When little D was around two, I struggled parenting him. He had trouble communicating and had major meltdowns. He went to a half-day preschool two days a week and every day there was bad news. One time he scratched another kid and many other times he was difficult to deal with.
Like most parents, I tried the timeouts and other negative consequences for his actions (no spanking), but it always made his behavior worse. But then a friend gave me a book entitled “Becoming the Parent You Want to Be.” I don’t remember the exact details, but I do know it helped me to start using a different, more positive approach with him. I no longer gave him timeouts and started explaining why I didn’t like his actions and what he could do instead.
His behavior improved and so did our relationship. I realized my old way of parenting didn’t really work with my older child either. She was just better at changing her behavior to avoid the consequence or get the reward. And I thought: do I want kids who only act a certain way avoid a consequence or get something? What will they do when I’m not around?
And so started my conscious parenting journey. This was also the time I wrote my first book Fearless Feeding. I read research about feeding and parenting styles (feeding is a big part of parenting). I learned more about an authoritative style of parenting and its benefits while researching and writing How to Raise a Mindful Eater:
A strong body of evidence suggests authoritative parenting produces the most positive childhood outcomes. Again, it’s this mixture of structure and high expectations with warmth and sensitive responsiveness that leads to a secure attachment between parent and child. This secure attachment improves children’s physiological response to stress, and results in a high-quality relationship between parent and child.
|Parenting Styles Elements|
|Parenting Style||Structure/High Expectations||Warmth/Sensitive Responses|
Discipline is teaching
Discipline is about teaching kids. I’ve become curious why we feel the only way to teach appropriate behavior is to punish and reward? We don’t use punishment when kids have trouble learning to read or any other skills. No, it takes time, repetition and breaking steps down. If our kids need extra help, we give it to them.
As kids get older, the emotional piece gets tricky too. Kids come home with friend problems, teacher issues and challenges learning or paying attention. If we are lucky, they ask us for help. But some kids may bypass their parents and instead act out by begging to play video games, misbehaving in school or eating goodies.
What parent doesn’t need help in the parenting arena, especially given today’s complex environment? That’s why when I was asked to be part of A Fine Parent’s Positive Parenting Conference, I said yes immediately. I was honored be included with top-notch experts such as Dr. Laura Markham, Dr. Tina Bryson, Dr. Becky Bailey, Dr. Michele Borba, Patty Wipfler, Amy McCready, Rebecca Eanes, and Lenore Skenazy.
Because picky eating is a common parenting issue, I was asked to come and talk about tips for helping parents feed their kids.
The FREE Online Event You Don’t Want to Miss
Positive parenting isn’t about staying positive all the time, which is impossible. I see it as learning the art of authoritative parenting. It’s learning how to stay connected to your child even when you’re not happy with them. It’s about communicating effectively so kids listen and learn. It’s about teaching without yelling (and apologizing when we mess up, which we all do). It’s about understanding the why behind development so you realize your kids aren’t trying to drive you crazy.
The Positive Parenting Conference covers everything from connecting with children, child development, life skills and solutions for modern-day challenges. It’s broken down into the following 5 tracks. My interview is incuded in track #4.
Track #1: Connection-Based Parenting with talks by Rebecca Eanes, Dr. Laura Markham, Alissa Marquess and Patty Wipfler on May 01 – 02.
Track #2: Solutions for Modern Day Parenting with talks by Amy McCready, Dr. Victoria Dunckley, Dr. Peter Gray and Lenore Skenazy on May 03 – 04.
Track #3: Research Guided Parenting with talks by Dr. Becky Bailey, Dr. Michele Borba, Dr. Tina Bryson and Dr. Melanie Greenberg on May 05 – 06.
Track #4: Habits & Life Skills (Part 1) with talks by Dr. Deborah Gilboa, Maryann Jacobsen, Leeza Steindorf and Holly Reid on May 07 – 08.
Track #5: Habits & Life Skills (Part 2) with talks by Katie Hurley, Susan Greenland, Amy Morin and Douglas Haddad on May 09 – 10.
You can see all of these experts in one place for FREE* — you don’t even have to leave your house. You can register here now to receive emails when the talks are published.*
Trust me, you don’t want to miss this!
*Between May 1st and 10th, you get to watch all talks for free. If you want to access the talks outside this timeframe, there will recording packages available for purchase. I get commissions for any purchases made through links in this post. My opinions are my own and I only endorse programs/products I believe in.