Saw this picture along with the following on Kelly Barlett’s Facebook page today. Had to post it here…
If you’re feeling frustrated with your efforts in positive (non-punitive) parenting and think it’s not working, consider this:
1. It’s too soon. You’re expecting immediate results. You were in a “dance” with your child…you had moves, she had counter moves. If you’re changing your moves, the two of you will have to learn a new dance. That’s why things might actually look worse before they look better. Your child needs time to get accustomed to a new dance and be able to respond in sync.
Tip: Keep going. Keep practicing your new “dance moves.” With consistency, your child will come to understand the kinds of supportive, trustworthy responses she can depend on and relax into.
2. Your child doesn’t feel connected to you. If there are frequent behavior struggles, there is also most likely a disconnection in the relationship between you and your child. Due to interactions based on control, punishment, shame, or physical or emotional isolation your child has perhaps put up a wall to protect from vulnerability. Work at bringing this wall down and coming closer together, emotionally. Once it does, the tools of positive discipline will be much more effective.
Tip: Special time. Make time every day for 10-15 minutes of one-on-one time with your child. The only focus is on staying open to his temperament and personality and getting to know what makes him tick.
3. You’re still focused on the behavior. Let go of the idea that you will have a perfectly behaved child and that discipline (even positive discipline) is supposed to be the answer that will solve everything. You won’t, and it isn’t. Nothing about parenting is perfect and nothing is foolproof. Remember that your child is maturing–physically forming new connections in the brain that will help with self-regulation in adulthood. That process of development will never look perfect. Every example of imperfect behavior you see along the way is an opportunity to come alongside your child with help and support.
Tip: Reframe your perspective. Successful parenting is not about controlling a child’s behavior. It is about teaching children to control their own behavior.