There have been several instances over the past several days which have reminded me of the importance of positive parenting. You know, where your interactions with your children are positive and you can compliment them on good behavior; you can spend more time smiling at your children than frowning; you can enjoy their presence. It is so easy to get stuck in the negative. Criticizing the fault is so much easier than acknowledging the positive. One reason is perhaps that our children's positive behavior does not cause the same emotional reaction as poor behavior. At least for me, when confronted with my children's negative behavior, I know that when I react, I am reacting more to the fear that it raises in me than I am to the actual behavior. I have fear that my child will always behave this way, or that their bad behavior is somehow my fault, or that others might think poorly of me because of how my child is acting. Fear is not a good place to parent from.
I am resolving to work on my positive parenting... looking for positive behavior to acknowledge, making a point to have real conversations with each child during the day (as opposed to directive interactions: do this, do that), and giving multiple hugs to each child each day. I have read that healthy, emotionally stable children need at least 5 hugs a day to really thrive and that children who have a history of trauma or attachment difficulties need at least 10. I am significantly under that. By my calculations this means I should be giving at least 55 hugs throughout the day. But you know, I will also be receiving (usually) that same number. Poor me. It's a hard life.