3 Basic Principles of Positive Parenting

What exactly is positive parenting and is it a “better” approach to parenting? Let’s explore this touchy topic together.

In the past few days, a video of a boy being punished by his father for getting kicked out of his school bus went viral, accumulated more than 2 million views and has since sparked quite a conversation in the parenting community.

If you missed the video, watch it here.

Now that you’ve watched it. I can only assume you had one of these 2 most common emotions: you either belong to the group that applaud the dad for doing it right, or belong to the group that thinks he went too far.

I’m not here to judge you for your stand. I’m not here to judge him for his action. Neither am I here to take a stand. There is no ONE RIGHT WAY to parent. What’s good for one family may not be good for another, but it doesn’t make it a “bad” way. Despite having different approaches to parenting, we all parent well but we also screw up often. That’s the reality of being parents. So there’s no judging here.

But since we’re on the topic of parenting and disciplining, I thought I should address the group of parents that want to take the road of positive parenting. The big question is always:

What makes positive parenting?

Positive Parenting or Positive Discipline focuses on the positive points of behaviour, based on the idea that there are no bad children, just good and bad behaviours. We can teach and reinforce the good behaviours while weaning the bad behaviours without hurting the child verbally or physically.

Parents and educators engaging in positive discipline are not ignoring problems. Rather, they are actively involved in helping their child learn how to handle situations more appropriately while remaining calm, friendly and respectful to the children themselves.

So in the case of this child who was purportedly being punished for being a “bully”, the father did not hurt the child physically or verbally, it could also be argued that it was a calm and friendly approach. Respectful? I would say if he didn’t film the incident and share with the world, he would have ticked the box. But since he shared with the world, i’m a little bit cautious as not to say that what he did was respectful to his child. Nevertheless, not everybody follows positive parenting, and like i’ve said, there is no better way of parenting.

However, if you want to go on the path of positive parenting, following what this dad did wouldn’t have been parked as positive parenting. Why? Because there are 3 principles of positive parenting that makes it positive:

Treating Our Children With Respect

Positive Parenting followers want to go positive because we respect the little human beings under our care. Their feelings and self-esteem matter to us. We aspire to treat them with the same respect that we give to the adults in our lives, whenever possible.

Respecting your child while disciplining him is a positive thing because it shows to your child that he’s still worthy of good attention despite his bad behaviour.

Respecting your child is positive because we are showing him how to handle difficult people respectfully. He will learn and treat his friends and colleagues with respect.

Respecting your child while disciplining him is positive because it makes him feel that he is more important than the problem he has created.

Helping Our Kids Understand Why

Another basic principle of positive parenting is that we usually focus on why a child misbehaves rather than focusing on correcting his behaviour just because it’s wrong. We help children understand why what they are doing is wrong, and provide them with the skill to seek alternative ways to cope or deal with a problem. We teach them what is right and what is wrong through communication and explanation and not through punishment or threats.

Punishments just helps the kids avoid certain behaviours in order to escape punishment but without really knowing why he is not allowed to behave in certain ways.

Helping our kids understand why is positive because they get to learn what exactly is not right or appreciated about their behaviour. So next time they will internalise that certain behaviours are not desirable because of something.

Not Giving Up When It Doesn’t Work

I have to confess that positive parenting is not an easy path. I have been tempted to divert and just be authoritarian, especially in the heat of a home crisis. I admit that I hadn’t been positive 100% of the time. Positive parenting is hard, tough work. But what makes it so special is because we are determined to make it positive. We are determined to do our best to use positive discipline on our children.

So not giving up when it doesn’t work, is what makes it positive. We still believe in this parenting approach and we are still relying on it, regardless.


Having said all this, I want to reiterate that I’m not here to take a stand or to judge any parent. I’m here to explain what positive parenting is and if you want to go on this path, these are the 3 principles that you can follow.

Have a great day!

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My Top 10 Favourite Singapore Mom Bloggers

In the past few years the Singapore-mom-blogging world has blossomed quite a fair bit. Here is a rundown of my 10 favourite Singapore Mom Bloggers in no particular order:

  1. Madpsychmum

    Madeline runs the blog like a pro. She mainly writes about travelling with her family. But one thing that strikes me is her specially dedicated page to bring you around fun places in Singapore. If you don’t know where to go this weekend, you might get some good ideas from Madeline.

  2. A Happy Mum

    Summer is a mother to 3 children. She mainly blogs about her family life, which is by no means boring. I can be hanging around on her blog forever! She has a DIY crafts page that makes me wonder why I can’t have half the creativity that she has!

  3. A juggling Mom

    Susan has a way of making her blog very fun to read. She can make me feel as if my life is not so boring when I read her blog posts. Sometimes I feel like I’m on the journey with her. She also throws in some exam tips from time to time!

  4. Sassy Mama

    What can I say? This is probably the most well-rounded parenting blog in Singapore. That’s because it’s run by a group of fantastic mamas!

  5. Our Little Smarties

    Emily runs the blog part time but who would have known? The blog is full of travel tips and inspiration making you want to plan your next vacation right away!

