There is a reason why I chose Positive Parenting 8 years ago, and a reason why I keep choosing it today. It goes beyond the better behavior, beyond the better relationships, beyond the happier kids, and beyond the connected hearts. This is so much bigger than whether or not time-out is a useful parenting tool. It transcends far beyond “parenting tips, tricks, and techniques.” When I focus in on the home, I see so many benefits, both for my children and myself. When I widen the lens and look at the bigger picture, I see that what is going on in my home is training ground for healing the world.
And, oh, the world needs healing. We are all hurting in some way. There is so much disrespect, so much anger, and so much hatred. It feels too heavy, like it’s getting harder to breathe the air outside. We are always at war, whether with terror or with our neighbors or with ourselves. To some degree, I think we are all battle-worn, and God bless those on the front lines.
“There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation in the way we raise our children.” – Marianne Williamson
Some people say it’s the kids’ fault. They’re spoiled, coddled little snowflakes with no respect for anyone. I disagree. Sure, some kids are like that, but it’s the adults who have insulted me on the internet and called me names. It’s our President who makes fun of people. It’s our celebrities who are ranting with foul language and middle fingers in the air. It was always the grown-ups who cursed me out when I was a bank teller, and grown-ups who are yelling at the cashier. The kids are just standing by watching and listening. So, if the kids are growing up to be disrespectful, maybe it’s because that’s what we have modeled for them.
So, here’s the biggest thing about positive parenting – it’s modeling positive behavior first and foremost. It’s showing respect to our children so that they learn what it looks like to show respect to others. It’s being empathetic to their hardships so that they learn to be empathetic to others. It’s keeping our own anger in check so they see what it’s like to be self-controlled. It’s listening to their thoughts and opinions so that they learn not only that their voice matters, but that others’ do as well. It’s about damaging them the least we possibly can so that they don’t go out and damage others.