Parenting is hard! It’s rewarding, wonderful, exciting AND confusing, tiring, oh did I say HARD?. It’s also totally and undeniably worth it!
I was a teacher before trading in my classroom of 29 for my family room class of one for a couple of years which then reached its max of two attendees. My daughters. I thought 2 would be easier than 29. It’s not. I love it more, but it is not easier. I ran a wonderful classroom. Routines and procedures in place. Schedules followed. Projects and goals completed. Because of this I thought I would be oh so good at parenting. It would be like a really small classroom. I was wrong. The problem was this crazy mother thing. Equal parts love and panic. Well 100% love, I guess I meant loving panic. I left the hospital in charge of raising a beautiful tiny human being. How was I supposed to know what was best to imprint onto this being? Where was the manual? The guidebook? How did I all of a sudden know nothing? And why was I so tired? Already? Little did I know I would continue to feel like I knew nothing while at the same time become more tired. 😉
I finally figured in my exhaustion that I would be better served to stop thinking like a mother for a minute (since my mother brain was drawing a permanent blank) and start thinking like a teacher. As a teacher I loved research. Finding the keys to unlock learning for each and every child who came into my classroom was my excitement. I found as a mother I still loved research and there is A LOT of baby/parenting research to discover out there. I just had to filter through it all and find this key for me that would unlock the secret to parenting. After struggling and changing my mind about how I wanted to do things, which took honestly about 3 years, (I told you there A LOT of research)…I finally found my key in Positive Discipline.
Positive Discipline is a parenting method designed by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D. which is based on the work of Alfred Alder and Rudolf Dreikurs both Viennese psychiatrists. The main goal is to “help children develop self-discipline, responsibility, cooperation, and problem solving skills” (Positive Discipline, Jane Nelsen, Ed.D). Simply that young children need teaching, guidance, and love.
The core of this method is being Kind & Firm. Not being passive or punitive. Situations are assessed by respectfully looking at the needs of the parent and child equally. With Positive Discipline parents look at the behavior and the child’s motivation behind it. Understanding the purpose can be more important than the act itself. With this is the knowledge of the different developmental stages children go through and how they may be tied to a behavior. As with anything great communication is very important. We can learn so much when we actually listen to our children explain their point of view and really hearing their questions about why. Then respectfully answering them. As a teacher I love this style because it encourages and allows everyone to learn from their mistakes. Parent and child alike. It focuses on solutions instead of blame by working together. There is no blame. There is encouragement. Praise for effort and improvement as well as success. This helps children build healthy self-esteem and confidence. Children do better when they feel better about themselves.
Jane, partnered with various other educators and authors, has written many resource books to be used by parents throughout their developmental parenting stages which are conveniently directly tied to the kids developmental stages. So far I love all I have read. I have these: the completely revised and updated book titled Positive Discipline by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D, Positive Discipline for Preschoolers by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D,Cheryl Erwin,MA, and Roslyn Ann Duffy, Positive Discipline A-Z 1001 solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D, Lynn Lott, MA,MFT, and H. Steven Glenn, as well as Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World by Jane Nelsen, Ed.D and H. Stephen Glenn, Ph.D. And these are just a few of what is out there!! I’m sure as my children grow I will be adding to my Positive Discipline private library.
I hope to share a positive Discipline tip that I’ve learned or that we are working on here at my house each week. I am making mistakes and learning. My children are making mistakes and learning. Together we are growing as we take this awesome journey together!
P.S. If you ask my girls to explain being a child they will answer that Childhood is hard! It’s rewarding, wonderful, exciting AND confusing, tiring, oh did we say really HARD. It’s also fun & totally worth it 😉
More Positive Discipline Info & Resources can be found here.