive parenting tips about positive beliefs:
When you want your kid to do something and your kid doesn't want to - take a brief look at your belief and review it critically (e.g. the belief that a child should be in bed by eight o'clock).
Then ask yourself: "Is this belief a true absolute? Does it make objective sense and is right for my unique child?"
When you have an idea and want to review its right for existence, you can ask yourself this: Does the idea stem from my gut / intuition or does the idea feel rigidly mental.
If it feels rigidly mental ("It just has to be this way") - most likely your idea / belief is a general norm that might not fit your child. If you sense the idea is based on your intuition, you most likely have sensed a true need in your child - then stick to it if feeling is right! In this parenting article, you can read more about how to question your own child discipline ideas
4) Trust and Include Your Child - Your Will Manage!
Many of us have grown up believing that in order to develop responsibility and independence, kids must have firm rules and learn to do as they are told.
However, by including your child in the process of decision making and letting your kid have some degree of say, you actually teach your child the skill of responsibility of making choices.
By letting your kid choose, you allow your kid to learn how the power of their gut feeling works and to trust the signals of their own intuition and bodies. This skill is incredibly valuable in adult life!
Here are more positive parenting tips about positive trust and inclusion:
Set up a general framework and let your child decide within it. For instance, put only food on the evening table that you can 100% vouch for (make sure nothing is unhealthy - this will confuse your kid's bodily signals). Then your kid can choose whatever and as much as he or she wants.
This is giving children empowerment in the sense that it will teach your child to trust his or her own bodily instincts as to what his or her body craves today and what it doesn't need today!
Give your child a little more space for challenges (e.g. high climbing on the playground) than your fear normally allows you. This will show your child that you trust him or her. This trust helps your child believe in himself or herself: "I can manage!"
5) Open up Your Kid's View on the World with Positive Language!
Language is incredibly powerful!
It can either open up the world with possibilities and potential of fun or lock it down with limitations and bans.
Here are some positive parenting tips about positive language:
Think about only using "No" when absolutely necessary: For instance, instead of saying "No, you can't sit in the front seat, you're too small" turn it around to positive statement of possibility: "The backseat is your seat. There you'll have all your toys and you can help mom (or dad) find out which way to go!"
Explain the necessary "No's" with a thorough explanation in terms of concrete consequences: "I'm sorry but you can't play with your cars in the middle of the road. Your see the cars coming there? They come very fast and might not see you out there. And if they don't see you, they might hit you. And that will hurt a lot. So don't you think it's a better idea to make your racetrack in the garden - I think it is!"
6) Make Your Day Easier by Tuning in to and Understanding Your Child!
Everyday life can be so much easier if we actually bother to try and understand why our child acts the way he or she does.
Often when our child is angry or cranky it's because he or she has a need (e.g. attention, acceptance, hunger, fatigue, touch etc.) that he or she needs us to fulfil.
By trying to put yourself in your child's shoes and trying to understand your kid's actions from his or her perspective, you're taking your child seriously. This is the basic recipe of respect!
Here are some positive parenting tips about positive empathy:
When your child is sad or angry, try to remain calm and tune in to your child to try to 'read' what kind of need (e.g. attention, acceptance, hunger, fatigue, touch etc.) lies behind the behavior and try to do what you can to fulfil the need. This intuitive bonding is the basic strategy of attachment parenting.
Try to not see your child as naughty or an enemy that needs to be fought or 'broken' in order to become compliant. A much more satisfying way to deal with a crisis is to merely see your child as having a need that is not met. Looking at the situation in this way may feel like a difficult mental turnaround in your head but it really works!
7) Strive Towards Positive Honesty!
Some parents think they can more easily creep out of a difficult situation it they lie: For instance, in kindergarden it might be 'trendy' among the kids to say: "I don't like onions, they're disgusting!".
This then becomes a belief your child will also declare at home. Therefore the easy way out for you might be to say: "No, there are no onions in the meatloaf", well knowing your kid will not be able to taste them!
