POSITIVE PARENTING: ACCEPT FEELINGS, LIMIT ACTIONS
Over the years of moderating a popular parenting page on Facebook, I have had the opportunity to listen to many parents voice their concerns about changing their parenting paradigms to peaceful, positive parenting. One of the major goals of positive parenting is to raise emotionally intelligent children, and this is because research has shown that children with high emotional intelligence are less defiant, mentally healthier, and more successful both academically and in relationships.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, evaluate, and regulate emotions. In our quest to raise emotionally intelligent children, positive parents understand the importance of accepting a child’s feelings. A common misconception is that accepting all feelings means accepting all actions resulting from those feelings, leading to an unruly and disrespectful or spoiled and coddled child.
Feelings are neither right nor wrong. They simply are what they are. We feel what we feel. What we do with those feelings, though, is extremely important, and that is a large part of emotional intelligence. It’s not about just understanding and accepting feelings but also teaching children appropriate actions around those feelings.
THE JOYS (AND TEARS) OF PARENTING MY ADULT CHILDREN
I watched as she stormed into the house. Peril, sheer peril, if you let her tell it.
She hadn’t noticed me reading, quietly in the corner, so she went about, slamming cabinets and drawers, then finally ending her assault on the kitchen by opening and staring into the fridge. I heard her mumble something about hating her job, her co-workers, her commute, and of course, her meager paycheck that she waited for each week. She was adorable.
I peered over my book and examined her. She was considered an average-sized person, about 5’7”, which was a giant to my 5’1” frame. She had these amazing, almond-shaped, bright brown eyes, which she was constantly complaining about the size and the color of, but to me and her father, they were gorgeous.
DISTRACTED WHILE PARENTING? HERE’S HOW TO BE MORE ATTENTIVE
Parenting is often described as one of the best and most stressful jobs that a person can take on. Becoming a parent is an incredible responsibility that comes with a new set of rules, and the need to constantly be “on.” So what happens when parents go from being “on” top of things to being distracted and “on” their phone maybe a little too often?
The term for this phenomenon is distracted parenting. You may not have heard this term before, but you’ve likely seen it in action. Here are some examples of distracted parenting:
- An entire family on their phones at a restaurant, not even making eye contact.
- At a playground, a child is misbehaving and would likely be corrected if their parent was not texting.
- At an event and one kid is running out of the door with no adult present and you think, “Where is the adult?”
IT IS NOT MY FAULT!
“NG, please now,” Mike whispered as he tried to pull his sister Ngozi to face him on the bed. “You know mummy went to bed early and may soon get up for her mid night prayers,” he continued.
“Michael, leave me alone,” Ngozi almost shouted. “I have told you that I am on but you don’t want to hear. If we do anything now and the bed spread gets stained, how do you explain that to mummy? Have you forgotten so soon how you almost let the cat out of the bag the other time something like that happened? I don’t know why you don’t like being reasonable at times! I have told you that we need to be cautious now that daddy is not at home because mummy leaves her bedroom door open and can come out any moment.”
But Mike would not take no for an answer and continued pleading and tugging on Ngozi’s see-through pink night wear.
THE QUESTION AT THE HEART OF EVERY PARENT-TEEN RELATIONSHIP
His silence is driving me crazy.
For two months, we’ve been dropping him off at the local community theater for rehearsals. He has performed in the theater before, and always the routine is the same. For months, we wonder what sort of role he is playing, and for months, he refuses to even read lines with us. He won’t reveal the show as it is being formed, because he wants us to first experience it when it is finally performed. Maybe that’s a teen thing, but probably it’s just a human thing: at some level, we all wish we could present ourselves to the world finely polished and finally finished.
Now, it’s opening night. The spotlights are on. The seats are full. His mother and I sit in the front row, looking slightly upward at the stage. The waiting, for us, is over. I will finally hear my son speak. The play begins.
HOW TO RESCUE YOUR MARRIAGE FROM EMPTY NEST SYNDROME
When their three children were young, Lisa and Roger dreamed about what it would be like when their kids left home. They’d do the things they enjoyed together before they became parents. But by the time the last child moved out, their relationship wasn’t what it used to be. Their marriage was suffering from empty nest syndrome.
Lisa and Roger worked hard to put their kids through college. As a labor and delivery nurse, Lisa took extra shifts. She also became an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay. As a general contractor, Roger took every home remodeling job he could.
Outside of work, shuttling the kids to various activities sent Lisa and Roger in different directions. When they did have time together, they talked about the kids. Sex was infrequent and for Lisa it was unsatisfying.