Yesterday a group member submitted this video of a mother and her child who appears no more than 3 or 4 years of age. Apparently the child is whining about the shoes as mom asks the child why she does not like the shoes. Mom, who is obviously displeased with the child's response launches into a tirade of curses before telling her child to buckle up as the video ends.
This purpose of this post, is not to judge mom, but to offer guidance for parents who are interested in learning how a Positive Parent would respond. In this video two key elements of Positive Parenting are missing, empathy and mutual respect. The mother indicates that she is not interested in the child's opinion or feelings, and her verbal interactions with the child are aggressive and demeaning.
How would a Positive Parent apply empathy and mutual respect?
Ask the child why she or he does not like the shoes? Don't take the child's response personally. Everyone, young children included, has preferences, even if they can't properly articulate their feelings
Validate the child's feelings and let them know that you understand that she does not like the shoes.
A child's feelings and opinions are often disregarded, but even children as young as 18 months can indicate preferences in clothing and toys. While parents make the ultimate decision, allowing children to make choices is essential to their development. The small choices that children make in childhood, provide the foundation for the difficult decisions they will later face. Though it may seem irrelevant, choosing the pink shoes over the blue shoes prepares them for the hard decisions that will affect their lives for years to come. Learning to make good decisions is a process that does not begin at the age of 18 or 21, instead it begins in the toy section, at the dinner table or even in the parking lot of a shoe store.
Mom's if you ever find your self in a similar situation, try this response:
Mom: Why don’t you like your new shoe?
Mom: You don’t like ‘em? Why not?
You look wonderful in those shoes, the make your eyes sparkle? I bet that they can also make you run faster! Would you like to race mommy? You would? Okay, let’s go to the park and race. I think that you are going to beat me running. I am going to help you into your car seat. Okay, let’s go to the park.
If you or anyone that you know is interested in learning how to parent with empathy, mutual respect, proactive parenting, healthy attachment and positive discipline, A Nurtured Child has a Facebook group just for you.
Black Mom. Positive Parenting. A Nurtured Child- Support and encouragement for Black Moms (women only) who practice or are interested in actively learning how to apply the tenants of positive parenting.
Growing Together. Positive Parenting. A Nurtured Child - Support and encouragement for women and men of all cultures who practice or are interested in actively learning how to apply the tenants of positive parenting while embracing diversity and teaching acceptance.
Black Dad. Positive Parenting. A Nurtured Child - Support and encouragement for Black Fathers (men only) who practice or are interested in actively learning how to apply the tenants of positive parenting.