Positive Parenting for Toddlers to Create Positive Teenagers
If you have been hearing the term “positive parenting” and wondering exactly what it means, you have come to the right place.
Positive parenting is the belief that your kids want to have open communication with you, that you should listen to your children with an open mind and heart, that you set clear boundaries and limits for them, that you be consistent with discipline and rules, that you talk to your children in a rational manner about what you expect from them and that when there are disagreements they can be handled in a negotiation like way.
This may sound like a crazy way to parent (after all our kids are not our equals, right?) but research shows that it really does work if the right amount of effort is put into it. Starting with the positive parent approach when your kids are just toddlers will make it easier to carry over into their older years.
It will also help in making them positive teenagers; and let’s face it, that is a rare thing for a teenager to be! Positive Parenting involves a lot more than one may think. The ultimate goal is to encourage the qualities in your kids that will help them flourish as they get older. Here are some good ways to incorporate positive parenting for toddlers into your way of life.
Communication is Key
Even with toddlers, communication is key. However, do not try to have a long drawn out talk with them because they will tune out and miss most of it. Keep their attention span in mind and make any requests short and right to the point. Whatever requests you do communicate should be realistic and not out of their scope of ability.
Positive parenting communication also involves choosing the right words to use. Instead of saying “don’t”, try using the word “do”. Try using the words “then” and “when” as well. For instance, “When you get your toys picked up then we can play outside.” instead of “If you don’t pick up your clothes we won’t play outside.” Do not threaten them with punishments like “You just wait till your father gets home.”
Dealing with a Toddler Who Ignores You
Most toddlers will ignore you at one time or another. Sometimes they just don’t have you in their “zone”. Sometimes they are purposely ignoring you. If you find that your toddler is ignoring you and your requests more and more often, try getting down to their level. Get on your knees of sit on the floor. Place your hands on the little shoulders and speak directly to them when asking them to do what you want them to do.
Make sure you put on your serious face during this action so they know you are not messing around. Listen to what they have to say back to you and if there is a way to negotiate a compromise, go for it. However, make it clear that if they do not carry though with your request that there will be consequences. Do not threaten them with punishment but let them know what will happen if they do not follow through. Language techniques like NLP works very well in such situations where Chris explains in his lesson “Threats and Punishment” from his Talking to Toddler audio program.
Praising Your Toddler
Praise is a fantastic tool used in positive parenting and should be given often. However, only do it when it is warranted and do it right when the behavior occurs. Make the praise specific so they know exactly what action you approve of. An example would be “Your room is all clean, you did a great job!” Show enthusiasm when you give praise and make direct eye contact.
Though this does not sound that important, it is a form of bonding between you and your child that will carry over to their other life stages. Do not wait for them to do something good outright. Watch for it! Catch your toddler being good and give them praise for it! “You are being so quiet while mommy is working and that is so good!” This shows that you recognize their efforts and that you appreciate their behavior.
The main thing in raising toddlers through positive parenting is the praise. As it increases with age, they will learn how to give themselves praise and this is what good self esteem is all about. When the teenage years come they will know that they are valuable and worthy of praise and love. This is what we all want for our children, and if we start positive parenting when they are toddlers it can become a reality.