As a parent, I thought I was doing very well, and so to hell with the booklet which had a 4-page-long feature on positive parenting tips. But one day my illusion shattered. My nine years old told me, “Mamma you never smile, you are always angry.” My world stopped. Where did this come from? I started questioning myself. My husband told me, I needed to check my tone of voice, and take a good look at myself in the mirror when I talk. And that is when I realized my list of positive parenting skills had missed this very important point.
I read up a lot of positive parenting skills, went through positive parenting programs, spoke to mommy friends. I even sought help from a counselor friend.
And this is what I have learned and would like to share with the TCT readers today.
Why does our tone of voice matter? if you ask yourself. These are just kids. What will they understand? But here is where we go wrong as parents. When an infant can catch on emotions of a mother just by touch, then think, how much our tone of voice will matter? This is what we forget and ignore. Any positive parenting program will list the right tone of voice as a positive parenting skill.
So then, why does our tone of voice matter? Positive parenting tips matter!
1. Low self-esteem
Take it as a must. A child, who is often yelled at, especially by the parents, tends to develop low self-esteem. You might not realize it, but your children might be growing up thinking you don’t love them. And this is the exact opposite of what you feel, right?
2. Less communication
Any positive parenting program will tell you, communication is the key to a healthy relationship between parents and children. So a constant angry tone of voice will eventually create distance. Your child will become less communicative. And a day might come when any kind of communication is not possible.
3. Indifferent child
Constant scolding will start falling on deaf ears. It will be nothing new to the child. One of the positive parenting tips I would share here is that a subtle warning, a silent stare or a whispered disappointment will get better results.
4. Negative bonding between parent and child
If the atmosphere between you and your child is constantly negative, what is the future? Can you expect a positive and affectionate relationship? Your angry and harsh parenting is creating an anxious and depressed child. My positive parenting tips here is to break the cycle of this negative parenting. Laugh, have fun, smile and become one with your child from time to time.
Here’s my own set of positive parenting tips on how you can bring about a change:
1. Observe yourself
You need to understand if the tone of your voice is always angry, are you in a yelling mode all the time? What is the proportion of times that you are angry versus you are affectionate? Positive parenting skills require you to be more tender and affectionate than getting angry all the time. Let your child have the freedom to make mistakes and learn.
2. Understand your trigger
Your tone of voice is angry most of the time, ask yourself, why? Is it work-related stress, a lifestyle problem or just your unhappiness in general? But your child has nothing to do with it. It is solely your problem. You cannot pass on the burden of your life to your little one. Any positive parenting program will sternly advise you against it. Nurture your little one with love and care. You don’t want your baby to grow up as an unhappy human being.
3. Understand your child
Your child has tantrum issues, behavioral problems or has turned into a rebel, then find out the cause. Scolding and punishment will further worsen the situation. You need to become more gentle and affectionate. A rise in the tone of your voice is not what your child wants. Instead, your little one could be looking for a safe retreat in you. Just remember that happy babies are more likely to become happy children and subsequently, happy adults!
4. Identify problem areas
You need to figure out when and why do you start raising your voice on your child. Once in a while, it is required to get angry but it cannot be the norm. At times you have to swallow your anger and deal very patiently. Understand where do you lose your control the most and work on it.
5. Deal with patience
Parenting is no more an easy task. Especially kids, who are exposed to the world more than ever. Children today are intelligent, smart, sensitive and susceptible to their external surroundings. One of the most required traits in a parent is that of patience. Without patience, you will eventually turn into a parent who is constantly getting angry and irritated. Result: you will be constantly scolding and reprimanding your child. And the result: a child growing up feeling unloved and lacking in self-confidence. So where do you start checking yourself, if you are losing patience or not? Check your tone of voice. It is a must in the list of my positive parenting tips that I as a mother would give to anyone.
Over the years, as a mother, this is my set of positive parenting skills I have tried to acquire. Do you have any more positive parenting tips to add to mine? Do write back in the comment section below.