Let’s start off with some hard truth today, parenting can be really hard!
Every stage of a child’s life brings its own set of challenges, some smaller than others, but none the less tricky to deal with!!
I’ll never forget the tantrums, when my girls were 2 years old!! The stubbornness about wanting something right now, this instant … and if they couldn’t have it, the loudest scream erupted.
I remember the stage where sharing and playing with other kids was tricky, because everything was ‘mine’.
Now I have a 7 year old daughter who adores her sister and wants to do everything with her, whilst the eldest is heading into her ‘tween’ stage of life and prefers to do nothing with her sister. Difference of interests at different stages of life! Talk about a clash!
What challenges do you currently face as a parent?
The best thing I have ever done was to have my three kids. I adore life as a Mum and I am totally in love with each of my kids. Lately though, with our new addition to the family – Miss Avalee-Rose (who is now 3 months old), things have been a bit upside down in our family. My two eldest daughters are showing new behaviours since the birth that I am struggling with and I guess everyone is trying to adjust to the new little baby in the household. I have high standards of myself as a mum and sometimes I feel like I am dropping the ball in regards to parenting. I so desperately want to do better.
Working as a teacher pre-baby (I am currently on maternity leave), I had always seen notices on various school noticeboards in regards the the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program course. I have always been intrigued about the program, but never had the ‘guts’ to sign up. So when an opportunity came up to work with the Triple P online program from the privacy of my own home I simply couldn’t resist to give it a test drive. So I signed up (which is completely free for all QLD parents, carers and grandparents) and geared myself up to learn some new skills!
My Experiences with the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program Strategies
Thus far, I have only managed to work through the first part of the Triple program. This part looks at positive parenting, encouraging the behaviour you like as well as how to teach your kids new skills. As a teacher, I know what a positive effect it has when you focus on the good behaviour instead of the negative behaviour. But you know what!? For the last while I think I have forgotten about my training and with my exhaustion that comes from being pregnant and then having a baby, I have turned into a mother than growls and snaps at the first thing they do wrong. So these three topics combined with working through the course work and setting some goals has been truly invaluable to me as a parent. And I’m excited to try out some new parenting techniques! Time to be a happy parent again and in return have my happy kids back!
1. Positive Parenting
Whilst working through the Positive Parenting section of the program, I truly realized how much I focus on all the things my girls do wrong. Not only that, but we have been working very hard on building up this little blog of ours as much as we can, so every free minute away from baby duties have been thrown towards our little home business! It has therefore been a timely reminder whilst working through this module to start paying more attention to my kids. When they need me … even when I am working away furiously, I really need to stop and give them my full attention! These ‘uh-huh, yep and mmmmm’ answers whilst multitasking is simply not cutting it for them and they deserve better!!
I have also been focusing more on praising the girls for their good behaviour!! It was actually funny because I told Lily last night: ‘Lily, thank you for being so very quiet and keeping yourself busy here next to mommy so I can do some work’ and she promptly responded ‘Why?? Am I usually noisy and naughty next to you!?’. She caught me off guard, I thought she would take my positive reinforcement and be happy! But it goes to show that the focus on the negative has even started to become the norm for her. So I am going to work extra hard on giving her compliments, positive comment and reinforcement for the good she does!
And lastly, I was reminded about the fact that I am a human being and that I need to be realistic about myself as a Mum. I have just had a baby, life is super busy and maybe I need to give myself a little slack as well!! And possibly find time to do something that I enjoy as well! Still on the to do list, but hey, I can’t wait to have a bit of me time again! The goal has been set!
2. Encouraging Behaviour I Like
This module was a good reminder to set time aside to spend quality time together. We are very fortunate as we live 5 min from the beach, so it has been a good reminder to get out into nature, away from phones and blogging jobs and get back to simply being together!
The beach is great as the girls love to explore and run around. And more often than not, I find that it is great place for Katie-Lee (my eldest) to truly open up and have deep and meaningful conversations with me.
Of course I want to make sure that we spend some quality time together every day, not just when we go to the beach. So one of my goals is to work on having some time every day for each of my girls.
I have also realized the importance of having interesting activities on hand for them, especially when I’m busy with baby Avie. By keeping them busy and occupied with a variety of activities and games, some of which we do together and some of which they can do themselves, helps to keep them happy. Both of my girls have a love affair with cats. So one afternoon we decided to play dress ups! And they had a great time! They actually got along together! My little Lily loved the time with her sister and by the end they were pretty chuffed with their ‘looks’ and asked to have a photo taken!
Teaching them new Skills
Whilst working through the third module, I realized that some of these challenging behaviours I am seeing in both my older girls, in actual fact stems from myself and the way that I react to hubby or to them. It was a good reminder to live life as an example, show them …. not teach them! It has been good to be reflective on my own behavioural choices and to notice ways that I could improve.
Our middle child has the habit of driving us a bit mental when we ask her to do something. Every task seems to only get completed half way. So I have been practising ‘Ask – Say – Do’ on her, to remind her of what steps are needed to complete the task. I used this approach last night and instead of whinging about having to get ready for bed, she was zooming around getting herself organized. I was pretty surprised by how effective this strategy was!! She really does hate getting in trouble and she hates not being able to do things, so this strategy is great as it takes the pressure off her and makes the ‘jobs’ a bit more fun!
I am really enjoying this parenting program.
- I love that I can work through it at my own pace.
- I love that i can do it online from the comfort of my own home!
- And I’m enjoying seeing the rewards of practicing the skills that I learn.
Now, I’m going to take the time over the next week to keep implementing my parenting goals. I want to practise what I have learnt before I move on to the next steps of the program! I can already see that my girls are enjoying more attention and affection from me! I will be back with part two of my progress with this parenting program, so look out for another post in about two week’s time!!
If you want to join me on the positive parenting journey, why not hop over and like the Triple P Facebook page! You can find the online parenting course sign up page here or if you like a more active approach, why not find a seminar in your area by visiting their calendar over here!
Disclaimer: Thank you to Triple P and the QLD Government for giving me the opportunity the participate in the positive parenting program.