Positive Parenting Language, What's That?


Ok, so this is a term I had never heard until just recently, positive parenting language.  Even though I didn't know exaclty what that term meant, turns out I was already implimenting it with my kiddos.  So what is positive parenting language?:

Positive parenting is focused on developing a strong, deeply committed relationship between parent and child based on communication and mutual respect. Positive Parenting focuses on teaching children not just what but also why. Positive parenting means training children toward self-control.
— Kars4Kids

Here are some examples of positive parenting that I tend to use with the kiddos.  I like to think of it this way; Kids are going to focus on what you say.  If you say, "Stop running!", they only hear running, so they run!  If you say, "We walk inside.", they'll hear the word walk and will (hopefully) respond better and quicker to that phrase.  It's not their fault that they hear the word run and don't know that we want them to do the opposite, which is walk, so I'm very conscious about trying to remember to have them hear what I want them to do.  I know all too well that simply saying, "no", won't do anything for my kiddos anymore... they're pretty much immune to it because they've heard it so much.  Some of my go-tos:

  • No running --- Walk, please
  • Don't throw --- (that thing) stays on the floor
  • Don't touch (that thing or person) --- Hands to ourselves
  • Don't hit --- Be gentle
  • Stop yelling --- Inside voices

I try to add the word please to the end of my request as much as I can.  Not because I'm actually giving them a choice in the matter (let's be real here) but to make it seem like they're the ones making the decision.  I think we all know kids like to be in control and "giving" them the choice to make on their own, a lot of times they cooperate right off the bat!  If I ask over and over again, of course I step in and make the behavior stop but I also try to explain why.  It's not because Mommy is mean or mad, but because... (yada yada yada...).

I also don't want these phrases to come across as me as a mother being too laid back or not giving rules and setting boundaries.  We definitely have boundaries and they know what they are.  When they push their limits is when I implement my positive parenting phrases.  I have to remember that although they're acting out in my mind, in their minds they're just having fun and learning about the world around them.  I'm there to teach them about that world.  I'm not there to shield them 100% from getting hurt, heck I know I won't be able to do that physically OR emotionally even though I want to.  I know that kids learn from what they see and hear.  If I'm able to respond to them acting crazy in a positive way, hopefully that's teaching them that they can do the same thing. 


Something else I love about positive parenting is rules.  Rules are laid out, as much as they can be for a 22 month old and a 3 year old, and consequences are laid out as well.  When they disobey they do actually suffer the consequences.  I suffer the crying and whining and that's hard in itself!  I don't want my children to do what I want them to do because they're scared of me!  I want them to do what they know is right because they're developing self-discipline.  I know, I know... they're only 22 months and three years old, but like I said earlier, right now is when their habits are forming.  Of course not every single time I use these phrases do they work, we have tantrums every single day, my threenager gets mad at me everyday, too.  We also have a lot of learning that happens each day as well and that's what I love seeing.