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Positive Parenting

Positive parenting is something that is a concern for all mothers and fathers. As devoted parents, we all want to have a meaningful and healthy impact on our kids and help them to grow up feeling nurtured, safe, and cared for. Our approach to positive parenting will impact everyone in the family. With our hectic lives and our own "grown-up problems," how do we do this? How do we be a better caregiver for our young ones while keeping up with our own lives?

One part of the answer is to seek the best, illuminate the positive, and to find the grain of goodness in every situation you encounter with your child. The underlying principle here is that every situation that arises with your child is perfect, even at its most troublesome point. Every situation has a positive side. Therefore, positive parenting begins with desiring to find the positive in any situation. Not easy, for sure! But it can be done. Take a simple and common conflict for instance: You and your two children are in the car. One child wants to go to one place; one wants to go somewhere else. Bickering starts. It soon turns into fighting. What do you do? How do you choose where to go without making one kid feel hurt? Positive parenting begins with surrender and neutrality, so a large part of the answer is to first see the fight as an opportunity for you to practice "surrender in the midst of chaos." Every fight and every squabble are mini teachers for you to learn to be a true and strong middle ground. So don't say to yourself: "Oh no, they are at it again!" Instead, embrace the fight. See it as a chance for you to become more solid, more capable, and more instrumental as a parent. See it as a welcome invitation to practice all your positive parenting skills. The fight is not a problem unless you make it one. In fact, try not to even call it a fight. Perhaps you could call it a "parenting skills enhancer." Switch the label in your mind. Positive parenting begins in you. This positive outlook is where your actions must flow from. Naturally, you are going to have to take action. You must be the referee for your two bickering kids. This is to be expected. But if you are not fighting their fight by judging it, you will be far more effective in helping them find the solution. So, keeping your intent on positive parenting, try to listen to your kids. Let each one speak their mind. Give each one a chance to really be heard. Let each kid feel as if they are being seen and acknowledged. You will be a far better guide if you are calm in yourself. And the only way to do that is to not take sides, to feel alert and to stay centered. Teach your kids by way of example. Be the solution, instead of seeking it, and soon you will find squabbles will feel much more entertaining, rather than feeling like unwanted nuisances.