Parenting Principles That Transformed My Life…Speaking Positively

Raising kids is one of the greatest challenges one can face. It calls for the utmost patience, unconditional love, and draws stark attention to our own weaknesses. I personally realized that I was not as patient as I thought I was. I can recall my angry outbursts and frustration with my two young children (particularly my son), often feeling like I had no idea what I was doing when it came to parenting. I couldn’t understand why they simply couldn’t listen more…and whine less!!

This summer, with my kids home with me every day for 2 months straight, I knew something had to change with my parenting approach. I didn’t like the fact that I felt so much frustration and helplessness. I decided to take concrete action and found that I started to see significant improvements in my son’s behavior (and my own!) If there’s one thing that I have realized with kids, it’s that often their negative behavior is fueled by my own behavior and attitudes.

So what action did I take? In a nutshell, I prayed daily about the situation and I read parenting resources voraciously. Then I applied what I learned consistently!

I have distilled what I learned down to five basic principles which I learned from several different books and online resources. I feel that these ideas have completely transformed the way that I see myself and my children. I will share these principles with you over a series of posts, but let’s get started with the first one.

Parenting Principle Number One: Positive Speaking

  • Speak positively about your child and to your child:  A child responds to your demeanor and attitude toward them. If all they hear is negative words about themselves, this is how they will behave. Negativity can slip out unintentionally in a moment of frustration: “You’re so messy!”, “You’re so slow!”, “What’s wrong with you!!”. I know I have been guilty of putting down my son when I could have been more gentle or understanding.
  • How can you create a more positive environment for your child? Focus on your child’s strengths. What are they good at? What did they do well today? This can be in the simplest of ways, “Thank you for putting your toys away” or “You were really sweet with you sister today, that’s great!” or “You’re really good at building things, keep up the effort!” This doesn’t mean ignoring their weaknesses or any bad behavior, but it means putting more emphasis on what the did well rather than what they failed at.

This principle was inspired by reading “Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World” by Zig Ziglar.

Stay tuned for Principle Number 2 in this series of ‘Parenting Principles That Transformed My Life’

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5 thoughts on “Parenting Principles That Transformed My Life…Speaking Positively

  1. Malaika;

    As someone who has pursued a career path (computer systems analyst) that placed me in a position of huge responsibility and stress along with the commensurate salary, I can only say;

    parenthood was a LOT HARDER!!! Consistency is the number one rule I remember reading about, also I believe that hurry is the number one enemy of relationship harmony. Another thing that I would recommend, because I knew someone who did it, is following ahead of time some training on how to deal with teenagers. It may seem like it is light years ahead, but all of your hard won teaching and training can be blown out the window during the teenage years. I am speaking from experience. Above all, if you did NOT have a good relationship with your own mother during your own transitional years, you will find it doubly hard to cope.

    I hope you don’t mind these small words of advice. Now that I almost 65, I find myself happy to share whatever words of help I might give.

    Blessings to you and your family.

    Catherine Wilson


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Catherine for your words of wisdom! I do appreciate it and please feel free to share more of your experiences. I totally agree that parenting is hard! It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life, even harder than medical school. I totally agree with you about consistency. That will be the subject of one of my upcoming posts. Thanks for the advice about the teenage years. Fortunately I had a good relationship with my mum and we had a fairly smooth teenage period. For all the difficulty of parenting, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I adore my kids!! Thanks again and have a wonderful week! 🙂


  2. Good series! I have been reading a book called, “Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting”. I went searching for books to help me when I realized that I was becoming easily frustrated with my two girls and was wondering what in the world happened to my patience. For me it seem, everything changed when I had my second daughter because my first daughter used to listen to me and I had thought I had bypassed what others called the “Terrible Twos”. Well bypass I did, but at three years old, something change, tantrums happened and then my now 16 months old was on the tantrum bandwagon. Things have gotten pretty hectic at times. I sat crying one evening just before my husband got home because timeout didn’t seem to be working that day and I was at my wits end. I was crying and praying and then he came in and found them in the “calm down area’ aka timeout and then I was sobbing in my room, telling him they don’t listen to me and how I was a failure of a mom. He reassured me that I wasn’t. He took them and I just got in bed and starting looking for help. Anyway, I share all of that to say I look forward to reading more from your series. Motherhood is not an easy task at all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experiences Tabitha. I can relate to so much of what you said. I am grateful that we both seem to have supportive and understanding husbands! You are definitely NOT a failure! You are just trying to navigate your way through the challenges of motherhood. The fact that you have made so much effort to read books about the subject and improve things shows just how much you care for your kids! I am with you! Hang in there. You are not alone on this journey!


  3. Pingback: Parenting Principles that Transformed my Life…Discipline is an Act of Love – Potential Doctor

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