If there’s one age group of children that will give you a run for your money, it is preschoolers. They have a mind of their own, yet they don’t quite know how to communicate how they think and feel. I’ve had a hard month. I’ve really focused and controlled my own parenting behavior. I am committed to positive parenting — for me that means no more spankings, yelling, and time-outs without explanation. My son calls me, “The New Mommy”. I’ve made a couple mistakes, apologized and we’ve gotten over it. He uses his good deed jar daily and we’ve filled it up. He even got his new Star Wars Hot Wheels car.
Positive Parenting Tips
1. Rewarding preschoolers is very important.
Think about how you love rewarding yourself, the same goes with preschoolers. Whether they are potty training or picking up after themselves they love being rewarded. You can practice rewarding physically with stickers and treats or you can reward verbally with praise (way to go, you did it, I loved seeing you do that for us)!
We’re using a Good Deed Jar to reward his behavior.
2. Show attention to good behavior.
It’s easy to drop everything you are doing as a parent when you see your child behaving badly. How about dropping everything you’re doing to focus on good behavior you see your preschooler accomplishing? Showing attention to good behavior is a great way to show positive parenting. After a Facebook friend mentioned over-praising, I have been over praising his good behavior. It’s almost silly, but he LOVES it.
3. Watch your tone of voice.
Parents are always telling their preschoolers how to think and act, but they honestly pick up a lot of behavior from those around them. As a parent, watching how you do and say things can really help impact the positive behavior of your preschooler. This has been hard for me. Learning to control my own voice has been a great test. But, honestly, how can I expect him to be calm when I don’t stay calm?
4. Always give choices.
One way to practice positive parenting and prevent a meltdown is to give choices to your preschooler. If you haven’t noticed, preschoolers aren’t always into the whole listening thing, but if they have choices, they are more likely to turn those ears on. Here’s an example of his choices:
I calmly say, “You can pick up those cars and put them away or mommy can pick them up for you and they’ll be put up for a little while.” He always picks them up quickly.
5. Spend time redirecting your child.
In the midst of a preschool tantrum, parents can panic and start yelling. A positive parenting technique that really works is redirection. If a preschooler is getting frustrated with something, redirect them to something else and then have them come back to the activity they were working on. A small break can help calm their brains and give them the skill to work through the activity. Sometimes, I wrongly believed that I had to deal with his negative behavior right then and there. I don’t. He’s still learning. Redirection has helped immensely.
6. Spend time with your child.
Although you are probably spending lots of time with your preschooler already, make that time more intentional. Build a relationship with your child. Allow them to get to know the real you, put down your parenting guard for a little while each day. Doing this will help your child see you in a new positive light. I’ve started putting boundaries on my blogging time. While he’s at school or after he goes to bed and we’ve been playing, reading, and watching more movies together. This quality time with him has also helped.
Positive parenting is more than just learning to discipline without yelling. Positive parenting is about spending time with your child and helping them to think and do better for themselves.
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