How to Find the Positive Parenting Tools You Need

How can we set down the guilt and pick up the parenting tools we need?

*I have since written an expanded version of this post called How to Let Go of the Mom Guilt* which you may enjoy.

Positive Parenting Tools

Starting this week I am working with Amanda Morgan of Not Just Cute to spread the message of Positive Parenting.  To that end, I am kicking off a series today on finding parenting tools.

Amanda opened registration this week for her first ever eCourse on Positive Parenting.  As a blogger I frequently come across such tools and this series will help you find these parenting tools as well.

Letting Go of the Parenting Guilt:

Positive Parenting is about finding the best in our children and in ourselves.  From Parenting with Positive Guidance, “Instead of trying to control our children, we teach them to control themselves. Rather than governing out of anger, we guide out of love.”

This is no easy feat, I know.  Believe me, I make my share of parenting mistakes.  I've yelled at my kids, grabbed them too roughly and even smacked them.  IT FEELS TERRIBLE.

When you do something you are ashamed of as a parent it is easy to be overwhelmed by guilt.  However, we make it even more difficult for ourselves to parent well if we continually beat ourselves up.  How can we parent out of love if we are not able to extend that same love to ourselves?  When we feel guilty and upset with ourselves we are much more likely to lash out at our kids because we are in pain.

What do you do in the moment when you've just messed up- how do you let go of the guilt then?

Here are a few things that I try to do:

  • I think of one of my favorite quotes, by Carl Bard: “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”  It reminds me that I have the power to change the situation.
  • I try to take a mini break to “reset”.  Sometimes I actually go back to this post to remember how.
  • I begin to look for what new tool I might need.  The longer I parent the more I realize that when I begin to feel guilty or overwhelmed, it's an indicator that I need some new tools in my parenting tool box.  It usually feels like  just when I get the hang of things, something changes and I need to find a new outlook.  Always growing, right?

What if instead of beating ourselves up we were a little more gentle?  What if we took our parenting doubts and missteps as indicators of a need for new parenting tools?

This week's series is a celebration of the freedom that it gives you to let go of your guilt and begin instead, to find the parenting tools you need.