Paul and I have been looking into becoming foster/adoptive parents. One if the requirements, to get certified, is to take a parenting class of sorts. This led to lots of questions, reading, etc, on my part... I like to know what I'm getting into!
Since then, I have really begun to evaluate how we're raising our kids. Finally, I have words for the "it" problem in our lives. "It's" called "reactive" parenting. This is when all discipline, training, lessons, etc are a reaction to an issue that has already occurred. For instance, the child is jumping on the couch, you then tell them to stop to prevent a fall. Or, the child breaks something and you then tell them what they did wrong to cause this to happen. These situations are sometimes going to occur regardless, but when that's the only way your kids are learning, you're breeding frustration and anger.
I've realized that my parenting is all but devoid of proactive parenting. I do not spend enough time with my kids creating preventative circumstances and simply talking to them about practical life, values, and morals to instill the correct attitudes, actions, and thoughts they should have. I've always waited for things to happen and addressed them as they came. But how confusing is that for a four year old?? Why not look for opportunities and situations to teach my kids how to act, ethics, morals, etc, before problems actually occur? I think I've just been lazy!
So here's to proactive parenting - positive solutions, positive reinforcement, and positive training vs. negative consequences, negative reactions, and negative disicpline!