Please Note: Your Week 4 Guide is attached to the right to be downloaded.
Hello and welcome to Week 4 Confidence in Happy Home!
Week 4 is dedicated to:
- Kind and Firmness as a parenting style.
- The development of your Assertive parenting presence that sends the message of Love + Respect at the same.
- Practicing Positive Discipline communication tools.
Our goal this week is to help you feel confident in communicating with your children, holding a positive container with clear guidelines, and setting loving boundaries.
It can be helpful to think of parenting styles in terms of kindness and firmness, and while we don’t want to put people in boxes – very often parents identify with either a Kind or a Firm parenting style. Think about the families you know and families where there’s a lot of firmness, but not a lot of kindness. Those families might be on the rigid or strict side of things, where parents rule with fear and if extreme, it can be like a dictatorship. We might call this parenting style authoritarian. But on the positive side, there’s clear expectations, and children are usually respect.
On the other end of the spectrum, there may be parents with a lot of kindness, but not a lot of firmness. In these homes, there might be a lot of love, but maybe there’s no structure, lack of clear guidelines, parents might be push-overs, and the children might run the show. This is known as permissive parenting.
Our society tends to be an either/or culture. And children need both KINDNESS + FIRMNESS AT THE SAME TIME. Our goal is to help you come into a balance and develop within yourself and embodying a parenting voice, presence and style that embodies Kindness + Firmness and Love + Respect at the same time. In Conscious Discipline, we call this Assertiveness and it sends the message of “Just Do It!” in a straightforward, loving, and non-attached way. As a parent, you are the house your children live and grow up in, providing the foundation, the ceiling and the walls. You want to have walls that when our children bump up against them, the walls don’t fall over. And you also don’t want to have spikes on our walls.
What can happen for most of us is that we start off in that Kind place, but then our children don’t listen. So we lay down the law with an overly firm response. Then we might feel guilty and go back to the kind side with overly apologizing or here have some ice cream or a special toy to make up for it. That is a kind and firm dance that happens within ourselves.
But there’s also a Kind and Firm Dance that happens within co-parents, mates or spouses in the good parent/bad parent dynamic. For example, one parent is always sweet and giving in. Then the other parent comes in and is like, “you let the children get away with everything. They’re never going to learn anything. We need to teach them what the rules are and respect.” Then the other parent swoops in to “save” the children and this dance goes on and on.
This week, we will be helping you develop your assertive parenting presence that balances kindness and firmness at the same time and sends the message of love and respect to your children.
1) Are you naturally more on the Kind or the Firm side? Or maybe you naturally have a balance of Kind + firm – unless you’re under stress and if that’s the case when you’re stressed do to tend to lean toward the Kind or the Firm side?
2) Also, reflect upon the parenting style you were raised with and how this influences your own parenting?