I’m currently sat in a Macdonald’s in some random area of London that I couldn’t even tell you where it was if I wanted to! Thank the tech gods for Google maps.
I am here waiting to start my first day of a Positive Discipline Parent Educator course and I’m incredibly excited. Having Leo and wanting to raise him as a confident, healthy and most of all, content person led me down the positive discipline route. Whilst it incredibly hard to put into practice because it goes against all discipline methods I have grown up with, it really is the most rewarding form of effort I have ever known.
Whilst I am far from perfect, I see some scandalous examples of discipline wherever I go and I want to do what I can to change that. It was whilst reading one of many articles, that I stumbled across a lady who had this qualification against her name and the investigation began from there.
I firmly believe if all of us learned to parent in this manner, the world would be a completely different place. I am even applying the methods to my team at work. Now THAT is tough.
It just makes sense: be respectful ALL the time, even when you are setting boundaries. Be kind, love each other and show everyone that you love them, even when they are having a tough time. Don’t exclude them from your love just because they are upset. Oh yeah, and communicate, talk through frustrations and find a solution together.
It dawned on me recently, that many of the failings we face during daily life interactions, could be solved if only parents took the time to learn how to parent well.
Pretty much every single thing you learn on your quest to positively parent is applicable to how you interact with every person you come across.
Respect, empowerment, belonging, self belief, positivity, problem solving and team work, to name a few.
Can you imagine how the world would look if positive parenting was of the highest priority to everyone?
This has to be one of the toughest things I have faced in my parenting journey. In my learning with positive parenting, I have realised that we don’t empower Leo enough. I think the main reason is that he is more than happy to have everything done for him, a lot of toddlers demand they do it themselves.
This past week or more, I have made a point of expecting more of him. I have taken the time to teach him how to help load and unload the dishwasher, load and unload the washing and tumble dryer, take his own trousers and socks off, put on and take off his t-shirts (with some assistance due to his 7 year old sized head) he’s also learning how to wash himself.
To say it has been tough is a massive understatement. To remain calm in the face of screaming and sometimes hitting/biting frustration is a challenge. To remember to make consistent positive connections to him as well as providing encouragement and standing fast on my faith that he can do something, so that he doesn’t learn to give in at the first sign of a struggle, pulls on every single one of my heart strings and every ounce of my patience too.
We have gone from being able to get out of the house in a few simple minutes, to a full on 45 min session of options, encouragement and flat out refusal. It’s soooooo exhausting, I can totally see why people take the easy option of not doing this, or worse, losing their temper.
However, what this process provides a child with is priceless. They learn resiliency, a much required life skill. They feel empowered by their daily achievements, they learn to believe in themselves, they learn to trust their caregivers and it strengthens the bond as they know that they have faith in them. They feel part of the family: heard and important.
It’s not easy, but I know it’s worth it. It wouldn’t be me I was letting down if I didn’t give it my all.