I have to admit I am the type of person that does like to analyse how I am as a parent so I do try different tact's with Tor. I have found lately, most probably starting from just before Christmas, being in a very positive mood. My life has been enjoyable most of the time. There are still moments where things do not turn out for the best or I struggle with decisions people make that effect me or my son but I am going through a very nice period of time where I am happy.
This has made a difference on how I am parenting Tor and it has made me realise that there is not really anything such as 'positive parenting' it is purely that if I am positive then the decisions I make and the comments and actions I make towards Tor are of a positive nature and this results in a positive son. I have therefore decided instead of calling it positive parenting I shall now be labeling it 'Positive Me, Positive Tor, Positive Life'.
I am a strict parent and I am proud of this. I want Tor to grow up respecting others and being mindful of his actions. The last month I have enabled myself to do it in a positive way. I still do come down on him like a tonne of bricks when I feel that he is being rude or disrespectful or if he has made a decision that has meant others or himself are going to be hurt (be it physically or emotionally), especially when I know that he understands that it is wrong.
I have recently been cracking down on how he reacts to being told off. He is starting to understand that it is not acceptable to answer back when he has been reprimanded and that he should not be making a fuss. This week after being rude to me he was given a ban from television for one day but due to the way he reacted to this punishment it was then extended to two days. Once he realised this he took his punishment and we did make it into a very happy time of extra reading of playing games and generally being very silly.
Back to the positive! As of the 1st of January I instigated the pocket money chart. The praise for this idea goes to one of his friends parents who is a very lovely mummy. The general idea is that he starts with a blank chart and as I positively praise him I choose how many stickers he will receive. He then puts his stickers on the chart. Once his chart is full then he will receive £2.00.
So far he has received stickers for doing things I ask of him straight away, for doing things without being asked and reacting to difficult situations in a mature way.
This is going well. On the day he received his two day television ban he also received two stickers. One for having a good day at school and one for getting ready for bed and washing his teeth by himself. I believe it helps Tor understand that just because he has made a silly decision at eight o'clock in the morning this does not mean that the positive things he does in the rest of the day get disregarded.
I do think that this way of parenting only works if we, as the parents, are feeling positive ourselves. It is very hard to disconnect yourself from a bad day at work or if you are feeling poorly. It may be that we snap a little quicker under these circumstances and then this in turn makes for a jumpy or disillusioned child. It is humanly impossible to be positive all the time.
I am under no illusion that there will be days where I struggle to be positive, there will be days where Tor pushes me and the people involved in his life to breaking point but I look forward to 2014 being a year that both myself and Tor grow emotionally more positive together.
Positive Me, Positive Tor, Positive Life.