Ten steps to a kind and gentle parenting

Ten steps to a kind and gentle parenting

| |  Pediatric Developmental Behavioral Health

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1. Think about what attitude to youself you want

How would you feel about someone who punishes and criticizes you? And how different would that attitude be from treating someone who treats you with compassion and understanding? And which of these two people would you like to become for your child?

2. Think about how you would respond if another person made the mistake, not your child

Your son just spilled cherry juice on the white couch. What will be your reaction? How do you show your emotions? Now think about how you would react if someone else spilled the juice, for example, your friend. Would you experience similar emotions? Would you make her worry about it? Or would you just wipe off the juice and tell her that nothing terrible happened, that she shouldn't worry about it? Why can't you be as kind to your child as you are to your friend?

3. Pay attention to relationship, not to rules

Each time you interact with your child, ask yourself how you are shaping your relationship with your child. Are you sacrificing your relationship in order to seem like the right parent? Are your words and actions fostering a close relationship between you and your child, or is it the other way around?

4. Pay attention to the situation, not the behavior

Example situation: Your child hits his little sister or brother. Instead of paying attention to inappropriate behavior, consider why he is doing it. Reassure both children, and then try to figure out what is causing the problem. What does your child need? Help him solve his problem. Help him meet his needs. Perhaps the reason was in the toy. Perhaps he needs your attention. Or maybe the case in aggregate needs.

5. Focus on preventing problem situations, not just the consequences

Suppose your son already knows that it is forbidden to hit his sister. Perhaps he regrets what he did, and maybe not. Either way, you can calmly remind him that people don't like being beaten, but you cannot change the past. The best thing you can do is decide how to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Until the situation stabilizes, be more careful for a while, leaving them alone with each other.

6. Listen to youself

Think about when exactly you are kind to other people, and to whom exactly you are kind. If you've ever had a normal conversation with someone, it will be easier for you to speak normally with your child. What tone and words do you use when you speak kindly to someone? Pay attention to the situations in which your voice changes. Why is this happening? How do you feel after that and what do you do?

7. Come up with a stop plan

For example, if you want to tell your child something that you may regret later, take a deep breath and whisper, "I love you." Or come up with your own way of reacting to the situation. Once you remind yourself and your child of this, it will be much more difficult to be rude to him. And even if it doesn't calm your child, it can calm you down. After that, you can think more clearly about everything, understand the needs of your child and help him.

8. Get rid of excess ideas

Forget about activities that are not necessary and that alienate you from your children. For example, about making everything sparkle at home. That any food should be perfect, as in the picture. Pay more attention to what is important to you. Take the time to be more considerate of your children. This way you will not waste your time.

9. Don't forget your needs

Be active. Cook and eat with pleasure. Get enough sleep. Don't forget to shower. When you have time, lie down in the bathroom. Find yourself a hobby (take up drawing, sports, dancing), listen to beautiful music, learn new things, look for beauty in everything. Take time to chat with family and friends, meet new people. Everyone will be better off if you do not forget about your needs. Everything can be overcome, the main thing is not to run it, plan and take steps towards a normal life.

10. First analyze the choice and then make a decision

Perhaps you are being rude without realizing it. Then it may seem to you that you cannot do anything. But you shouldn't be led by your emotions. You can be held accountable for your behavior, for your reactions. If you have not learned to control yourself in your entire life, how can you demand this from your children? Let your choice be on the side of good relations. Try to become softer, more understanding and kind in words and actions.

But when you can't control anything and become rude, you can always apologize and try to behave better next time. You can ask your children to gently remind you when you feel angry again. You can be kinder to yourself too. You can try to figure out what exactly you did wrong, and next time you avoid similar mistakes and better consider your needs. 

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