  6. Life’s Tiny Miracles

    David & Angie write about all the moments in parenting, from play moments to learning moments, quiet moments to holiday moments. They also have food moments! Check them out and you’ll be sucked into their world, which is not bad at all!

  7. Rainbow Diaries

    Shub writes about anything and everything. Follow her blog to add some colours to your life.

  8. Bumble Bee Mum

    This family seems to always be on the go! And they’re kind enough to bring us along via their fantastic blog posts. Join them as they share their travelling experience abroad as well as what’s happening in Singapore.

  9. mamawearpapashirt

    Need parenting insights and advice? This is the place to go to. June writes about parenting in a way that makes us feel, hey, parenting is not too bad after all.

  10. KidsRSimple

    Christy is a mama of 3 and her blog is very enjoyable to read. She even has a dedicated page to PSLE preparation!

 

3 Comfort Items EVERY Mum Deserves To Own

Eye-mask

My husband’s colleague gave me what could have been the best gift I received this year. She gave me my very first eye-mask! I fell in love with it the first time I tried it. The pressure on my eyes when it’s closed – it’s just heavenly and relaxing. She gave me the type that has an insert that could be cooled in the fridge. Super duper love it!

A recliner

What could beat a place to lie down and stretch your back? Personally I do not like to lie on the bed unless it’s bedtime. So a recliner is the perfect choice. We all deserve this y’all. Now lean back and stretch your legs!

A good playlist

Music soothes, music enlivens. Have yourself a ready playlist for different times of the day. Doing mundane housework like mopping and washing dishes? Listen to your favourite songs. At the end of the day after all the kids have gone to bed? Listen to another list of your favourite songs. Add some mood and rhythm into your life!

These are my top 3 must-have items to help me recharge and be available for myself and my family the next day. What are your go-to self-care routine? Share your secrets in the comments!

Today I’ve Had Enough

Do you know what the challenge of writing a family blog is? It’s that you have to constantly come up with solutions for fellow mamas and offer tips and life hacks and stuff even while your own family is going through a rough patch. There. I’ve said it. 

Today was a bad day for me guys. I don’t pretend to have a perfect life. Blogging is something I enjoy doing not because I am a know-it-all but blogging is a way for me to connect with other parents, a way for me to deal with my loneliness as a stay-at-home mum. I offer what I can, but I never pretend to have my sh*t together all the time. 

So if you are having your worst day of the week today, you’re not alone. 

If your child adamantly refuses to get out of the house when you needed to, know that today my child was like that too. 

If you lost your cool after trying so hard to be calm, know that I just started yelling at one of my kids just now. 

If you’re running behind your to-do list, know that my list never gets cleared. 

If you feel like you’ve had enough of everything, I feel the same way today. 

If your head is so tight you feel like you need some fresh air, know that my head was just about to explode as well. 

That’s why I’m here writing this post. I needed somewhere to vent. But I also needed someone to know that she’s not the only one that had a bad day today. 

I want her to know that everything will start again tomorrow, for the better.

I want her to know that the kids will forgive her.

I want her to know that nobody expects her to be a mama angel all the time, nobody. So don’t go beating herself up. 

I want her to know that parenting was not meant to be anger-free or tears-free. It’s just part of the process that has been going on for thousands of years. 

I want her to know that it’s ok to regret the life choices that she’s made, whether it’s to stay at home or to go to work. Because in the end nobody can have it all. I’m sure she chose what was best at the time. 

I want her to know that family is family and that kids will one day grow up and understand everything, just not today. 

So here I am, trying to get myself together to be the mum that I am, again, and forever more. 

You can too. 

Do Each of Your Children Feel Important?

The hubbub of work and school sometimes leave little space for us to give attention to our children individually. Nonetheless, In our family we have figured out 3 effective habits to let each child know that they are special, because they are.

1. Acknowledge their contributions or bigger achievements. Make a point of speaking about the things that you like about each of your children. You can do this as you go about your daily life or you can try what our family has been doing:

Every Sunday night we have a mini family bedtime routine whereby we come together and everyone starts sharing

– “I love it when [so and so] ….. [does something]” or

– “I like [so and so] because ……. “ or

– “[so and so] makes me happy when [he/she]…

We did not only restrict the sentences to our children but each family member gets to tell at least one thing they like about all the other members in the family.

A lot of times we hear happy giggles during this session, sometimes silly sentences come out. Even then, laughing together promotes bonding, just make sure there is no teasing involved because that would have defeated the purpose of making someone feel loved and special.

2. We have monthly dates with our boys on specific dates. They know exactly which day is their date night with either one of the parents. This is how it goes:

– the day of their birthday will be their monthly date for their date. For example if your child was born on 5th of June, we would make his date with a parent on every 5th of the month. They LOVE looking forward to their special date on the calendar as they know exactly when it is. It’s already fixed for the whole year!

– we alternate the parents that go out on these dates. For example January is mummy’s turn to date 3 boys on their own individual days. Then February is daddy’s turn, and back to mummy in March and so on. This way each child gets an undivided attention for some period of time every month and each parent gets to give their time to one child fully in that period of time.

