How To Have Respectful Conversations About Positive Parenting

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It is not always simple to share your parenting ideas and techniques with friends and relatives. Here are some suggestions to help you have a courteous conversation about positive parenting– even if the other person disagrees!

Nothing like a Christmas gathering to elicit difficult talks.

Your sister is perplexed as to why you do not utilize time outs. Your mother-in-law is perplexed as to why she can’t entice the kids with sweets.

It’s not that you’re ashamed of your parenting choices. It’s simply that it might be difficult to put your thoughts into words at times.

You also don’t want to create an argument…

particularly before the pie is served

So, what are your alternatives?

Here are some suggestions on how to handle conversations about positive parentingover the holidays (or at other time!).

How To Have Respectful Conversations About Positive Parenting

Be Honest

Instead of stressing about saying or doing the correct thing, be genuine to yourself. It’s okay if you don’t always feel 100 percent secure in your parenting decisions. It’s fine to be a parent who is still learning and developing. Don’t feel bad about changing your parenting techniques. “With Luke, we’ve ceased utilizing timeouts. We discovered that these frequently aggravated him. We now employ time-ins, where we stay near to him until he calms down.”

Stay Focused

You may fervently believe in good parenting and want for people to see things your way, but nothing closes off a dialogue faster than a critical remark. If you find yourself pointing the finger or pointing out problems in another person’s parenting, it’s a good reminder to take a step back and concentrate on your own choices.

See also: New Normal Parenting: How To Stay Happy And Calm At Home

Listen

When someone criticises your parenting, it’s natural to get defensive and aggressive. Instead, take a deep breath and avoid the desire to respond quickly. Respectful communication begins with active listening. Be open to hearing the other person’s point of view first. It is not your duty to persuade them that you are correct, but rather to have a constructive dialogue.

Emphasize

You can create your initial reaction once you’ve heard. However, before you respond, let the other person know that you have heard their worries. Even if you disagree. Underneath their words are often strong emotions such as dread, uncertainty, and inadequacy. Put their worries in words. “It appears that you are concerned that he will take advantage of my attention. Is that correct?”

Keep It Simple

If the other person is ready to continue the conversation, provide a brief overview of your views, what you’re learning, or what you’ve tried in the past. The objective is to keep the dialogue continuing rather than to persuade the other person. You don’t need to use fancy words or give the “correct” answer. “I was concerned about it as well when I learnt about this technique. It appeared to be very different from how we had been raised. But it has made a significant difference.”

Focus On Long Term Benefits

Positive parenting is distinct in that it examines child development from a broad viewpoint. Self-regulation does not develop overnight. It is a lengthy and frequently difficult procedure. Children are one-of-a-kind; their brains grow at various speeds, and they struggle with a variety of emotions and behaviors. It is not a one-size-fits-all approach. “It would be nice if those tantrums would cease right away, but we’re more concerned with helping him understand why he’s feeling that way and how to handle it the next time.”

Be Cautious

It’s helpful to have a few success stories to share with others who inquire about your parenting methods. Perfect parents and perfect children, on the other hand, are not the end goal. You and your children will both suffer from time to time. That is a natural aspect of being human. It is OK to disclose flaws and flaws alongside development and success stories. “It’s been a learning curve for sure. I can’t say I’m always calm when he’s unhappy, but it’s a lot easier now than it was before.”

Offer Resources

If the other person is interested, be willing to offer websites, blogs, or articles that you found useful on your journey. If they aren’t interested right now, leave the door open for future discussions.

Be Assertive

Work to establish a happy medium between aggressive and passive behavior, just like you would with parenting. It’s tempting to revert to previous communication patterns, especially with our biological family. Take a deep breath, roll your shoulders back, and stand up straight if you are more passive. If you are more confrontational, sit down to behavior these talks or get below the other person’s eye level, and keep your arms wide rather than crossed.

Walk Away

Sometimes it’s hard to have a constructive, polite discourse. It is critical to take care of your mental health. It is OK to excuse oneself or decline to continue a discussion, particularly if it is harmful or insulting. Changing communication habits is difficult and may need the assistance of a mental health expert.

You Parent Your Own Way

It’s fine if you and your colleagues disagree. It’s okay if you can’t persuade your sister to stop using time-outs. It’s also fine if you still catch your mother sneaking Skittles behind your back. The idea is that you initiated a discussion about your parenting style. You’ve got the conversation started on authoritative parenting. You contributed to a polite parenting discussion.

And you might be able to take up where you left off eventually.

References

  1. 2.Connell A, Bullock BM, Dishion TJ, Shaw D, Wilson M, Gardner F. Family Intervention Effects on Co-occurring Early Childhood Behavioral and Emotional Problems: A Latent Transition Analysis Approach. J Abnorm Child Psychol. Published online May 13, 2008:1211-1225. doi:10.1007/s10802-008-9244-6
  2. 3.Smokowski PR, Bacallao ML, Cotter KL, Evans CBR. The Effects of Positive and Negative Parenting Practices on Adolescent Mental Health Outcomes in a Multicultural Sample of Rural Youth. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. Published online June 1, 2014:333-345. doi:10.1007/s10578-014-0474-2
  3. 4.Eisenberg N, Zhou Q, Spinrad TL, Valiente C, Fabes RA, Liew J. Relations Among Positive Parenting, Children’s Effortful Control, and Externalizing Problems: A Three-Wave Longitudinal Study. Child Development. Published online September 2005:1055-1071. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00897.x
  4. 5.Neppl TK, Conger RD, Scaramella LV, Ontai LL. Intergenerational continuity in parenting behavior: Mediating pathways and child effects. Developmental Psychology. Published online 2009:1241-1256. doi:10.1037/a0014850
  5. 6.Leidy MS, Guerra NG, Toro RI. Positive parenting, family cohesion, and child social competence among immigrant Latino families. Journal of Family Psychology. Published online 2010:252-260. doi:10.1037/a0019407
  6. 7.Riley AR, Wagner DV, Tudor ME, Zuckerman KE, Freeman KA. A Survey of Parents’ Perceptions and Use of Time-out Compared to Empirical Evidence. Academic Pediatrics. Published online March 2017:168-175. doi:10.1016/j.acap.2016.08.004
  7. 8.Gouveia MJ, Carona C, Canavarro MC, Moreira H. Self-Compassion and Dispositional Mindfulness Are Associated with Parenting Styles and Parenting Stress: the Mediating Role of Mindful Parenting. Mindfulness. Published online March 2, 2016:700-712. doi:10.1007/s12671-016-0507-y

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