While there are various ways to bring up kids, most techniques or styles are learned from one’s own parents. Learning how to raise children is a never-ending process, but it’s important to disentangle yourself from your own desires to make sure your children are brought up in a positive environment.
While there are various ways to bring up kids, most techniques or styles are learned from one’s own parents. Learning how to raise children is a never-ending process, but it’s important to disentangle yourself from your own desires to make sure your children are brought up in a positive environment. Not only can positivity foster individualism and creativity, it can also lead to happier children who are better functioning adults. A positive childhood can also lead to a more successful life. Here are just a few ways for parents to inject more positive thinking into their parenting.
Create a “No Complaining” Rule
One great way to add some positivity into your kids’ lives is to create a no complaining rule. As part of this rule, state that children aren’t allowed to complain unless they think of some positive ways to change the situation. This will give them the chance to turn a negative situation into a positive one, which is likely to have a lasting effect on their thought processes over time. Instead of dwelling on negative aspects of life, this lesson will train their brain to problem-solve and identify ways to transform the conflict with positivity. Complaining is known to have a long-term effect on both children and adults, resulting in things like anger issues, lower self-esteem and pessimistic moods. These effects can be toxic on little minds and there’s no better way to combat that than to change their way of thinking.
Utilize Praise and Positive Reinforcement
Parents will definitely want to include some praise and positive reinforcement in their parenting. Praise can be the perfect way to build confidence and self-esteem. It shows your children that they are valued and skilled. Just make sure that you praise not only for the result, but also for the effort put into it. If your child loses their soccer game, but scores a goal for the team, they still deserve some praise so they know you’re proud of their success even if it wasn’t the outcome they may have wanted. Include descriptive words and be sincere so they know you mean what you say and you’re not just trying to make them feel better.
Similarly, positive reinforcement is a tool that will add positivity into your parent-child relationship. This technique tends to work better with smaller children. Give them something they want in exchange for good behavior; this is an incentive for them to behave and they’ll learn that that is the way they should always be acting.
Maintain a Bedtime Ritual
If children go to bed happy, they’ll probably wake up happy. One way to make sure that happens is to create a bedtime ritual that relaxes and satisfies your children as they lay their heads down each night. There are a few different ways to do this. If you’re religious, include a prayer thanking God for the positive things in your day. You and your kids can make it a family affair by praying together. If you’re not religious, there are other options as well. Parents can read their kids a bedtime story or sing them a song. This fun, creative method of putting your child to sleep will encourage their imagination and individuality. A tradition such as a prayer or bedtime story can also provide a sense of peace or security that will give them a better night’s sleep as well.
Encourage Kids to Pursue Their Interests
As a parent, it’s easy to sign your children up for activities you think they’d be good at or the ones you want them to do. But one way to really insert some positive thinking into your relationship with your kids is to encourage them to choose their own activities based on what they’re interested in. Supporting them will leave a lasting impression on them and getting them involved in things they like means they won’t want to quit in a week (maybe, anyway). Signing your little ones up for extracurricular activities also gives you a way to instill added values. Teach them the importance of setting—and reaching—goals. You can also combine this idea with that of parenting with praise and positive thinking, celebrating any achievements your children make even if it didn’t include the outcome they were hoping for.
Replace Stress with Thankfulness
Another way to inject positive thinking into your parenting is to replace the stress in your life. Instead, showcase your happiness by revealing how thankful you are for everything in your life—your home, your job and, most of all, your children. If you do, you’ll become the perfect model for your children. Show them how to fight stress early on by eliminating it from your life as much s possible. On top of that, take some of the things causing you stress—long hours at work, PTA meetings, etc.—and transform that into time spend with your kids. Do something meaningful together. Read a book together, play a game, work a puzzle, watch a movie or draw a picture. Do something creative and exciting then tell your kids just how thankful you are for the time spent with them. Stress is essentially the opposite of all things positive so if you can combat that with positive activities and elements, your life and your kids’ lives will be so much more full.
Teach Kids to Be Nice to Others
While each of these positive thinking techniques technically incorporates its own lesson, it is especially imperative to teach your kids to be nice to others. This will continue to spread the positivity not just in your own lives but also in the lives of those around you. One special way for your children to do this is by buying a gift or doing something nice for a peer just because. Kids can take this a step further and help out family members or neighbors. Teach them to stand up for kids at school that are being bullied and to spread the positive thinking on to them. They just might need it even more than your kids do, and by teaching them to be kind, respectful children, you have a part in making others’ lives more positive as well.