9: keep the relationship positive.

by Erika (daylilyoverflow)

“As parents learn to balance their own emotions without swinging between feelings of guilt and anger toward their child they are better able to give their child both nurture and structure. Being kind and empathic toward yourself can help you not get overly involved in your own emotional reactions to your child.”
- Parenting From the Inside Out

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One of the things that motherhood has pointed out to me is that I will hold grudges. I will sit and let the thoughts stay in my head about how the lad should have gone to sleep or done this or that and I let it influence my attitude too much. I get angry and don’t want to give him the love and care I should despite my best intentions.

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Because of this, I am always impressed by my husband. Israel is so good at keeping his feelings in check when teaching ranger to obey or putting more time into the bedtime ritual than should be necessary. If he does have to get serious with Ranger, he is quick to top it off with a positive interaction. He smiles, uses kind words and gets right back into whatever game they were playing without holding onto the negative emotions that come with discipline.

It is a wonder for me and my short temper to watch. He is such a good dad.

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As I’ve watched their interactions, I’ve been reminded to try to intentionally put positive emotions into my strategy for dealing with Ranger. Instead of just saying ‘no!” and keeping the interaction in with those negative vibes, I’ve been trying to add more positive to the situation. I will give him a kiss, start a new game, suggest an alternate activity, or tell him I love him.

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It centers us a bit more in what the relationship is all about and keeps both our feelings and actions more positive after the fact. It also helps me to acknowledge how I am feeling and make a move to change it in the moment without having to feel bad about it later.

“Sometimes relationships with children become filled with tensions. Parents don’t always like their children, or feel positively towards them, especially when their children are acting in ways that make the parents’ life more difficult. Being compassionate toward your own emotional experiences enables you to accept these challenging altercations with your child with less distress and self-recrimination.”
- Parenting From the Inside Out

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How do you keep your interactions with your kiddos more positive?

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