If there is one thing you could do to put the odds in your favor or raising children who are happy and successful – however you determine success – would you do it? What if I told you for the next 18-years what you need to do is continue to create a positive home for your child to feel safe, loved, heard and respected, would you do it? Creating a positive home for your family is the one thing to affect your children for their entire lives. Learn what goes into setting the tone for a positive home.I wish I grew up in a house where I wasn’t afraid to make mistakes, or could go to my parents without the fear of being criticized or shamed. While I have had to work through all the effects of being raised in a negative home, it’s helped me to be a better parent.
Here is what I know when you don’t grow up in a positive way…
- When your parents are present, but not emotionally available… this hurts you.
- When you don’t receive genuine encouragement or praise, your efforts start feeling worthless.
- Learning you are good enough and deserve good things is established in childhood. When you don’t have this, navigating life, work and social circles become doubly hard.
- A positive home environment sets the tone for good (or bad) relationships you’ll have in your life. What you are taught and what relationships are modeled is what you will accept in your own.
- Anxiety and depression are two of the most common effects linked to negative home environments and dettached parent-child relationships.
When children grow up in a loving, warm and positive home, they are equipped with the tools to develop into balanced and confident people.
I may have been raised in a negative home, but feeling the damage of this, I choose everyday to conscientiously parent my own kids in positive, kind and loving ways.
When you are patient and treat your children with the respect they deserve, the effects of growing up in a warm and loving home will positively affect them forever.
This is one of my favorite Positive Parenting Books if you’re looking to dig a little deeper. There are so many great tips to interacting and responding to your kids in meaningful ways, even with back talk and hard behavior.
1) CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY
Your child’s own self-image and self-esteem are linked to two things – home life and peers.The main contributor to a poor self-image and low self-esteem is the environment your child lives in.
Ask yourself… Is your home a positive place they can thrive in or one with negativity and hurtful words and actions?
You may not be able to control what and how peers talk to and treat your kid when they’re at school or on the soccer field, but what you will always have control over is the type of environment you create for your family.
The voice you use when you speak to your child, will be the voice they carry with them always. What you say and feel towards them is the basis of what children believe of themselves.
A voice of encouragement, love and patience, support and acceptance… this is the voice you should instil in your child. No other persons will have as much of an impact on your child as YOU, their parent.
Our world now is build around imagery and language that can be hurtful and detrimental. Messages, language, and behaviors live in a constant state of parallax between positive and negative, right and wrong, good and evil, popular and unpopular in the media, books, among friend and peers. They’re demonstrated in behavior, language, stereotypes and how we treat ourselves, and others.
It’s up to parents how we choose to shape our child’s self-esteem, confidence, and self-image and it will ultimately determine how our children choose to stand up to pressures that can negatively impact them.
The single most important factor in this equation is the environment and learning that takes place at HOME.
The one thing that should remain constant in your child’s life – the safest place, where they are free from negativity, and feel the best about themselves – should always be your home and the people in it.
Your home should be a nurturing place for children to develop a positive self-image, confidence, and attitude.
Developing an environment where children and families will thrive, is something you have to be intentional about. Like any positive habit, it requires work, patience and a lot of repetition.
So, how do I help my child feel good about themselves? How do I help them have high self-esteem and make positive choices?
2) POSITIVE PRAISE & ENCOURAGEMENT
When you are teaching your child how to begin riding a bike, which scenario do you think would help them learn these skills and feel confident trying on their own? ?
- A) You get excited when they balance and learn to peddle on their own. You cheer for their accomplishment and support them when they struggle to learn a concept, remaining positive until they get the hang of it.
- B) Your child is throwing a fit because they’re scared of falling and frustrated they they aren’t picking it up quickly. You are annoyed and snap and them not following directions and and say they aren’t trying hard enough. The tone of your voice is sharp and unkind.
The first scenario of rewarding behavior with excitement and warmth. The positive praise you use works and he wants to keep trying because of your encouragement.
In the second scenario your child feels defeated… he’s working so hard but all you’re offering in return is criticism. It’s clipped and harsh and instead of wanting to work hard and try again, he gives up because he feels like a failure.
These are he basic principles of positive praise and encouragement and how it affects a child deeply.