For the child it’s like being an only child once a month. Isn’t that nice? 🙂

– to make the date even better? Let them choose what they want to do on their date day (within reason). You’re guaranteed a happy child for those few hours 🙂

3. Allow for open communication. In our family, we try very hard to let the kids be heard. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Sometimes we just want to tell them what needs to be done and how they should behave and we forget that they have their own reasons or logic to do certain things.

Listening on the part of adults make children feel that they are loved and that they matter.

To sum up, each child will feel important if parents can

– acknowledge their contribution
– give them undivided attention consistently
– listen.

If you have not been doing the above, here is a challenge for you to take for the next one week.

  1. When my child has done something right, I’m going to praise his/her effort by saying ______________ .
  2. I’m going to decide on the frequency and duration I want to give each child my fullest attention. The frequency is __________ , for a duration of _____________. I’m going to start on _________________ (date)
  3. After my child expresses himself in words, I will make an effort to rephrase what he/she had just said so they know I was listening.

Let me know how it goes in the comments!

10 Ways You Can Make Your Kids Exclaim “You’re The Best!”

It was easy to make babies, toddlers and even preschoolers smile their biggest smile. A simple peek-a-boo can have your baby laughing away for 10 minutes. Chasing bubbles can make a toddler squeal their happiest sounds. A family ride on the top deck of a double-decked bus can have your preschoolers excited for the whole 20 minute-ride. But these things hardly bring out the biggest smiles on our 7 and 5-year-olds now. They claim that everything is boring and that only the iPad can make them happy. Well, sorry boys, that’s not going to happen. You only get a limited amount of screen time each week. So you’re gonna have to learn to enjoy life without the iPad! I survived mine when I was younger!

Nonetheless, there are still so many things that could bring out that biggest smile you’ve been missing. Here are some of my favourites:

  1. Let them run in the rain. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen Oliver’s biggest smiles on the days I let him run freely in the rain. My tummy does some butterflies whenever I see that level of contentment on his face. It’s just priceless. Running in the rain gives them a sense of freedom and a chance to release any tension they might have. Water helps to reduce anxiety and calms a person down. So let them run, let them get wet. Allow them to let loose. Just make sure they have a non-slip pair of sandals on and that there are no possibilities of falling branches in the vicinity.
  2. Make slime together. Nothing makes kids more excited than being able to make their own toy! They love knowing that they can make something found in the toy shops. It’s like they have special abilities! Even my dear Oliver who has a slight tactile hyper-sensitivity enjoys slime. Whew!
  3. Family movie nights. In my 8 years of parenting, I haven’t come across any child that does not like looking at the screen. So of course, when we proposed a movie night, our 3 boys jumped in pure excitement! I love that feeling when you know your kids are happy with your suggestions. Our movie nights are right in our own family room in the comfort of our own cosy sofa seats. You don’t have to make a trip to the cinema, but you can do it once in a while.
  4. Favourite Characters In Town. Keep a look out at your local malls for any visits by Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, Peppa Pig or Barney, etc. They would be over the moon to get to meet their favourite characters. It might be equivalent to us getting to meet Meryl Streep. You get what I mean.
  5. Play chase. I have to admit that joining my children in their games of chase or hide and seek and soccer takes a lot from me. I would rather be seated with my book. But every time I want to say “no”, the images of those happy smiles while I chase them and the memory of the sounds of the happy squeals when they try to run away from me tell me that it’s going to be worth it. Get in the game. Don’t just sit at the bench. Join them when they play with other children at the playground. You have no idea how proud they feel when their friends say to them “your parents are so cool!”.
  6. Get an indoor swing. Our occupational therapist said that swinging helps calm the mind, especially for children with sensory processing disorder. Well, after that session, we went to IKEA and got our very first indoor swing! For those of us who live in an apartment or simply do not have that big of a yard space, an indoor swing is the perfect solution. They can swing as they switch between different activities inside the home. They do not have to wait for “playground time” or “backyard time” to get to enjoy the benefits of swinging.
  7. Surprise them with puddle-ready sandals or boots. Last week I did something I had never done before. It was a rainy day, I picked up my children from school with their Crocs sandals ready in hand for them to change into. They put on their raincoats and was allowed to run wild and jump in all the puddles on the way home. Those smile and giggles were priceless.
  8. Art and craft. I realise that ever since Edward goes to Primary 1, he craves for more art and craft activities at home. I suspect it’s because he has less art and craft in school than he used to have in K2. So I try my best to give them one art and craft slot per week to let them express their creativity.
  9. Say “yes” to playdates. Edward is going to have his first playdate with his Primary 1 classmates tomorrow and he’s so excited! Even Oliver is excited too because he knows them as well. They plan to play badminton and some other games. Imagine if I had said no, what would they have missed out?
  10. Play their games. We all love it if our partner joins us in our favourite activity. I love it when my husband accompanies me to the museum and he loves it when I accompany him to an Apple shop. Ha! Children also crave for parents to participate in activities that they like. Right now Edward and Oliver are into Pokemon cards. Until today I still do not understand what is so fun about playing Pokemon cards but I play with them anyway and it makes them feel loved when we play what they like. What do your kids like? Play with them, they’ll love it!