Creative Child

Parenting Tips A to Z Part 3: S-Z

by Rebecca Eanes

Parenting Tips Continued...

U is for Unconditional Love

We all love our children without conditions, of course, but it is surprising how we show our love so conditionally. Love is not a reward. Hugs, attention, affection, kind words - these are not rewards to be dangled in front of a child, only given when he performs to our liking. These are a child's lifeline. They should be given without condition, without hesitation. Always.

We've developed this rather strange idea that loving children too much is bad for them, but if we offer just enough love at the right times, they will jump through hoops to get it. And they probably will, but they shouldn't have to.

Withholding love and affection most certainly works to control a child because this is very real need, and they must get it met in whatever way they can, but take a moment to stop and feel the sadness that the child feels - the rejection, the feeling of needing to get it right before being worthy of love and affection. Unconditional love doesn’t spoil children. It nurtures them.

V is for Vision

Do you have a vision for the family life you want to create? For the home atmosphere you want to cultivate? For the kind of relationships you want to build? Having a vision is the first step to making your dreams a reality. To intentionally build the family your heart desires, you need a vision for exactly what it is that you are building.

Sit down with your family and create a family blueprint. Gather the goals and dreams of your loved ones and write them down. Brainstorm how you can achieve your goals, and draw up a plan of action. Revisit your blueprint often to stay on track. Make it a part of your monthly family meetings.

W is for Witness

You are witness to the miracle of life! You are witness every day to the wondrous joys of childhood. You get to write the beginning of a human being’s story! You, dear parent, are witness to the growing and becoming of the most precious person to you on this great Earth, your child. Take a few moments each day to revel in the wonder.

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X is for eXample

“We should never permit ourselves to do anything that we are not willing to see our children do. We should set them an example that we wish them to imitate.” – Brigham Young

In my book, The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting, I say that we should not hold our children to a higher standard than we ourselves can attain. This is not to say that we shouldn’t hold our children to high standards but rather that we should hold ourselves to the same high standards we set for our children - no hitting, yelling, whining, disrespect, or tantrums from us.

Y is for Yes Days

Children hear “no” a lot. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary, and sometimes we say no for selfish reasons. Maybe we are too tired or busy to grant their wishes, and that’s understandable at times. Setting aside a Yes Day every now and then is a wonderful way to connect with our children and set aside our adult agendas.

Yes, we can go for ice cream! Yes, we can stay a while longer. Yes, we can read one more story. You don’t have to announce your Yes Day to your children. If you do, there’s a good chance you’ll hear requests like “Can we go to Disneyland?” “Can I have a thousand dollars?”

Yes Days are simply days you choose to be intentional in your interactions and decide to say yes as much as possible.

Z is for Zest

Interest and excitement. How much of those do you bring to each day? If we aren’t careful, we can get into humdrum routines that lead to us counting down the hours of our monotonous days. We have to decide to be excited on purpose. Make it a goal to bring zest to each day this week and note in your journal any changes you notice.

Related Article: 50 Ways to Love a Child  

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of positive-parents.org and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.

 

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