When my daughters were babies it felt as if my heart would burst from the love I felt for each of them. Even though it was tiring taking care of them, especially the nighttime feedings and non-stop diaper changes, each time I held them or looked at them it felt like my love for them grew. It was unconditional love in its purest form. I wanted that feeling to continue as they grew so I made the decision to parent from my heart.
Love would guide my interactions with my children, my respect for them as individuals and the way I would discipline them. I intentionally wanted to avoid the type of discipline I grew up with – yelling, spanking, and being ignored when I did something wrong. Because of my tendency to react out of anger instead of reacting with thoughtfulness and love, I turned to tips from behavior experts. And my journey began.
When my daughters were babies they didn’t need discipline. They needed physical care, medical care, to be kept free from harm and to be loved, especially in the form of touch. As they started to be mobile my watchful eyes were kept very busy. Once in a while I had to say, “No” when they were getting into danger.
I believed in childproofing my home so that they were free to explore and they didn’t need to hear the word “No” or feel ashamed. When we visited family and friend’s homes or other places that weren’t childproofed I held them as much as possible, redirected their attention or when necessary resorted to telling them no. This was my first step into the world or positive parenting or as I called it parenting from the heart.
At each stage of life, the need for discipline grew. My way of handling it was to be prepared as much as possible. My children thrived on routines which included fun activities for kids. They felt safe and comforted, even as they grew to the tween years. I was always open to conversations, allowing them to talk about feelings, to ask questions and to tell my anything. This strengthened our bond. Both daughters had chore charts which included rewards that helped choose. This helped them feel responsible and a part of the family. We had at least one meal together as a family and talked about our day. This increased their feeling of being connected to the family.
I am not perfect and have slipped up numerous times. I’ve lost my temper, yelled at them and made them feel ashamed. But the basics of my parenting from the heart are always there. I apologize to them because they deserve it and I try harder.
One of my daughters is now 25, has a master’s degree, is married and works as a librarian. We had some very difficult years when she was a teenager. I remember thinking that I’d never do the things she did or speak to my mother the way she did. Then I realized I did behave like her, but hid it from my parents. Instead of telling them how I felt, I buried my feelings. Later on after that phase was over and when she was about 21, she told me that I was right all along and she should have listened to me. The tears overflowed, but they weren’t about feeling righteous. I cried because our bond and love overcame those hard times.
When you parent from the heart you love your children unconditionally, appreciate their uniqueness, love them enough to discipline them, and reward them for good behavior. There’s very little need for punishment because they know they won’t be rewarded for poor behavior. They learn responsibility and gain self-esteem. Your family life is calm. There is respect among family members. And your children thrive.
This is a compensated post from Kid Pointz and because of this post I am entered into the “Search for the Next Kid Pointz Blogger”. A special thank you to Alicia Hagan from The Mommy Insider who recommend me.