When I look back on my childhood, I have so many positive and good memories. I have memories of us 5 siblings building forts in the living room, family trips, picnics, birthday parties, outside play, and best of all, both of my parents are part of all of these memories.
I knew that someday I would want to have children of my own and that I would want the same, positive environment for my own family. When my children look back, I want them to remember our home as a happy place.
Here are five ways that we create a positive home for our children:
Praise and Affirmation
Encouraging and praising your child for good behavior or accomplishments can be as simple as a “good job” or “I’m so proud of you” , even over the smallest accomplishments.
Growing up my parents always praised, affirmed and rewarded our good behavior and I can see how it created a really positive environment in our home and between us siblings.
We do the same with our children and you can see that they instantly light up when they receive praise from Jason and I.
The idea here is that if they constantly receive praise and affirmation when they do something good, they will be more likely to repeat and sustain a more positive attitude and behavior.
Hugs, kisses, snuggles, holding hands and cuddling on the couch or bed together are all great ways to give your little ones physical affection.
Physical affection makes them feel loved and safe. I’ve ran across several articles and studies that say there is a direct connection between a child’s mood and behavior and how much physical affection they receive.
I always notice my children are happier and more positive when they receive lots of physical affection from us.
Be sure to tell them you love them and show them not only with your words, but also by smothering them with physical love.
Undivided Time and Attention
Physical attention and undivided time and attention kind of tie in together.
When we have really busy days and the kids don’t get as much physical and undivided time and attention, they are more agitated, more stressed and definitely not as positive.
I think it is so important to spend time playing with your kids every day, no matter the age.
Get down on the floor with them and build a fort, play with legos or cuddle up to a few books.
Whatever the activity is, the key is to make that time, even if it is short, undivided and focused on the moment. This means no cell phone, no tv in the background, etc.
Teach a Thankful Heart
Have you ever met someone who is always grumpy, negative and pessimistic? I’m sure we can all think of at least one person in our lives who tends to be more this way.
I’ve learned over the years that having a thankful heart directly effects my attitude and mood all around. Rather than focusing on all the things in my life that aren’t working out as I would like them to, I focus on the things that are positive and that I am thankful for.
When I do this, I quickly realize that I am so blessed and that life isn’t so bad after all.
I think this is something that can be taught to our children from a young age.
Teach them to be thankful and to see their blessings. This will bring them hope when they are in a rut and it will be a constant reminder of positivity in their lives.
Not only that, but it will make them more pleasant to be around. Who wants to be around a negative person all the time? I know I don’t!
Lead by Example
How can your kids be positive, happy people if you are not? As parents, our children often mirror our behavior and moods, so leading by example is key in creating a positive home.
We have so many responsibilities, stresses and things that we have to worry about sometimes we get caught up in everything and lose focus.
I talked about this more in my article here.
We don’t have to be perfect parents, that is impossible, but we should try to practice what we preach as often as possible and not be afraid to admit when we mess up.
Just try to be real with our kids. Even when things are hard, we can show them how to be joyful and have hope. How to be positive no matter what life throws at you.
I would like to add that I am not an expert parent nor am I even that experienced. My kids are still young and not even in school yet!
However, these are things I have learned from my own parents and that I have applied to our home and seen positive results.
Life is so beautiful and I don’t want to spend my days dwelling on things that are negative!
So, here is to creating happier, more positive spaces!