parenting a firecracker {exploring positive parenting}

It’s no secret to anyone who knows her that Charlotte is a firecracker. She’s hilarious, and loving. She’s high-energy, and determined. She knows what she wants. It’s one of my favorite things about her. To see her little spirit so full of determination makes me so excited for her future!

Aaaannnddd then she’s throwing a fit on the floor in the lobby of Ben’s work convention, in front of all his co-workers. Or she’s having a full-blown melt down before my sister’s wedding because it’s hot and she’s tired and always ever only want she ever wants is MommyMommyMommyMommy.

I smile politely when people smirk and tell me how The next one won’t be this easy! She’s such an easy kid! because on the inside I’m screaming REALLY THEN WHY DO I WANT TO PULL MY HAIR OUT. She definitely has a sweet temperament, but she is the energizer bunny when she’s with me, constantly moving and going.

So how to discipline? We’ve been trying time outs. Trying them. She still seems to be confused and worst of all (in my eyes), her feelings seem terribly hurt when we put her in time out. It seems that all she’s understanding from them is that she’s in trouble and she’s a bad girl.

As I’ve said before, I’m (still) reading this book and Ben and I have decided we don’t want Char to grow up with the burden of unnecessary guilt and shame. I say unnecessary because I feel like some is required to have a conscience and not turn into a serial killer, but most perfectionists like myself carry an inordinate (and often-times unrecognized) amount of shame and guilt with us. I plan on posting more about that tomorrow.

So yesterday I gathered a bunch of toddler articles from Aha! Parenting, a website from Dr. Laura Markham, who write this book which I haven’t read yet. But her articles on why Time Outs are ineffective made so much sense to me and are everything I feel when I put Char in Time Out. Charlotte is a child who has amazing comprehension and understanding when it comes to communication, so I think Positive Discipline may work for us.

The idea is to guide your child first by investing the time and energy into developing your relationship with them, and then set firm limits. You use guidance and limit-setting instead of punishment, which (Dr. Markham says), hinders your relationship with your child and inhibits your child from developing self-discipline. It’s very much a “teach a man to fish” philosophy, which I’m into. I like the idea of teaching Charlotte to self-regulate instead of hovering and yelling and hounding. It keeps my stress-level down, and Charlotte is almost always looking for ways to connect with Ben and I.

Everything always sounds good in theory. I’ll be speaking with Ben about the articles I printed out and we’ll be discussing them and seeing if it’s a good fit for the both of us. I’d also like to see if a Bible-based parenting book like Grace-Based Parenting would coincide with something like Positive Discipline. I guess I’ve got some research and reading to do!

I know this is a new style of parenting, so I’d love to hear from you: Do you practice Positive Parenting/Positive Discipline? Is it something you’d be interesting in trying? Do you think it’d be effective for your little ones?

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