Children connect with you when they’re encouraged with compliments, constructive praise and feedback. They shut down when you criticize their abilities and don’t commend them for their hard work, effort and a job well done.
3) BE AFFECTIONATE
I’m not a touchy person by nature with the exception of my children. I am overflowing with love and I show them all the time by hugging them, holding them, cuddling on the couch, holding hands and telling them how much I love them.
It reminds them I care about them and long term, the consideration and love I demonstrate will help them feel comfortable expressing their feelings to me at a time when they’re hurting, in trouble or just want to open up and talk, as well as in their own relationships.
It’s important to show affection to children when they’re hurt and have done something that was wrong or broken rules. This reinforces to them, that even when something is wrong, you unconditionally love them regardless of the circumstance.
I know its hard when your child has hurt your feelings to go to them and show affection, but this is when they need your love the most and as an adult, you need to put your pride aside.
The invaluable lesson you’re teaching your child is much bigger than the feelings you yourself are having.
4) HELP THEM TO BUILD A POSITIVE MINDSET
Words like stupid, dumb, fat, ugly and jerk should have no place in your house. And while kids may hear these works outside of the house, they stop at the door and shouldn’t be used within your family’s safe space.
Your house is a safe haven for your children, and negative talk towards themselves and towards others doesn’t have a place in your home.
Tip: Eliminate or limit electronics, television shows, movies, social media and music that use negative terms and language.
5) MODEL THE BEHAVIOR YOU WANT TO SEE
We’ve all heard the saying, “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” Never is it more important to consider than now.
Children learn from their parents how to act, treat others, talk to themselves and language to use. Modeling positive behavior at home demonstrates how to be respectful, caring, loving, positive and confident in their own skin.
When I complain that I look ugly, my daughter may tell herself that she looks ugly. And do I want her believing she’s anything less than the beautiful and incredible little person she is? Nope.
Body Confidence is just as important as self-confidence and something that parents can squash in a child, even if it’s with their own negative self-talk. The personal kindness and forgiveness we extend to ourselves, is an extension to our children too.
So while I’m working to help my children be positive and build their confidence, I also need to manage the way I speak aloud and internally to myself so that I can be the best role model for them.
Children are especially perceptive; they pick up on everything! Have you noticed that too? Little ears and eyes look to their parents as role models for behavior and interaction cues.
For example, my son wears button down shirts almost every day because that’s what his Dad does and he looks up to him. My daughter uses the same words I use when she’s trying to explain to her brother she doesn’t like what he’s doing, because this is what they know and learned at home from me.
Is it your child’s or your own behavior that needs improvement? Now is the time to change your behavior so your children don’t follow suit.6
6) MAKE YOUR KIDS FEEL SPECIAL EVERY DAY
The best and most effective way to build children up and show them that their home is a safe and loving place is to spend quality time with them.
This is as simple as family dinners together or going for a walk around the neighborhood and talking. It doesn’t mean you’re handing over a small fortune for a beach vacation or even a babysitter, it’s about spending time together without devices and distractions and showing them that they matter to you.
Going beyond having family time together, set up time for each parent to have one on one with each child.
Something simple things like taking a walk together or grabbing a cup of ice cream to just sit down and talk is all you need. Show your children that you want to spend time with them individually means the world to them.
While your child may only be a toddler or in preschool, it’s never too early to start talking about feelings and making sure the lines of communication are established.
If your child is ever in the position of needing to talk about a bad experience of someone who is hurting them, you want them to know you are their safe place and they can come to you to talk about what’s troubling them.
Having a positive home will contribute to building your child’s emotional intelligence and ability to communicate with you.
No house is perfect. No day is perfect. Having a positive home is a goal for 90% of the time, in-between meltdowns and tantrums and imperfect parenting and life events that derail even the best of intentions.
Parenting is a hard, hard job but loving your children isn’t.
Showing them that you love them, even when you may not like their behavior, isn’t hard.
No one’s parenting is perfect; we’re all figuring it out day after day but putting in the effort and the work to have a positive home is the difference maker.
Love your children. Tell them you love them. Show them you love them. Use caring and kind words towards them, towards others and yourself.