Being a parent is kind of a high pressure job, eh? Not only are you on call 24/7, 365 but if you screw up your job, then your kid ends up in a maximum security prison. Or at least in crippling debt from all the therapists he has to see undo the effect of your well-meaning intentions.
Yet so many of us have no clue where to turn for help with our parenting skills. We know we shouldn’t yell or spank or threaten consequences that we never intend to follow through on. But how SHOULD we deal with the raging toddler or the angst-ridden preteen??
Or that one kid who keeps peeing in inappropriate places?
I recently found two AMAZING parenting resources that I have to share!
The first one is an online course called Positive Parenting Solutions. The creator is a woman named Amy McCready and she appears in all the course videos, so it’s basically like taking a real college course by video. The curriculum is all based on child psychology, not just parenting trends or fads and it makes a LOT of sense. Plus the course is really pretty affordable considering you get lifetime access once you buy it!
One of the first things McCready recommends is scheduling one-on-one time with each of your kids, every day. Now that can get a little tricky with a a whole brood like we have but she says that even 10 minutes a day can have an important effect. This time should be spent doing something that the child wants to do and has to be only with that specific child.
My girls have really latched onto this concept and call it “Me Time”. I’m amazed at how they plan what we’ll do and look forward to it all day…and we usually just end up coloring together! The theory is that kids needs that special interaction with a parent to feel valued and important…and that, in turn, will lessen negative behaviors.
My other new favorite parenting resource is a book called Real Love in Parenting.
I’m also still in the thick of studying this one but it has already COMPLETELY revolutionized the way I think about disciplining my kids. The most eye-opening theory on which he bases his book claims that most of us do not unconditionally love our children. Ouch. But he doesn’t mean it as an insult, he simply means that most of us have never even experienced unconditional love ourselves and we therefore can’t show it to others.
According to Baer, we show conditional love when we react to our children in anger or disappointment. He says these two emotions have no place in correcting our kids.
Um, say what?? I can’t show that I’m angry or disappointed when my kid’s being a punk??
This guy says that what we’re doing when showing these emotions is focusing on how WE feel, and not on the children. Has a kid ever behaved better because his parent was mad or disappointed at him? Oh, sure. But probably out of fear or guilt, NOT because he genuinely felt loved by his parent.
I’ve found that on the days that I simply focus on eliminating anger and disappointment from my interactions with my kids, things go SO much more smoothly!! Not to mention my mood stays positive, no matter what my kids do.
If you’re having trouble disciplining or feel like you’re often at the end of your rope, I can’t recommend these two resources highly enough! I also can’t wait to get all the way through them both.