Positive Education

Being a parent is not an easy job. The phrase “I had a life before I had children” sums it up perfectly. Lowering your principles without taking your child, as he is, into account, can make you grow apart from him. The job of a parent is to adapt to the child, to his desires and his needs. Absolute truths, such as “I was always told that when I was a child” or “In my days it worked that way” do not mean anything to a young child. We all have these parent friends, who have a perfect life on social media. Their kids are always smiling, always obedient and they never scream! We can assure you that this doesn’t exist in real life. Yes, all parents have to deal with their children’s crises and sometimes even their own. This can happen because of a bad day at work, after a discussion with your partner, or after repeating the same thing 20 times to your little one with no reaction. In addition to all this, we hear more and more about positive education. Is positive education the opposite of a negative education? We will answer these questions for you.

Positive education is also called effective parenting or positive parenting. It is an education based on listening, caring, trusting and supporting. These are all elements that will enable a young child to develop into a fulfilled, autonomous and responsible adult.
The origin of this educational method is based in Marshall Rosenberg‘s concept of “non-violent communication”. In 1970, he defined this ideology as communicating with others in a non aggressive or judgmental way. In short, positive education aims to encourage rather than punish the child in order to help him or her to be autonomous and responsible.

Here are the 4 principles that define positive parenting:

  • Positive discipline: It is based in the study of child psychology and focuses on a form of non-violent (neither physical nor verbal) discipline. It was developed by Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott in the1970s. It consists of disciplining in a firm and kind way without resorting to yelling, punishing, threatening, blackmailing or giving rewards.
  • Proactive parenting: It requires a lot of commitment from the parents to promote the child’s development through care. It is important to fight against some of the automatisms that we have in certain situations and learn to develop new ones. Proactive parenting requires a lot of work on yourself and allows you to live in a peaceful family environment.
  • Caring education: The objective of caring education is to establish an egalitarian parent-child relationship where the needs of each one is respected. It’s the middle ground between laxity and authoritarianism.
  • Non-violent communication:It’s a powerful tool that can heal the parent-child relationship. It is based on communication through non-violent verbal or physical means so that no one feels assaulted. This is called caring communication.
family, kids, mother with children

Max & Lea’s 5 tips: 

Start by taking care of yourself
Being a parent can be exhausting. In order to be able to put certain situations into perspective and respond to them in the best way possible, it is very important that you are rested. You may think it is easier said than done and it is true. This is why you have to sleep enough and that can be done by taking naps even if it is to the detriment of the household chores. You also have to eat well, do not forget to have breakfast and limit your coffee intake if you have a tendency to become irritated when you drink coffee’. You should also oxygenate yourself as much as possible, this can be done by going for a walk in the park with your children if you have a limited time or even better making sport.
Avoid saying no
Use positive sentences: Instead of saying “do not yell”, say “please play calmly”. This may sound irrelevant, but the first sentence is a prohibition (it implies that he could be punished) while the second one invites the child to control himself, to practice self discipline. The second sentence, which is a positive sentence, will tend to be said in a calmer tone than the first one. The “please” at the end makes a whole difference and sets the basis for an egalitarian relationship. At first, you will spend some time correcting yourself, but you will quickly see the positive effects of communicating in a positive way. If you ask your child to color only in the frame provided for that purpose rather than telling him to not go over it, he will be proud to show you that he has succeeded and that he knows how to do it.
Set an example
Parents are always a role model for their children, who are always trying to imitate them. Try not to raise your voice in order to not validate this sort of behavior in front of your child. An inappropriate reaction in a stressful situation can be misinterpreted by the child. Apologizing can correct the situation and teach him to apologize when he has to. Once again, this requires a lot of work on yourself but you will not regret it.
Play and laugh together
Children learn through play and they learn even better when they are accompanied by an adult. Those moments of sharing help to create a positive relationship. Laughter has a positive influence on your brain. Laughing together allows you to share moments of happiness and therefore calm tensions. The use of an intermediary such as a plush for example can also help calm a situation or make a learning experience easier, for example: “Mr. teddy bear says that you have to brush your teeth before going to bed”.
Read and learn more about it
At Max & Lea we are convinced that the experience of some can be beneficial for others. It is even better, if the experienced person is a specialist on the subject. This is why we recommend you to read more on the subject: “ Cool Parents Make Happy Kids ” by Charlotte Ducharme… ” J’ai tout essayé ” by Isabelle Filliozat and Anouk Dubois. ” La discipline positive ” By Jane Nelsen These books are a reference in the subject and have helped many parents to understand certain situations and help them correct them.
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