Life Balance Counseling Blog

Positive Parenting


Do you feel frustrated or annoyed with your child/children’s behavior? Have you become the yelling and nagging parent? It is no surprise how overwhelming it can be when your child doesn’t listen, has temper tantrums, and does the opposite of what you ask. Repeating and reminding gets frustrating and then you may start yelling. Afterwards you may feel guilty, like the “bad” parent and are unsure of how to break this cycle.

I did a great webinar the other day on "Positive Parenting Solutions" with Amy McCready. I learned a lot from the webinar and felt it would be helpful to share some of her concepts and positive parenting solutions.

Kids core emotional needs are based on attention and power. If they don’t get their dose of positive attention and power they become whiney, clingy, or act helpless. Need to feel a sense of control of their little world. When they feel powerless they will act out in ways to gain attention. Power rush to get parents all bent out of shape. This can become quite frustrating for parents. You may say something like "if you keep whining, you are going to go in time out," or you have until 3 to stop whining or else we are not going to your friends house." Giving a Time-out or counting 1-2-3 creates a power struggle and your kids learn that they don't have to listen the first time.

A parent's yelling, punishing, bribing, nagging may help in the short term but your child/children's same behaviors end up occurring over and over again. Nothing seems to get better. Misbehavior is never just a kid problem. Parents play a core role in their child/children's behavior and if we don’t address ourselves we wont change the behavior and make things better for our whole family.

"The 5 R’s of Consequences

Respectful: the consequence must be respectful, which means no blaming, shame or pain. For example, "you never listen, you should be ashamed of yourself." Use a calm voice and if you can’t be calm don’t deal with the issue it in that moment.

Related to misbehavior: the consequence needs to relate to the misbehavior (i.e. if you are not brushing your teeth, then anything that might turn to sugar is off limits for eating for the rest of the week).

Reasonable in Duration: the consequence should be age appropriate. For example, a 4 year old – throwing toys, it would be reasonable to take toys away for the day. For a teen that may be texting during dinner the consequence could be be taking their phone away for a week.

Revealed in Advance: the consequence should be revealed to the child in advance which will allow the child to have the power to make a choice. Explain to the child that the appropriate behavior is …. and the consequence is …. This is a win-win because it gives the child the choice but parent sets the limits and guidelines.

Repeated Back to You: the agreement between the child and parent. The child repeats back to the parent what the behavior and consequences will be so that everyone is on the same page and there is an agreement in place." - Amy McCeary

For more information and more helpful Positive Parenting Solutions, visit http://www.positiveparentingsolutions.com