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Inside: No matter if you are just starting to use peaceful parenting or you already implemented many of its principles with your kids, implementing positive parenting is not always easy. Here is how to make the transition to peaceful parenting easier and make this parenting approach work for your family.
“What if it doesn’t work for us?” – This is what a close friend asked me a few years ago, when she started implementing peaceful parenting with her kids.
I knew well how she felt because I had the same doubts when my oldest son was a toddler!
I never questioned the principles of peaceful parenting. They always felt right, and I always wanted to raise my kids with respect and empathy.
But during those days when I struggled to deal with tantrums and power struggles, I doubted my ability to make peaceful parenting work for our family.
Looking back at those challenging times, I’m so grateful that I never gave up using positive parenting with my son!
That moment gave me the confidence that no matter what parenting challenges we face, there is always a peaceful parenting solution for it.
Sometimes it takes a while to find the right strategy, but building a strong, loving relationship with my kids is totally worth the effort!
But here is the truth: Implementing peaceful parenting is not easy at first.
In many ways, the transition to peaceful parenting is similar to the start of a weight loss journey.
Sometimes, when people try to lose weight, it might feel that the “quick” diets work better because they quickly see results. The same thing happens with parenting strategies based on threats or punishments.
At first, they seem to offer great results because they stop the negative behaviors in the short run.
The problem is that punishments (exactly like the “miracle” diets) do more harm than good in the long run (here is why).
On the other side, when switching to a healthier lifestyle to lose weight, the results are not so impressive in the first weeks. The change seems hard and frustrating, and many times people give up before truly seeing its benefits.
The same thing happens with the transition to peaceful parenting.
How to transition to peaceful parenting
Sometimes the beginning is hard to handle, and the results don’t come overnight. Building new habits is not easy, and both kids and parents need time to adjust to the change.
But exactly like in the case of switching to a healthier lifestyle, the benefits, in the long run, are huge!
The secret is to stick with it in the challenging moments during the transition. Give yourself and your kids the necessary time to adjust to the change so you can enjoy the positive changes together. 💕
Here is what I want you to know: I am sure that positive parenting can work for your family! If I wouldn’t strongly believe this, I wouldn’t have started this blog!
But no matter if you are just starting to use peaceful parenting or you already implemented many of its principles with your kids, and you just need some additional support, the transition to positive parenting may come with a few challenges.
This is why today I want to share with you two of the obstacles that many parents face during this transition and how to overcome them easier.
Obstacle #1: Despite your best intentions, you find it hard to break old habits and use a new parenting approach.
If you struggled with managing your anger or you used different parenting methods before, switching to peaceful parenting will not happen overnight.
Like any other important change in your life, it will require time and patience. Don’t expect perfection and allow yourself to make mistakes along the way without being hard on yourself.
Here are some tips that will make the transition period easier:
- Always focus on the goal you want to achieve at the end of this process: a more peaceful home, a better relationship with your kids, a calm and positive parenting journey. This will motivate you to keep going even if you’ll face challenges along the way.
- Work on building new habits one at a time. Don’t try to change everything at once because it might feel too overwhelming. Start by working on your own emotions and then focus one by one on the things that you want to improve in the way you parent your kids.
- Allow yourself enough time to go through this transition. You will need to learn new ways to deal with difficult situations, and your kids will need an adjustment period as well.
If you feel like you need more support to find the parenting strategies that work for your family, check out the Peaceful Parent Happy Kids Online Course.
It is created by one of the most respected parenting experts in the world, and it included the tools and strategies every parent needs to put peaceful parenting into practice. (I took this course a few years ago, and it made a big difference in my life!)
Obstacle #2: Instead of getting better, your child’s behavior seems to worsen after you start implementing peaceful parenting strategies.
This can happen for two reasons.
First, when you start showing more emotional availability to your kids, they feel safe to share more feelings with you.
So all the repressed emotions from their emotional backpack might surface and cause them to “act out” more. This is the way your children are showing you the feelings they stuffed up in the past, when they felt alone or misunderstood.
If you manage to remain calm and compassionate when misbehavior happens, you’ll help your child heal old hurt feelings and “empty” their emotional backpack.
You can find a list of helpful tips: How to help young kids deal with strong emotions in a gentle way.
After kids manage to do this, you will see a positive transformation in their behavior, and your relationship will become a lot closer and stronger.
The second reason that might cause your kids to misbehave more at the start of this transition is the fact that they need to get used to the new way of interacting with you.
If you used to get angry at your kids frequently, it might seem that they are not listening to you unless you yell. Or if you used to punish your kids every time they did something wrong, it might seem that they are not taking you seriously unless you threaten them with punishment.
This is only because they are used to this pattern of interaction with you.
It takes a little while to change these patterns, but if you manage to be consistent with your new approach, the change will happen quicker than you imagine!
How to make the transition to peaceful parenting easier
When facing challenges along your peaceful parenting journey, you might start to wonder if you are doing something wrong. Or you might even think that positive parenting just doesn’t work for your kids!
But here is the truth: No matter what parenting approach you choose, you will face challenges! All parents struggle from time to time.
The good news is that as you gain more experience in implementing peaceful parenting, you will feel more confident in your ability to find the positive solutions that will help your child in the long run.
Here are 5 important things to remember as you make the transition to peaceful parenting:
- Every change you make starts with you! Use everything you learned in the first modules to help you regulate your own emotions when dealing with challenging situations. This will make a huge difference in your ability to implement any positive parenting strategy with your kids!
(Here is what helped me become a calmer mom and be gentle with my child even if I’m angry.)
- Expect emotions and allow your kids to show you all their feelings. I know that this might feel hard to handle, especially while you work on managing your own emotions. But making it safe for your kids to share all their feelings with you is one of the most powerful ways to build a strong and close relationship with them!
- Don’t stop setting limits, but do this with calm and empathy. Being a peaceful parent doesn’t mean being permissive. Children need limits because this is how they learn to manage their emotions and behave better. Your kids need to know that while all the feelings are acceptable, not all behaviors are.
(Click here to download a 5-step strategy to setting limits with calm and empathy that will help you encourage kids to follow your guidance without threats or punishments.)
- Don’t forget to make connection a priority. Connection is the foundation of positive parenting. Connecting with your kids will not only make them feel loved, but it will also play a huge role in making positive discipline work!
- Every time you struggle along the way, remember why you started this journey. The positive impact that this change will have on your kids, in the long run, makes all the effort worthwhile!
One year from now, you will be able to look back and see how much you transformed your parenting, and you’ll feel so proud of yourself!
The best resources that will help you implement peaceful parenting with your kids
Here are the resources that made a big difference in my life:
- Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting – a wonderful book by Dr. Laura Markham (you can get the book for free when you join the course below)
- Peaceful Parent Happy Kids Online Course – a self-paced 12-week online program created by Dr. Laura Markham that gives you the tools and inspiration you need to parent with more peace, joy and connection. (This was the best parenting course I ever took, and it brought so many positive changes for our family!)
Here is a great list of practical tips to use while transitioning to peaceful parenting (created by Dr. Laura Markham): 13 Tips to Transition to Peaceful Parenting.
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