Let’s face it. There one size does not fit all when it comes to raising kids.
The one small blessing of infertility and having children later than our friends was having the opportunity to watch them in action. It gave us the chance to talk about how we wanted to parent our own child someday. Then again, those best laid plans do not always come to fruition and you may be forced to reevaluate those parenting plans.
So as a parent, how do you figure out what method of positive parenting is a good fit for your family? What does positive parenting mean to you? To us, positive parenting is about trying our best to give them the tools they need to become independent, self-assured, productive adults. The big questions lie in figuring out the best ways to make that happen.
By observing those friends we learned that to us positive parenting depends on what stays within our values and resonates with each child. Just like what clicks for you may differ from your girlfriends, what works for your children may not work for your friends’ children. Raising kids is tricky business. Even within our own home, what works for one kid is not always effective for the other.
My friend Randi has always had success with using behavior charts. What I loved most about her approach is that when her son completed the chart he received an experience (such as going to a newly released movie) rather than money. Print out behavior charts worked beautifully for her family.
We tried behavior charts with our first child but they were not as effective. (Like I said, raising kids is tricky business.) My oldest can be fairly (okay, extremely) strong-willed. In other words, it was like giving birth to a teenager. When he does not want to do something, he does not care what you give him or what you take away.
On a big picture basis we give the kids one new age-appropriate responsibility at the beginning of each school year. It is not a task they get rewarded for but one that is part of being a member of the household. Beyond that what has worked best for us with our oldest child is using random rewards (and punishments when necessary). We figured out (through trial, error and dumb luck) that it is substantially more constructive for him when there is no set pattern of rewards.
Help with positive parenting can be found from a variety of resources from websites and books to those good old wives’ tales and tips from child behavior experts. They can help you gather ideas to try out in your own home.
We are hitting the age when he is requesting a weekly allowance, and so we begin a new series of trial and error to see what works for us. Have I mentioned that raising kids is tricky business?
Have any positive parenting tips to share? What does positive parenting mean to you?
Please note that I was invited by Kid Pointz to write a blog post about the topic of “Positive Parenting.” and will be compensated for my participation for posting my thoughts on the topic.