We love and adore our children!
We’re committed to raising them to be respectful and to behave appropriately. We want the best for them. We have hopes and dreams for their futures. We wish for them to be happy, live a full life, dream big and follow their dreams.
And so we spend hour after hour scouring the internet for the best parenting books and expert advice to help us with our parenting.
What we find is there’s plenty parenting information out there with a confusing mix of advice, most of which is focused specifically on a child’s behavior.
There are books that focus on parents taking charge, being in control, demanding respect and directing our kid’s lives.
On the flip side, many books emphasize a more liberal, open-minded and free approach to parenting.
What approach is best?
Is one of the approaches wrong?
And then there’s the issue of where do you focus your attention and how do you implement these strategies in your home with your kids?
And at the end of a long and busy day, how do you make sense of all this confusion? How should you approach your parenting?
For me, what rises to the surface of every parenting conversation I have is, are you connecting with your little one and are you building an empathetic and reciprocal relationship with them?
Our relationships matter more than any authority, consequences, external measures of control, or any indulgent, lax, easy-going or free parenting style.
Simply put, your internal state of mind and your state of heart – how you think about and feel toward your little ones in any given moment or situation has the greatest influence over time of how your kids will turn out.
Here are my best parenting tips for love based parenting.
Be present in the moment. When you’re in the present moment you’re able to be more fully attuned to your child and their needs. Staying continually mindful of your child’s wellbeing and focusing on the needs of your child in the moment (emotional, physical and relational) should be your parenting focal point. This is true even when (especially when) your little one is misbehaving. This is when they need your love and judgement free parenting the most.
Get into their space.
Little kids spend a lot of their time playing. We should be there too! Get into your child’s world pretending, playing games, building forts, and crawling through tunnels. Act silly. Little ones will love it when you make funny faces, sing silly songs or do goofy dances. Let go of the embarrassment- have fun and really connect with your kiddo!
Let go of traditional measures.
Kids change their behavior when they feel loved and accepted. When we get back to the basic and return to unconditionally loving our kids, no fancy charts, stickers, and reward systems, we see positive results.
Stay focused on the relationship and the experience not the outcome.
The parent-child bond doesn’t just happen. It takes mindful and intentional effort. When you’re more concerned about your child’s behavior and tasks not being done, or your request being ignored, and your focus is on getting your child to comply, you’ve stepped out of the empathetic connected relationship with your child and moved away from love based parenting. No chores and no behavior are more important than your parent-child relationship. That means respecting the needs of your child , validating their feelings and responding with love in all the moments – the loving moments and moments of difficulty or defiance. Later, when everyone is calm we can talk about the behavior and solutions for next time.
Parenting is a big job and when you’re pushed to the edge and not feeling loving toward your child, love based parenting is the hardest thing to do. It takes effort to manage your anger, look at where your child is at emotionally, connect with them and meet them there so you can more easily respond in a way that is respectful and helpful. It takes practice for sure.
Remember, Love is always an option and love is the best option. Your parenting counts!
If you’re right in the thick of it dealing with your child’s behavior, I hope you’ve found this post helpful.
If you’re at your wits end with your child’s behavior and don’t know how to move forward don’t hesitate to get in touch and we can see if I might be able to help.
Always remember your children are individuals and there’s no one size fits all to parenting. It’s important to find the parenting that works best for you and your family.
Please contact me to schedule a free phone conversation to see if my coaching is right for you and your family.
You can email me at [email protected]
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Your child’s potential is limitless. Their success begins with you.