In this 30 days towards connected parenting, section 5, Sara talks about strategies and techniques that we could use to better show unconditional love. Below are some of the techniques she suggests using, to keep the communication door open and the relationship strong, and not close it and shut it down.
- Use natural consequences instead of arbitrarily imposed punishments.
- Talk about problems and work out solutions together.
- Model the behaviour you want to see in your children.
- Show empathy and understanding while also maintaining boundaries. Offering comfort is not ‘giving in’, it’s helping them learn good emotional regulation.
- Instead of praising: ask questions, describe what you see, or say nothing.
- Respect them as you would an adult.
- When a problem arises, focus first on connection instead of control.
I am not going to lie and say that we don’t use rewards/punishments in this household, because quite frankly, that seems to work majority of the time. We are also use the “1,2,3 rule” and time out if necessary. But, I must say after reading this article, it definitely opened my eyes to more ways that I can be more understanding of Brielle’s behaviors, instead of always trying to control the situation. I need to understand that just because I want to go to the gym, or the grocery store, or where ever it may be, that it does not necessarily mean that she wants to do the same. Instead of saying “if you don’t finish getting dressed and ready, you will have to stay home with Daddy instead of doing ____ with me”. I know that by telling her this, it makes Shane seem like the bad person (but he is truly the FUN parent out of the both of us), but I also need to not force the situation, or use other threats as well as punishment. It only makes me more frustrated, and the bad guy, both of which I don’t like being. I want Brielle to know that Shane and I love her unconditonally, and I want to make sure we stay as strong, for as long, as possible.
I am glad that I am opening my eyes to using different strategies, and while of course no parenting style works for everyone, I am just glad to try!