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The Hows of Positive Parenting: Proven Tips to Raise Happy & Successful Children (Part 3)

We are now down to our third (and final) article on the series covering the techniques and tips to effectively implement the positive parenting approach.

Here are the prevous ones:

Do you still remember the first seven points that we have discussed before? Here they are:

  1. Manage behaviour with Clarity
  2. Implement Rules with Transition
  3. Frame your Instructions in a Positive Manner
  4. Work on Your Own Mood and Transform Your Perspectives
  5. Validate their Feelings and Empathize with their Emotions
  6. Interact with the Same Level Physically
  7. Let Self-Expression Be Free Yet Proper

So how shall we complete our list? Let us now dive into the final yet highly important hows of positive parenting!

8. Be More Intentional on Finding the Good

When our children are on the “terrible two,” “tiresome three,” “feisty four” or “fearsome five” stages, we can have the tendency to focus on the negatives. Their tantrums, disobedience, naughtiness, playfulness, and many other seemingly negative characteristics push most parents to perceive them as terrible, tiresome, feisty, or fearsome.pexels-photo-789786.jpeg

Instead of looking at such stages of development negatively, we can actually transform our own perspectives and direct our thoughts towards being more intentional in looking for the good. I admit, this tip can be easier said than done. But there are ways to make it work!

First, make a reflection of your parenting. Get a notebook and pen and list down both the good and the bad aspects of your parenting experience. Surely, the bad will never outweigh the good! For every cry of your child, there would be hundred-fold smiles. For every hour taken away from your sleep, there’s an overflowing bucket of happiness in your heart.

Second, be keener on looking at your child’s good behavior. When your child wakes up from her nap, you can tell her, “You’ve surely had a sweet nap, my dear! You know what? Mama also had a wonderful nap beside you. (Or Mama also had a beautiful time cooking our dinner for later!) Let’s do that again tomorrow, okay?” Remember to always verbalize your praises. Don’t be afraid to show appreciation.

9. Help & Coach Them with Their Emotions

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One of the misconceptions of parents about their children’s emotions is that they are too simple and shallow to care about. Most parents would have the perception that children are too immature with a mere play on their minds, thus it is not necessary to talk about how they feel or why they are angry, frustrated, happy, excited or whatsoever.

Emotions are at the core of our being. No matter what stage in life we are, everything that we feel is valid. It is important to talk about your child’s emotions from time to time. It helps them accept and validate their own happiness, joy, anger, excitement, and disappointment.

When they suddenly smile, you can ask, “How come you are smiling, my dear?” Then you can share some of your personal accounts this way: “You know what, I also smile when I am happy. I smile when you hug me and kiss me.” It would also help if you can teach them how to react properly when they get disappointed over an unmet desire or how to show appreciation to other people.

By always talking to them about their emotions, you can help them have a secure emotional foundation which could help them cope with different circumstances as they grow and experience the real world

10. Be Generous with Love – Physically & Verbally

Are hugs and kisses a normal part of your day? Then great! Do you frequently say “I love you” to your child? Then wonderful!

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Do not be afraid to show your love both physically and verbally to your children. Although others would argue that this could make them weak or feeling entitled, let me counter that. Our children are in their developing years, and they need the maximum amount of love that we can give. We cannot make them fully secure with their individuality and confident with their environment if they do not feel accepted, loved, and taken care of. The world can be quite harsh and they would soon discover this fact as they grow old. For them to be strong enough to conquer all challenges, they need to know that there are people who love them and won’t leave them no matter what happens. And that is you, mom and dad.

After all, doesn’t the world need more love? When our child is filled with love in their hearts, then it wouldn’t be hard for them to be kind to other people.


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Encouraging Play Encourages a Child’s Development

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We’ve all heard the term, “Oh, that’s child’s play.” It implies something is easy, frivolous and unimportant in the overall scheme of things.  But to a child, child’s play is essential to their mental, social, emotional, and physical development.

We all know that children like to play. But what we may not know is the importance of play in a child’s life. Play is essential to every area of a child’s growth and development.

Play provides a means for energy to be put to use. It strengthens and refines small and large motor skills, and it builds stamina and strength. Sensory learning develops mostly through play.

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Play is significant to physical development in that without it the body could not grow and develop normally.

Children possess a natural curiosity. They, explore, learn and make sense out of their environment by playing. Parents and educators alike can support this learning activity by ensuring age-appropriate toys, materials and environments are available to the child.

monica-gozalo-138999-unsplashPlay enables children to know things about the world and to discover information essential to learning. Through play children learn basic concepts such as colors, counting, how to build things, and how to solve problems. Thinking and reasoning skills are at work every time a child engages in some type of play.

Children learn to relate to one another, negotiate roles, share, and obey rules through play. They also learn how to belong to a group and how to be part of a team. A child obtains and retains friends through play.

Play fulfills many needs including a sense of accomplishment, successfully giving and receiving attention, and the need for self-esteem. It helps them develop a strong sense of self, and is emotionally satisfying to them.  They learn about fairness, and through pretending learn appropriate ways of expressing emotion such as anger, fear, frustration, stress and discover ways of dealing with these feelings.

So encourage your child’s play.  Color pictures, make finger paintings, build buildings and imaginary cities with blocks, and built a tent in the middle of the living room and go camping! And as we all know, childhood is fleeting, so let them enjoy being a kid while they are one!


