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You wake up in the morning feeling like Mary Poppins, ready to tackle the day with smiles and laughter and to teach your kids kindness and patience.
But they burst into your room, wake up the baby and start fighting on your bed like gladiators in ancient Rome.
So instead you reign HOLY HELL down on them, because, HOW DARE THEY?
This had been my morning, more often than not. And because of this, I knew that something needed to change. Something drastic, so I could set myself up for the day I dreamed of having- one of kindness, patience and love.
These steps are for mother’s looking for positive parenting solutions that you can make into lifetime habits.
HERE ARE 6 POSITIVE PARENTING SOLUTIONS THAT YOU CAN REPEAT EVERYDAY:
1. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE
This is number one for a REASON!
One of the biggest differences you can make to positively parenting your children is turning off your phone and being present. You may not even realize how far gone you’ve been from them, how greatly your emotions are affected by the things you see on your screen.
Have you ever actually tuned in to how you are feeling while you are scrolling through social media?
Or realized that checking your online bank account, online shopping or checking your emails can actually take you on a rollercoaster of emotions that have nothing to do with your kids, but you react to them like it does?
Turn off your phone, right when you wake up and turn it back on when your kids go down for a nap or have quiet time.
It’s a huge realization that you actually have a lot of time in the day to do things you want to do when it’s not wasted looking at a screen.
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2. SELF-CARE FIRST
When you wake up, take some time to yourself first.
List some things you are grateful for, make your coffee or tea BEFORE the kids breakfast, they can wait the extra couple of minutes.
I started finding that when I woke up to a shitstorm of things being demanded of me (Mom, help me get dressed! Mom, get me breakfast! Mom, I need water!) I would get grumpy-
I started telling the kids firmly but politely that I would help them in a couple of minutes.
Making a cup of coffee and taking a sip seemed to help mentally prepare me for the barrage of the days requests.
Maybe to you it looks like making tea, a smoothie, doing 5 minutes of yoga. Do what you need to do so that you can get started on the right foot for a day of positive parenting.
(This is, of course, if your kids don’t actually need help with something serious. And if you have a 10 month old like I do at the moment, thinking of getting something done for yourself first thing in the morning is laughable. I get it!)
3. CHECK IN THROUGHOUT THE DAY
What are you doing with your thoughts? Did you know that you can only be focussed on either a positive emotion or negative emotion, not both? So if you aren’t thinking positive thoughts… you guessed it. They’re probably negative.
It’s honestly pretty straight forward with your energy-
You get what you give.
Sometimes I find thinking of something I’m thankful for helps-
- Clean drinking water
- A fridge with food in it
- My kids are safe
- We have a roof over our heads
Or repeating an affirmation can pull me out of a slump-
- I am kind
- I am fierce
- I am wise
- I love my children
- I love myself
- I am patient
- I am worth it
4. COMPLETE A TASK THAT GETS YOU CLOSER TO YOUR GOALS
What are your dreams, your goals, your aspirations?
Maybe it’s as simple as wanting to work out more or eat healthier. Or maybe it’s wanting to take your family on a vacation or work from home.
Whatever they are, do ONE thing every day that counts towards getting you there.
Just because you have kids, doesn’t mean these things should take their place on the back burner. Embrace that life is busy, use your kids as inspiration and show them that anything is possible!
It’s easy to feel weighed down by having kids and that you just couldn’t possibly do anything.
Or you get completely overwhelmed because all you see is the end result and think well, that’s impossible!
It is with that attitude.
One small thing per day is 365 things in a year. Imagine what that could amount to!
The reason ‘completing a task that gets you closer to your goals’ is on this positive parenting solutions list is because everyone benefits when you are inspired. If you aren’t reaching for something that lights up your soul, are you really happy?
5. HAVE SOME SPECIAL TIME BEFORE BED
A story, a good snuggle, a kiss. Never go to bed angry if it can be helped.
Even if you had the most trying day with your kids, make sure they know they are loved before they go to sleep. It will help you to have a good sleep too, if you aren’t hanging on to a rough day.
6. ALWAYS QUESTION- NEVER ACCUSE
My reactions to things aren’t great. I’m the ‘shoot first, ask questions later kinda gal’ which might be awesome in a revenge movie but it’s not so great when you’re parenting.
The other morning, I listened to the sounds of a fight breaking out and then escalating between by 3 year old and 5 year old. It started getting rough, then silence for a small moment. And, finally, a glass shattering on the bathroom floor.
I tore in there, guns ablazin’, yelling at them. How could you do this, don’t you know someone can get hurt, how could you let your own selfish fighting cause shattered glass, etc, etc.
They both looked at me and started crying. You’d think at this point, I could have gotten down to their level and had a teaching moment- oh no, the righteous mom anger was flowing too hard to turn off at this point.
I kept at it, seething in anger until I finally made a comment that my daughter corrected me on. She said, ‘mom, the glass broke because we each decided to share and we let go at the same time.’
I burst into tears of shame and guilt. I hugged them. I apologized. And I vowed to always question, no matter how awful the situation seems.
It’s up to us to give our sweet, innocent kids the benefit of the doubt, and give them the chance to explain.
So, always question- never accuse.
*BONUS- FORGIVE YOURSELF
Always, always, always forgive yourself. I know it’s hard because I really struggle with this. On especially hard days, where I was anything but the kind and patient mom I wanted to be, I’m so tempted to just cry myself to sleep.
Instead, I’ve been replaying the day with how things should have gone.
And I smile because I see myself reacting calmly, giving hugs and kisses where they’re needed and being oh so patient.
Do you know what this does for the next day?
It rewires your brain to react in the ways you imagine.
So instead of replaying the awful moments over and over and falling asleep to that playing- change the tape. And forgive yourself because you are only human.
The next day you have a beautiful gift-
A chance to completely restart and be the person you want to be.
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