Positive Parenting Tips to Enhance Child’s Emotional Intelligence and Grow Confidence
When my daughter was two I found myself yelling way too much. She wasn’t listening. Why wasn't she listening? She absolutely knew what the word “no” meant but completely disregarded it. It actually made things worse when I would tell her "no". I needed a way out of this cycle we were in, my disciplining wasn’t effective.
She absolutely knew what the word “no” meant but completely disregarded it.
Positive Parenting values the idea that the child is having a hard time, the child is not giving you a hard time. Parenting through compassion and implementing my own interpretation of this led to better communication with my children, and I still use this to this day with my elementary aged child.
Core values of the Positive Parenting Approach:
Communicate the Why
Children always get upset when we tell them that they cannot do something they want to. The problem isn’t that we have told the "no", the problem is that they do not understand the "why". By communicating why, we are opening their minds to reasoning; we are allowing them to think about what they want, why they can’t do it, and what they can do instead.
We cannot go to the park today because it is raining, let’s find something we can do inside today.
We aren’t shopping for you today. Just groceries. But let’s make a note that this is something you would like in the future.
The problem isn’t that we have told the "no", the problem is that they do not understand the "why".
Child Led Decisions and Respect
By giving your child a decision to make, you are teaching them that their voice matters, their feelings matter, and therefore enhancing their emotional intelligence. Instead of telling you child what to do or what to eat, give them two or three acceptable options. Instead of getting angry, they will be excited to make the decision, or settle for the option that is the most desirable to them.
It’s lunch time. Would you like to eat your macaroni and cheese with broccoli on the side or with carrots on the side?
We need to clean up now. Would you like to start with dinosaurs, books, or puzzles?
As adults we like to feel appreciated, and children do, too! By simply showing recognition for the things that a child does will encourage them to do that more often and seek out positive reinforcement.
Thank you for cleaning up your toys. I love it when you help me sweep the kitchen.
Wow! I can’t believe you ate all your cauliflower! That’s amazing!
Natural Consequences - no time outs, no shaming
Natural consequences can seem harsh and that’s why I personally always give a warning to the consequence. This is done within reason, and appropriate to age. Not shaming your child for their decisions and not outrightly punishing them will lead to better decision making on their side, and a better relationship between you two overall.
If you jump on the couch you may fall and get hurt. I don’t want you to get hurt.
You might want to eat a snack before we leave. It will be awhile before we stop to eat.
Not telling your child “no'' seems hard, it seems like it could be detrimental; but it will lead to better decision-making by your child. Empowering them to make their own decisions from a young age will set them up for success and independence in the future. It allows the child to feel that they are in control of their own lives.
Finding this approach allowed my child and I to connect on a deeper level, it created trust that you don’t always find in a parent-child relationship. Parenting with compassion will result in more empathetic children who will develop better relationships during their lifetime.
Turn to the Pros
It is important that your child can recognize emotions, has confidence, and can foresee the consequences of their actions. If you have tried these techniques but haven’t had any luck, enroll your child in Monster Education’s “CEO of Your Life” class! The live video class of just 4-6 kids is led by a children’s mindfulness instructor and certified life coach, it teaches techniques to envision dreams, assess problems, understand emotions, and empowers your child to take action.
Stephanie Witusik is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom of two children, and a writer. She resides in Central New York State. When she isn’t writing you can find Stephanie partaking in the art of charcuterie boards, painting, cycling, baking, and having epic dance parties with her family.