Today's post is found over at my Parent Society column. As always, I'll start it here for you, then let you finish it up over there!
4 Unconventional Parenting Techniques Every Parent Should Know
I've always known I am an unconventional mother. I'm an artist, a writer, I'm covered in tattoos, and the louder the hair color, the happier I am. While I've known that I'm different, I've never realized how unique my parenting is until I talk to other moms. My kids are now 10 and 8, but even when they were toddlers I would get eyebrow raises when I explained some of the things I let my children do or say. I even had one mom tell me years ago that she felt sorry for me when my kids got older because they'd be unruly and I'd never be able to control them. I guess the joke's on her, because presently speaking, my kids are pretty well-behaved.
I've made notes over the years of things that my husband and I allowed in our house that other parents usually don't allow in their houses. These are the things that we now embrace, that I believe hold some small part of a key to why my kids are so unique themselves, and have amazing personalities.
1. Speaking their mind.
I'm pretty open to my children telling me exactly what they are thinking or feeling. Before we sit down for a family meeting, we create a Safe Zone. Whatever a child says in this Safe Zone they can not be punished for. We don't allow swearing, but if they can portray how they feel or what they are thinking, and explain why, then it's allowed. When topics are presented, we all listen with an open heart, and try not to judge or have our feelings hurt. If something hurtful is said, we try our best to put our emotions aside and deal with the subject in a way that makes everyone happy. In the past, I've had my children tell me that they hated me at the moment because of such-and-such reason, and understanding why they felt that way, I allowed them to tell me they hated me. They needed to get it out, and it's exactly how they were feeling, so why stifle that or tell them that their feelings were wrong? I know deep down they loved me, and they hated whatever decision I had made, but after they got out everything they needed, we talked and I shared my side of things. I have always felt that keeping an open line of communication with my children has made our family a strong unit.