Welcome to the Beyond Discipline: 10 Building Blocks for Positive Parenting Series.
This is the 7th post in a series of 10 on the Building Blocks for positive parenting.
Building Block #7
Kindness is contagious, making it a great way to create a harmonious family atmosphere, increase sibling bonding and parent-child cooperation. A little bit of kindness goes a long, long way. What’s more, being kind to our children safeguards their sense of self-worth.
Kindness is not the same as being permissive, but rather choosing our actions carefully and parenting with the intent to be considerate, warm, friendly, loving and generous, even when we set limit. Afterall, in the end, it is our relationship, our connection and our love that will endure!
This quote is simply lovely:
Parenting with Kindness in minds helps us have perspective. When parenting with kindness, we naturally begin to notice what is happening with other people because we sincerely wish to be considerate of their needs. With kindness in mind we notice things, and try to glimpse at how our children may be experiencing the world giving us the possibility to see a new perspectives. Shifting our perspectives at times can really help us parent in a more positive way.
Kindness makes family life brighter and happier. Can you recall the last time someone did something nice for you, just like that, to be nice? Did you feel happy about it? Kindness has this amazing power – when we are kind and others are kind to us, it has the power to create happiness! When our children experience kindness, in our requests, in our actions and intentions, our world together can become a brighter and happier experience. Children will listen and cooperate because our requests are sincere, understandable and our expectations are fair and presented in a considerate way.
Kindness sets an example for a lifetime. When we show kindness, not just to our children but to friends, family members and even strangers, our children are more likely to be kind as well. Sometimes, parents treat children with kindness, but forget the impact that interactions with others will have. For example, if a parent is rude to a passing “crazy-stupid-f*&%*” driver, or laughs at a “smelly weirdo children will pick up on it. Also, sometimes parents think it’s alright to bully a child, yell, threaten or treat a child with disrespect in order to make a point or show a child who is in charge. The thing is, in all of these interactions, kind or unkind, we are setting an example. Choosing to use kindness leads children to grow with tolerance and understanding for others.
What ways can we incorporate kindness into everyday parenting interactions?
1. Listen with the intent to listen, not necessarily fix, judge or problem solve. Often children just need someone to bounce off ideas. Of course parents often need to give a child guidance, but go in with a mindset to empathize, listen and be present.
2. Share something together, a meal, a story, play a game, do an activity, every day – yes, every day – make the time, even if it’s just 10 minutes, more if you can because this shared time together is amazing, irreplaceable and so very important and will forever be cherished by you and your child.
3. Tell your child what you appreciate about them. Use encouraging words and let your child know they are special to you and that you love them… just because!
4.When you just don’t have the answer to a parenting problem, when you think things are just too much to deal with, remember all the love you have for your child, think positively and let that positive kindness be your guide.
5. Set limits with kindness and empathy: “I know it’s not really what you wanted AND my answer is no.” “I will not let you hit your brother AND I love you AND I will stay here and be ready to listen if you want to talk.”
6. Encourage your child to be kind to others, by doing service projects, helping around the house, sharing with siblings, giving gifts and so on…this is beneficial to them in many ways!
7. Learn positive ways to handle conflict and positive ways to offer guidance that do not lead to shame, blame and fear.
8. Be kind to yourself – take time to recharge, re-energize, follow your dreams and find ways to express your self!
Questions for Reflection
Do your parenting choices reflect the kindness and love you feel for your child?
In what ways do you contradict your feelings by acting in ways that are unkind? In what ways can you change your attitude to reflect more kindness?
Peace & Be Well,
P.S. – All the kind words about this series that I receive daily in my inbox are just incredible. What a an amazing energy from so many parents that are determined to be a positive guide to their child – thank you for reading, thank you for your feedback and kindness 😉
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This post was linked up and featured at Tuesday Baby Link up hosted by Every Breath I Take.
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