Punishments Begone! This Mama’s 31-day Positive Parenting Challenge

My oldest son is at the age of, let’s say, asserting himself whenever and with whomever he pleases. You hear about the Terrible Two’s, but no one warns you about the Fast and Furious Five’s, where you look at your child and ask, “Who are you and what did you do with my sweet, respectful little boy?” To be honest, this phase has and continues to be a rough one. While I want to raise a confident, assertive and independent thinker, the road to “the promised land” is, quite frankly, making me a little crazy.

Confession: I yell. I often react first and think later. I’ve spanked my son. I’m not always the nice mommy that I want to be. I sometimes feel out of control when his behavior isn’t to my liking. I don’t always treat him the way I know he deserves to be treated.

They say the first step towards healing is to admit that you’re sick. Well, I’m admitting it — I’m a wannabe positive parenting mama, who can’t keep it together when it comes to my son. Wahhhhhh! I’m not proud of my past, but I am excited for the future, all because of what I read in this article.

When I initially saw the title of the article, I was like “No way; that can’t work.” By the time I finished reading it, I was ready to give it a try. So, I decided that starting tomorrow, July 1st, punishments will no longer exist in our home. Well, at least for the next 31 days. Hey, you have to start somewhere, right? Oh, and isn’t July (the month of freedom) just perfect? Yeah, I think so too.

Starting tomorrow I’m really going to challenge myself to be a more creative, understanding, patient and nurturing mama by banishing the threat of punishments and getting to the root of why we (my son and I) behave the way we do. My guess is that he’s feeding off of my energy, and while it hurts to think that I’m probably the cause of the problem, it’s reassuring to know that I can also be part of the solution.

I’ll keep you all posted on our progress. Wish us (really, me) luck!

P.S. — If you want to join in on the challenge, you can go here and become part of a private Facebook group where we can support each other for the next 31 days and beyond.

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18 thoughts on “Punishments Begone! This Mama’s 31-day Positive Parenting Challenge

  1. Count this wannabe in! This all makes sense to me, yet I’m afraid when my defiant 5 year old is poking at my buttons, I’ll lose it. It sounds so freeing though…no more threatening, coercing, nagging. I don’t like who I am during those times. I have to release my expectations and remember what’s most important – fostering a positive relationship with my son. It would be great to have some online support. Thanks for putting this out there!

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  2. I’m going to talk to hubby about this…he’ll struggle with it. And we need to be on the same page. But I’m going to get the book Positive Discipline and read it. We gotta do something better around here!

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  3. Please add me in this!

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  4. You know what seems so crazy is that my husband and I already parent this way (to the best of our ability – we mess up sometimes too), but I tend to hide it from other moms. I have some friends who fear living in a world with leaders who were never spanked. I just don’t get how you can keep doing the same thing and never see a change in the child and just keep doing it over and over. I posted this link on my FB wall as part of a “coming out”. I’m a positive parenting mom and proud of it. Thanks for the group on FB too. Looking forward to hearing from those who are trying this for the first time and hope to add some support too!

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    • You’re so welcome, Karri! I love that you’re ready and willing to let your positive parenting flag fly! And, I know what you mean about the need for people to do what has traditionally been done and expecting a different result. It boggles my mind. Hopefully, they will see how children who are loved and gently parented turn just fine, even better because they don’t have the emotional scars that other mistreated children will definitely have. I bet the more you share what techniques work for you, the more they’ll secretly want to try them. 🙂

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  5. […] only day two of this month’s positive parenting challenge and I’m already seeing results. I’m in total disbelief. How can my son’s behavior […]

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  6. I have just joined and I’m looking forward to some better days!

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  7. Yay! Good for you mama!!! I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised at how your month goes 🙂 We made the switch a couple of years back, when our oldest was around 6, and it’s completely changed our home. It takes quite a while to undo, if you will, all that’s been done in the past, so hang in there if change doesn’t seem to happen as fast as you hoped.

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    • Thanks so much for your support! And yes, the “unlearning” is tough! But, I’m committed to stick to my guns & give myself (and my son) the grace we both need to grow into better people through this challenge. I know that it’s all worth it!

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  8. […] first week of the 31-Day Positive Parenting Challenge was a tough one, full of up’s, down’s and all types of scattered emotions. I felt like […]

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  9. […] I’m late with posting my thoughts on week two of the 31-Day Positive Parenting Challenge. This should’ve been up on Sunday however life happened and Tuesday was a better day. So, […]

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  10. […] July’s 31-Day Positive Parenting Challenge winding down, I’ve been reflecting on all of the things that I’ve learned over the […]

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  11. […] Punishment Be Gone! This Mama’s 31-Day Positive Parenting Challenge […]

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  12. […] the wake of the Adrian Peterson controversy, I thought about this piece I wrote about a year ago on a then new-to-me way of disciplining my children called gentle or positive parenting. Before then […]

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