This strategy might work to get your child to eat right then and there, but at some point your child will find out you're lying and what has your kid learnt then: "It's okay to lie if it makes life instantly easier for me." Probably not such a good thing to pass on!
Here are some positive parenting tips about positive honesty:
When your kid honestly tells you about something 'bad' he or she has done, try to remain calm, open and constructive. Why? Because in the long term you want your child to come to you if he or she is in trouble. If your kid fears your reaction (being angry or disappointed) it is highly likely that your kid will keep his or her trouble to himself or herself in the future. Therefore support your kid's honesty!
Your child is never too young to have an honest explanation. If your child doesn't understand a "no" or wants to know why something works the way it does - strive to give a positively centred (not trying to label or make your child fell bad) honest explanation based on simple consequences:
For instance: "When you hit Tom, Tom doesn't like it. It makes his arm hurt. And it may hurt so much that it makes him cry. If Tom takes something from you, it's a good idea to say to him that you want it back. You can also talk with one of the adults about it."
8) Respecting Your Kid Will Make Your Kid Respect You!
For some reason many people think that just because their child is younger, they are not fully entitled to respect.
However, what they don't see is that if they give their child respect, they will respect right back.
Here are some positive parenting tips about positive respect!
Respect is not something you teach your child. Respect is something you give you child if you want him or her to respect you. In fact, whatever basic life skills (being compassionate, understanding, patient etc.) you want your kid to learn, be those life skills yourself!
When you try to see things from your kid's perspective, you are much less prone to struggle and force things trough in a disrespectful manner. When you respect your child's boundaries (accepting that he or she might not want to pee right now or doesn't feel like eating), your child will intuitively learn not to cross your boundaries. Again, it's the power of the mirror effect!
9) Shower Your Kid with Your Full Presence
Your full presence is probably one of the most powerful tools you have as a parent - deep, accepting presence is seeing your child as he or she really is which is therapeutically recognized as deeply healing (go here to read more about the power of the unconditional positive regard in parenting.
Paying attention to our kid when we are busy is difficult, I know. However, if for instance, we manage to pay attention to our toddler while cooking (talking and involving our child in what we do) rather than just ignoring or becoming frustrated, my experience is that just a little bit of your presence has a tremendous effect.
Your child will feel seen and heard and will therefore be more prone to accepting your situation! Your acceptance of your kid will make you kid more accepting of your cooking! The simple power of the mirror effect!
When your kid is showing bad behavior or is angry and frustrated - try to not ride along the same emotional wave. Meet your child with an accepting and embracing energy instead - this is unconditional parenting. There's a reason for the frustration and you accepting your child no matter how he or she behaves is incredibly powerful!
10) Unconditionally Support Your Kid to Build High Self Esteem
Some people believe that constantly praising your child's actions will build high self esteem.
I don't necessarily agree. By praising actions, your child may come to think that affection comes from doing well: "If I behave and impress my parents I will get positive attention". This 'programs' your child to tend to seek praise because that is where he or she has learnt an award awaits: namely feeling seen and admired!
However, unconditional support - supporting who your child IS - is another matter completely.
Here are some positive parenting tips about positive support:
Try not to evaluate your kid's actions in terms of accomplishments or failures: "This drawing is really, really good" or "This is not that good". Try instead to focus on your kid's feeling of the process "Tell me about your drawing. It looks like you had a great time doing it!"
Try not to use punishment, threats or bribes as ways to control your kid's behavior: rewarding your kid when he or she lives up to your standards ("You're a good boy or girl) and punishing your kid when he or she fails ("You're a bad boy or girl), is unfortunate.
You actually teach your child that he or she has to 'earn' your love, to work for it. This means that your child will identify love with his or her accomplishments rather than his or her person.
And wouldn't we all just love to be loved for who we are rather than what we do?
I hope these 10 positive parenting tips of how to give
your children empowerment were of use to you and could
help in some way.
Your Positive Parenting Ally, Birgitte
Want to stay in touch and get the latest news? Sign up
for my free newsletter