You strive to be the best parent you can be, but you may become frustrated with the endless challenges that come your way. Positive education can be helpful and gives parents the opportunity to get closer emotionally to the youngest in the family.
There is nothing as exciting, heartbreaking and intimidating as raising a little man. As you embark on this adventure, you wonder how to mold that human child into a healthy, balanced, and compassionate adult. This is where positive education comes in, a set of parenting techniques created by Viennese psychiatrists Alfred Adler and Rudolf Drikurs, which encourage mutual respect. Raising a child means more than making him behave well. It assumes you understand each other well. If you are tired of yelling at your little one because of his misbehavior, always having power struggles and using ineffective punishments, discover the ways in which positive education can improve your relationship!
Find the cause of the unwanted behavior
There is always something behind a child’s disruptive behavior. The fault may be the lack of ability to control his feelings, the desire to attract your attention or to assert his role as a leader. Bad behavior is simply a symptom. That’s why your big challenge is to find the cause. If a child does not receive attention in a positive way, he will find something to attract attention in a negative way. Always ask yourself what is the purpose of his actions, what is he trying to convey to you. If he craves your presence, play with him and let him guide the game. When you know there’s a time of the day when you can’t give him attention, spend time with him beforehand and reassure him that you want to continue when you’re available again.
Create good habits
Regardless of their age, children need routine and consistency. Sure, you can’t control everything and unexpected events always happen, but as much as possible, you have to try to create a routine for every part of the day, to inculcate good habits at bedtime, when you wake up, at lunchtime. The child will be calmer if your actions are predictable. He will know that before bed he has to eat dinner, play a little, then put on his pajamas, wash and listen to a story before the lights are turned off. Gradually, this typical and others will be followed without shouting.
Be firm or let him suffer the consequences
When we remind children of the rules, we can speak to them in a peaceful way that does not offend or embarrass them. We can use a firm but kind and loving tone. For example, if the little one leaves his clothes at random you can tell him: “I am happy to do your laundry every week, as long as your clothes are put in the basket and not scattered on the floor”. In this way, you set a rule in a playful and calm way. In addition, when possible, let him discover the consequences of his actions. If he refuses to wear gloves, leave him gloveless. When his hands get cold, he will surely ask for your gloves, and next time he will be more cooperative.
Ignore unwanted behavior
Just like when you have skin irritation and the itching worsens your problem, a child’s inappropriate behavior is accentuated by a parent who reacts by raising his voice, nagging, or by punishments, including some corporal ones. That’s why, in this case, ignoring the child who doesn’t behave the way you want is the best method. Don’t expect it to work right away, because it’s normal for him to challenge you more with negative behavior designed to get your attention. As long as it doesn’t come to blows, keep pretending you don’t see anything he’s doing, until you notice he’s behaving nicely, at which point you step in and praise him.
Eliminate words that lower his self-confidence
Shame and guilt are not positive solutions for parents. Not every child is Einstein at school or a born athlete. Verbal threats or hitting, used to make a child listen to you, give immediate results. Children who receive corporal punishment tend to become aggressive and have an increased risk of mental health disorders. Words can also hurt, so avoid phrases like: “Why aren’t you behaving properly? It’s not that hard!’, ‘Your colleagues get good grades. Why can’t you?’. Positive education advises you to ignore the wrong behavior, to praise and reward the correct one, to explain the consequences of his actions, but without humiliating him or comparing him with other children.
“Emotional intelligence in children’s education”, by Maurice J. Elias, Steven E. Tobias, Brian S. Friedlander, Curtea Veche Publishing House
It is important to praise specific behaviors (“You are so nice to your sister!”) and not global qualities (“You are a good boy!”), because a well-worded word of appreciation gives the child explicit information about what was worthy of praise in his conduct, to be able to praise him. (…) Many times, parents overlook appropriate behavior, praise it half-heartedly or use words of general praise, because they are tired of witnessing so many inappropriate behaviors and do not expect praise to change anything.