Well, let me tell you. I was never that person who looked at other people’s children and thought, “Wow, my kids will NEVER act like that.” I was that person who said, “Yeah, I know my kids are going to be like that, or worse.” You see, I was a difficult child and so was my husband. We knew when our DNA combined into one life form, it wasn’t going to be easy. To be quite honest, our oldest daughter is fairly easy to work with. She typically follows directions and tries to help around the house. Our middle child is the one to watch out for. Now I know, middle child syndrome is a thing. However, the concerns with her behavior started before she was the middle child. She loves to make people angry, she thrives from negative reactions. If she knows she’s going to be in trouble she will go to extreme levels to be bad. She will be as bad as she can because she knows the punishment is coming. Why not do as many bad things as I can since I know I’m going to be punished anyway. So this had me thinking, there has to be other methods out there to help my child behave without the punitive punishments.
Let me tell you! There is! Positive discipline and positive parenting is the answer.
Imagine a house with no time outs, no yelling, no threatening and well-behaved children. Doesn’t that sound fantastic? Now I am not saying things will be perfect 100% of the time. With that being said, positive parenting can help create a stronger relationship build on trust and understanding. This method can truly change a child’s behavior and relationships with parents and siblings. Let me tell you how I got started and how this method has helped create a better environment in our home.
The first thing I did was make a list of things that are intrinsically motivating to my daughter. This means the child is self-motivated and is doing something because it makes them feel good. Not all children will be intrinsically motivated. Find what motivates your child but try to stay away from things like edibles and small rewards like gifts or toys. For Kaylee, she wants to be independent and help around the house. After a few days of observations I see that she really likes to help with cleaning, letting the dogs in and out, changing the baby, and a few other little chores. It is important for me to find these intrinsically motivating things because I will use them as behavior redirections later on. If you can observe your child and their behaviors for a week to find these motivating tasks, I guarantee you that it will pay off and you will see some improvements.