I mentioned before that I was a wreck when I was pregnant with Iana and it led to my two older kids’ regression. The silver lining there was I realized I had it in me to pull myself together for the sake of my kids. During the time I wrote that post, I was consciously trying to be a positive parent to my kids. Since we try to have a Montessori home (like the kids have to be independent), there were guidelines of positive parenting that were easy but there were parts that were difficult to apply at first (like no yelling… my golly gosh!). Little by little though I saw improvement in my kids’ behaviors. I saw the sparkle in their eyes coming back. I also learned to be more forgiving to myself and to my kids. It was as if a gray cloud that was hovering over our household disappeared.
After a few months, my family life was almost back to normal except for the fact that Jia and Joya would fight ALL THE TIME!!! I could not understand why. They were basically good kids and I knew they loved each other. I was doing most that was taught in the Positive Discipline class but still they were fighting. My mistake was, when it came to their fights, I was still applying the usual parenting techniques – like I would try to mediate, would try to talk to both my kids and help them understand what the other was saying, would try to explain to Jia that she was the Ate and she should set a good example, would try to explain to Joya that he was younger and should follow his Ate. It came to a point that I realized that nothing I was doing was working and since I could not take the fighting anymore and I refused to have kids who fight like cats and dogs, I talked to my husband and told him my plan about the kids’ fighting. You see, J was fast becoming a positive parenting convert during that time since he saw how much our kids’ behaviors have improved but I was not sure if he would be amenable to what I wanted to do. I was right, he was not convinced but because he trusted me, he let me do it and he promised to go with it.
So what did we do? We stopped interfering, intervening, and mediating during fights. I talked to the yayas to also do the same. In fact, when anyone of us would be in the kids’ room when they started to fight, we would go out of the room. Ate May (my longtime companion here at home) was also not comfortable but she went with it. Within three weeks, the fighting was reduced by 80%! Hallelujah! Positive parenting rocks!
I remember the exact moment when it dawned on me that if positive parenting changed our family life dramatically and amazingly, it would also benefit so many other parents. I was just soooo eager to spread the word. I talked to J and because I am blessed with a very suportive husband, I was able to take the course to be a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator. I started Positive Parenting Philippines with the vision of a society of capable parents and emotionally-healthy children and I give parenting seminar-workshops. So far, things have been good. Well, it could probably be better if I can devote more time to it but I also know that my priority is my family so…. Hahaha! But the feedback I get from my participants are just so wonderful! Their stories of how much their lives have changed warm my heart and make me realize how much help my sharing positive parenting to other parents has been. Basta amazing at ang saya saya!
Am I a perfect mother now? Hahaha! No! Definitely not! I still get mad, I still yell (sometimes). But at least wit the guidelines of positive parenting, I know I won’t go astray too far. Every day I try my best so I can be the best mom to my kids and I can raise them to be whole, kind-hearted, responsible members of the society.
Do my kids still fight? Yeah! Arguments and disagreements among siblings are normal but now, it is not the norm in our household. Hindi na sila aso’t pusa. Several weeks ago, I realized that Jia has not been using her cool down place anymore and I asked her if there was a problem and she replied, “None, Mom, it’s just that Joya and I seldom fight so I do not need it.”
I have an upcoming workshop on January 23, 2015 at Hotel Celeste and I strongly encourage you to join. Positive parenting changed my life and my relationship with my kids. More importantly, it has given my kids confidence and overall just made them better people. To sign up, you can go to my Facebook page and click Sign Up or you can contact me through 0920.926.6471. Hope to see you there!