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I gave positive parenting a try and here's what happened

I gave positive parenting a try and here's what happened


Deidra Romero

posted in Parenting

There’s a new buzzword in parenting and it won’t be long before you start seeing it everywhere. It’s “positive parenting.” Even though it’s on-trend now, it’s actually been around for over 40 years. Personally, I think the style/philosophy/belief is gaining steam because, let’s be honest, millennial parents want to do their own thing.

I heard of positive parenting from a mom on Instagram. Michelle Carlson is a Los Angeles-based certified parenting instructor who coaches parents who want to make their style more peaceful and productive.

On her account, Michelle writes candidly about peaceful parenting from her personal experience. The best thing about her? She’s incredibly honest. When she yells at her kids, she admits it. She’ll tell you this whole positive parenting gig is definitely not easy. It’s not the way we naturally come to parenting.

happy mom and child play in a tent

So what exactly is positive parenting?

Positive parenting is kind of a catch-all for several different terms. You may have heard of peaceful parenting or connective parenting. Teachers, if you’ve heard of conscious discipline, it’s in the same vein. They all differ slightly but the main tenants are the same. They are all the antitheses of traditional parenting.

There are no rewards, punishments, threats, or bargaining in positive parenting. Proponents of the style claim it’s not passive parenting. Discipline still exists though it’s never in the form of spanking or even times-outs. The argument by positive parenting followers is that discipline in the form of punishment creates exterior motives for kids to follow rules.

The goal of positive parenting is to get your kids to listen to you out of respect and love based on the bond you share. So spending quality time together is an important part of it.

“Positive parents set kind limits and let kids know what behaviors are expected. Children in these households are more apt to take direction from their parents because the connection is deep and the child knows their parent is on their side, does things out of love and is supportive,” says Michelle.

mom and daughter stretch together

Positive parenting is built on the connection of the parent and child. The bond serves as the guiding light and at times the discipline. When a child misbehaves, parents course-correct by communicating and listening.

Here’s the part that makes me so uncomfortable.

Positive parenting turns the spotlight back on the parents. They function as models of behavior. Parents listen respectfully, lead with empathy, and give children space to feel what they feel. It’s important for parents to stay calm and resist yelling and delivering threats. So basically the opposite of everything I currently do. 

mother and child high five while riding bikes

The other night my son gave me a chance to practice this positive parenting business up close and personal. He got out of bed at 9:30 and was sobbing because he didn’t want to go back to sleep. Instead of yelling and threatening which would have been on par for me, I calmly walked him back to his bed. I rubbed his back and said “It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay.” He fell asleep. There was no yelling or bargaining or threatening. I put that one in the Win column. I’m not quite ready to shut down our time-out station, but I hope to use it a lot less.

What do you think about positive parenting? Is it worth trying?

Images by iStock

The post I gave positive parenting a try and here’s what happened appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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