Monday, February 25, 2013

My New Parenting Resolutions for 2013

I have implemented my new parenting resolutions and am off to a great start.  I know this is late, but I wanted to post it anyway. Instead of the usual New Year's Resolutions to quit smoking, quit drinking or lose weight I have decided to become a better parent. I always believed that there was a better method of disciplining children besides spanking and now the experts have proved me right. An article written by pediatrician and baby care expert  Dr.William Sears outlines "10 Reasons Not to Hit Your Child." There has been a lot of discussion on this topic in the forums and chat rooms lately.

I admit that with my other children I did use spanking as a method of discipline but decided that I would make better choices with my youngest child. Aiden is two years old now and of course he is doing everything that other toddlers do including climbing on the furniture, touching forbidden objects and chasing the puppy. The terrible two's are trying times for any parent but may be especially trying for parents attempting to introduce new discipline techniques. I want to try using positive discipline techniques to teach and reinforce good behavior and punish less often.

I made the decision not to spank when Aiden was born and followed the principles of AP parenting. We breastfed until he was 10 months old and he weaned himself, we co-slept with a side car sleeper and I wore him in a sling as often as I could to form that nurturing bond. I got this portable sleeper,The First Years Close and Secure Sleeper as a gift and I loved it, until he got too big for it. It is a very safe way to sleep with your baby. No worries about rolling over on the baby, he has his own little bed that can lay right on your bed beside you or in the middle. Dr. Sears also advocates using a side by side sleeper for safe co-sleeping and I agree.

Co-sleeping worked very well for us and we were both able to get sleep and have fewer restless nights. Aidan actually slept more peacefully when he slept with me. As he got older and outgrew the sleeper bed, he would snuggle up right next to mommy and fall asleep.

Now that he is a toddler, we are dealing with biting and hitting issues. Not because we hit him but because he was hit by another child of the same age, so he hits back when the other child takes his toys. We are trying to teach him that biting hurts by getting him to remember being bit and hit by someone else and how it isn't nice to treat your playmates that way. I want him to learn that

Here is a post with suggestions for gentle discipline techniques. I plan to use these and other helpful techniques or tips for disciplining with love and teaching proper behavior rather than punishing bad behavior. I live with 4 children age 2-6 and think that they will all benefit from these techniques as well. The 6 year old has ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. Punishing his bad behavior just seems to make it worse, we are trying to encourage him to have good behavior by expecting it and telling him what a good job he is doing in school.

My parenting resolutions are to:

  • Choose alternative consequences
  • Use positive discipline techniques
  • View misbehavior as an opportunity to teach, rather than scold
  • Spend more time having fun with my child
  • Have more patience
  • Give him a voice and tell him why certain behaviors aren't acceptable

So these are my parenting resolutions for 2013. Any other parents with experience in raising toddlers with AP or gentle discipline techniques, I would love to hear about how you tackled these issues and the results that came out of it. You can leave a comment or send me a message.