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The “Hows” of Positive Parenting: Proven Tips to Raise Happy & Successful Children (Part 1)

The two previous posts on positive parenting dealt with the whats and the whys… Now let us jump into the hows or the techniques by which we can effectively implement the approach. After all, what is theory without practice, right?

Here are some of the proven tips in raising happy and successful children using the theoretical and practical foundations of positive parenting:

1. Manage Behaviour with Clarity

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What does it mean to enforce behavior management with clarity? This is basically about being able to let your child understand the reason for certain rules and the expected consequences from breaking such rules.

Toddlers and young children are inquisitive creatures. They do not simply do what they are told without knowing the underlying reasons for it.

For example, if you want to prevent your child from going outdoors in the rainy season because of the health dangers associated it, then you could set a mini meeting with her. Be creative in your explanation so that she can easily understand.

2. Implement Rules with Transition

Are you strict with mealtimes? Most parents would have difficulty following a strict mealtime most especially when their children are so hooked into playing. An effective way to get children easily co-operate is by considering the transition from playtime to mealtime. How do you do this? Give reminder signals.

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Reminder signals are a good way to remind your child of the need to cooperate to certain rules. Know that your child hasn’t fully developed her mental capacities yet. Rules can easily be forgotten when faced with enjoyable circumstances. A positive method of enforcing rules without risking the development of tension is by providing reminder signals.

3. Frame Your Instructions in a Positive Manner

How often do you find yourself saying the word don’t? Millions of parents across the globe have made it a habit to frame their rules using negative words without realizing that these could actually be confusing to the developing minds of young children. Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to say what your child should do instead of what she must not?

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For example, instead of saying “Don’t mess up your room,” you could actually reframe the instruction into, “Put back your toys on the shelf after playing.” By doing this, you have clearly set the instructions to your child without causing confusion about what is expected of her.

4. Work on Your Own Mood & Transform Your Perspectives

623429-PNWEZC-168If you are really serious about positive parenting, then you should expect to be doing a lot of work on yourself. Positive parenting heavily relies on the ability of the parent to see the world in a positive light and to be able to control negativity in both thought and action.

Your child won’t always have a great day. There are times when she would get upset by a friend who may not share toys with her or be afraid of new events such as her first day in school. The way she reacts to these circumstances can be significantly influenced by your very own views of adversities and challenges.

Remember, light can easily radiate outside. So if you see the world positively, then you can also share the same perspective with your child.

If you want to know more check out the Learning through Fun and Play Masterclass:


 

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15 Easy DIY Meal Design Ideas for Toddlers

Toddlers can be fussy eaters who refuse to try a new food at least half of the time. Approximately half of all toddlers fit this description, so it is no wonder that food issues are a source of stress for parents.

Establishing healthy eating patterns is important to avoid problems such as obesity and eating disorders later in life. Various strategies can help your child accept a wider range of foods. One of such effective strategies is showing your creative side and experimenting with meals, snacks fruits and vegetables.

Did you ever hear them say yuck over carrots or apples? Then what has been your initial response? Most parents would choose to keep the “yucky” vegetables or fruits out of their children’s eyes to prevent them from showing disgust over what has been prepared on the table.

But if you really want to let your kids eat a particular “yucky” food, then you better start normalizing the experience of eating such. A subtle way of doing this is by making different forms of one particular food and letting them try these. For example, if your kids don’t like simple boiled carrots, why don’t you mash them with butter, process them with burger patties, or make differently shaped carrot fries? Let your creativity fly during meal preparation.

If you do not know how to make food look attractive for your toddler we picked some adorable ideas for you.

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Isn’t it easy? here are more ideas

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Get Involved in your Child’s Activities, Hobbies and School

It’s probably no secret that children who have involved parents are more happy, healthy, and well-adjusted and excel at their educational and extracurricular pursuits.  It can increase their cognitive development, keeps them motivated, strengthens the parent-child relationship, and has a direct positive influence on their overall academic achievement.  In turn, it can also help parents achieve a positive outlook on their parenting, increase their own self confidence and self esteem, and will most likely feel more satisfied with their child’s educational experience at school.

But where do you get involved?  

With today’s busy schedules between home, work, and school, it may feel that the average family has very little quality time to offer.  However, different options and levels of commitment are available to fit every parent’s availability, and with some careful planning and dedication, you can make it a positive experience for both yourself and your child.

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First of all, discover what your child is most passionate about.  Maybe you’ve thought about volunteering for the school bake sale to raise money, but your child is actually more actively involved in her local Girl Scouts troop.   If that’s the case, then get together with the other Girl Scout parents and see what you can contribute to help the troop.  Maybe you could organize a bake sale to benefit their next summer outing.

It’s also important to consider what skills, talents and abilities you can bring to the table.  Maybe your child’s school is in desperate need of your help organizing a fundraiser, but your skills in sewing and designing might better serve the school if you were to help in making the costumes for the school play.  Remember, you want this to be a positive experience for both of you, and if your child senses that you’re not happy with what you’ve chosen to become involved in, then they likely will not be happy as well.

But the bottom line is get involved and stay involved.  Children of involved parents are less likely to get into mischief, have emotional problems, or have problems in school. 

You benefit by connecting with and staying connected to your child.  It’s a win-win situation for you both.