I recently wrote about how I wanted to use more positive language with my kids and stop constantly using words like No, Stop or Don’t. I called it a Positive Parenting Challenge and I passed this on to other parents to see who felt the same and wanted to change too.
Neil from OneDadsView has kindly agreed to take part and answer a few of my random questions.
Hello, who are you?
Hi! I’m Neil. I started a parenting blog almost a year ago as a way of offering my take on being a working dad to my now 5 year old Daughter. Whilst I have every intention on growing my social media presence you can mainly find me on Twitter. I started the blog as a hobby and it continues to be just that for now.
Thank you for agreeing to take part in this positive parenting challenge. In my post I talked about how I was tired of being cross and shouty with my kids. What do your kids do that infuriates you, and how do you deal with it?
I would say the main thing for me is her listening. As in she doesn’t. Hardly ever. Ok, it’s not as bad as that but there can be times I might as well be talking to that living room wall I’ve been meaning to paint for a couple of years now. Sometimes I have to really shout at her to try and get something across and it normally makes me feel bad afterwards. Got to love that parent guilt.
How many Incredible Hulks are you out of five?
I would say 3, both in being an awesome superhero but also having the ability to explode in my locker.
It’s perfectly normal to get cross or feel angry, but what is the most ridiculous thing you’ve lost your shit about?
I introduced her to the Wii recently having remembered it was still in our loft and have been trying her on Mario Kart and the Sonic/Mario Olympics. She’d been doing really well and slowly her coordination was improving with every game. We were playing a long jump competition on the Olympics game and she was nailing it each time. But then it all went downhill. She fouled three times in a row having not lifted the controller in time and was getting more angry with each attempt. After her final attempt she threw her hands down in a strop and the controllers fell off her hands and crashed to the floor. I completely lost it and went on at her for ages about how throwing things in anger was not good at all. Looking back it was just frustration on her part and I genuinely think the controller slipped off rather than thrown off. She cried a lot and didn’t stop apologising for ages. And I felt rubbish….
In my post, I wrote about the impact of negative language on my kids and that sometimes the first thing I say to them in the morning is a criticism. Apart from the usual hellos/good mornings, what was the first thing you said to your kids this morning?
It was actually something positive. She’s been getting better at staying in her room until the sun comes up on her gro-clock and this morning even stayed in there past the alert. I popped my head in, saw her colouring in and said “wow” look what you’ve done!
What words are you planning on saying more of?
I already say “ I love you” and “well done” a lot as I try and praise her when she does good and nice things. I think maybe I could use the word “try” more. Instead of concentrating on the “No, don’t do that” type of arguments I maybe could be saying “please try really hard etc” Tough question.
Now for the challenge – tomorrow, try to listen to how you talk to your kids. Be honest – how far into the day did you manage to get before you shouted, or said ‘No’, ‘Stop’, ‘Don’t’, or something else negative?
I’ve been trying to think about this all weekend. I noticed all almost immediately that I am indeed negative in my reaction to my Daughter in some situations. She decided that this Saturday morning would be a good time to wake up early and constantly come into our room to ask how long it was before we could go downstairs. This put me on the back foot straight away. She then proceeded to stuff cotton wool in her ears as she seemed completely unable to process even the tiniest bit of information. So, negativity 1-0 OneDadsView 0. However, I was conscious of how I was slipping into the “Nos” and “Don’ts” and I was attempting to find alternatives. Back in the game!
The rest of the weekend went brilliantly and she achieved a lot in swimming lessons, bike riding and at the climbing wall we take her too so there was plenty of opportunities for praise. All in all I think I’m generally happy with the balance of positive / negative vibes in our house. I think both are equally necessary but the attitude shift is something I’ll be working on.
The fact we finished the weekend by me shouting at her for running into the road without looking summed up a very balanced couple of days!
Be sure to check out Neil’s blog here.
Want to take part in this challenge? Enter your details below and I’ll be in touch.