I have a love-hate relationship with positive parenting. I love how the advice given often seems so plausible, easy to grasp and implement. Yet when push comes to shove and all threats are out, I hate how it makes me feel. The guilt. The regrets. The pensiveness.
So few weeks ago when I saw an open invitation to attend a positive parenting workshop on raising optimistic and resilient kids, I jumped at the opportunity. I had hit a roadblock in my parenting journey with Liam when it came to disciplining and I needed answers. Answers that addressed my specific questions, not the sort where I had to self-interpret.
I didn’t know what to expect on my first positive parenting workshop. Initially I thought it would be a monologue by some certifed trained with Q&As at the end, like most of the other parenting, breastfeeding, baby weaning workshops that I had attended previously. How glad I was to be wrong.
Jace’s cozy and informal setting at her home made me feel very welcomed the moment I stepped in. None of those “where should I sit? What should I do” moments. None of those awkward silences. Perhaps it was the sight of the dining table filled with afternoon tea treats – tea, coffee, cakes, muffins, cookies that she so warmly invited us to have more helpings of. Or the gorgeous view of lush green trees and blue skies from her lovely living area. Or the cheerful company and friendly chats with other mums that came for the session. I had so much fun from beginning till the end, I had no inclination to check my phone at any point during the session out of boredom save for break times just to see if I missed any calls.
A few things stood out for me at this session. I discovered new optimistic speech patterns. I learnt to identify various emotional states of myself using an interesting & helpful method. I realised the importance of reframing my perspective of mistakes and failures. And was thrilled to know that I was already implementing some of the mindfulness tips too! The sharing of experiences from other parents also gave me new ideas and ways to re-look at my parenting too.
Before I knew it, the 3-hour workshop came to an end. I went home all charged-up with a few simple actionable steps that I was able to effect immediately.
It’s been 3 weeks since the workshop and I’m starting to see a positive difference in the way Liam reacts. It will definitely require constant reminding on my part, to be more mindful of the message that I embody but for now, I’m encouraged and heartened.