Positive Partnering – A Balanced Way to Nurture Children with Kindness & Firmness
Positive parenting has as a principle to be kind and firm at the same time with children. At many occasions, parents often misinterpret this principle for the reason that they tend to confuse being kind with permissive parenting or make the mistake of believing that if they show anger, they are being firm.
There are so many mistaken beliefs about how to practice positive parenting. In this post, we will clarify it, so that you can understand it better; if you do not understand it, you can hardly apply it at home.
Every child deserves a dignified and respectful treatment. Being kind and firm at the same time is not a parenting strategy. I want to clarify that acting with kindness and firmness does not guarantee that your children will ‘obey’ you immediately. If we are friendly in our daily dealings with them, making them feel respected, they will be more willing to cooperate and, among other things, will improve the family environment.
When we are kind, we are being respectful with our children. And in turn, when we are firm, we are being respectful with ourselves. Imagine that you had a very difficult day at work. You arrive home at 20:30 exhausted, and your little one tells you that he forgot to ask you to buy some watercolors for the next day’s art class. Think a moment how would you respond!
An example of a kind and firm response at the same time is the following: ‘I'm very sorry, but I will not go, it's late and I'm exhausted.’ Next time let me know as soon as they tell you at school, so that I can buy what you need on time. With this response, you are being kind and firm at the same time. Was there a need to get angry, to shout or reproach the child for not warning in time? No! With this response, there is a respectful treatment for the child, being at the same time respectful of you, and being firm in maintaining your position of not going to buy it at that time.
Fear makes us lean more towards firmness or kindness. We are extremely firm because we are afraid that our children will get out of hand, abuse us, disrespect us, on the contrary, we are extremely kind because we fear that our children will challenge us, rebel and become insecure.
Sometimes, we are likely to find ourselves on one of the two extremes depending on the current situation or our state of mind. If we have had a good day, we usually tend to be patient and tolerant, even, we usually let pass attitudes that we would not usually leave behind. If, on the other hand, we had a bad day, we react to any attitude impatiently and intolerantly. Think of what your child will feel about this inconstancy in your way of acting. Ideally, we can find a balance between both extremes.
It is true that finding this balance can be a great challenge for us, we may even think that it is impossible. We know that it is not easy, however, if we internalize this principle and put our best effort to apply it, change is possible.
Positive parenting does not expect us to be perfect parents, but encourages us to give the best of ourselves. If in the path you are undertaking you feel that you stumble and fall, we invite you to get up and continue recognizing that we are human beings and that we live in a cycle of constant learning. The most important thing what really counts is simply trying to be a better person with your child day by day. To learn it better, you can join a course, called Positive Parenting Solutions. This program aims to train parents in detail how to practice positive parenting. To make an informed decision if you should join it or not, read this positive parenting solutions review.