As moms, the saying that “this is harder for me than it is for you” is true. Guiding and teaching our children to make wise choices seems like a never-ending task. It feels like we repeat ourselves a million times a day. And believe it or not, we do! Experts say a toddler can hear the word “no” almost 400 times a day. Now I’m not an expert, but I am a mom of two responsible, thriving adult children. As a parent, I wanted to bless my children. My husband and I wanted to say yes, more than no. We just had to teach our children how to position themselves to be blessed. Positive parenting can turn their frowns upside down.
My #1 positive parenting tip: Give your child the choice
My children were both considered to be strong-willed children. From the time my 2-year-old told me he was “the boss of me,” I knew I better have a plan. It became exhausting to be in constant battle with a toddler. I recall researching positive parenting principles and I learned that I did not need to be part of the consequence. We needed to establish a family plan and clear expectations. Our plan would include putting the responsibility of choices in their hands. My husband and I just needed to uphold the result of what they chose. How freeing this was for me as a parent, I was not the consequence. It was their choice. From two years old to the teenage years, our children were able to understand this concept.
Blessings or Consequences
If you have a toddler, you know, they want to make decisions. They like choices: what to wear or what song to play on the radio. Sometimes a simple task of putting on their shoes can cause a power struggle. I would let my toddler know that they had a choice. Completing the task I asked of them resulted in a blessing. They could tell me no and receive a consequence. It was their choice. I just had to uphold the boundary. Establishing clear expectations and a family plan helps your child know ahead of time what those blessings and consequences look like. For toddlers, an example of a blessing can be longer time to play, screen time, or a sweet treat. And a consequence can be the loss of those items or something that they really want to do. As they get older, the rewards become age-appropriate.
Raising a Successful Adult
Our job as mom is not to get our children to learn all the rules and follow them perfectly. We have to take into consideration the learning curve. We establish the boundaries to help protect and nurture them as they mature into a responsible adult. Teaching your child to be responsible for their behavior is key. Our responsibility as parents is to love them unconditionally as we hold up the boundaries. We all want our children to accomplish their dreams and goals, which can require personal discipline. A child can learn to be responsible for their own behavior. Owning their choices can promote them into a future of blessings and dreams come true. Positive parenting can turn their frowns upside down!