I learned a lot from the Free Quick Start Guide by Positive Parenting Solutions. It’s a fantastic course about WHY kids misbehave and easy ways to correct the behaviours.
The key takeaway from this course is that our kids have 2 emotional buckets, and they need these buckets filled every single day.
When we make regular deposits to these buckets we eliminate most of the misbehaviour commonly displayed by our kids.
These 2 buckets are:
- Belonging + Significance (allows children to feel secure about their place in the family)
- Power (when you give kids positive control throughout the day, you keep misbehaviour and temper tantrums to a minimum)
This got me thinking about what I was doing as a mom to fill my own kids buckets.
When I reflect back on my parenting style over the past 8 years I realized that I’d been filling my kids emotional buckets on a regular basis, and it started when they were babies. I believe this has played a huge part in making my kids who they are today.
Here are a few ways I’ve made deposits to my girls emotional buckets in a positive way.
When my girls were 6 months old I taught them sign language for babies.
Giving my girls the gift of communication at such an early age, made a huge deposit to their power bucket. Because they started communicating with me at 8 month old, I was able to make deposits to their buckets a lot sooner than if I hadn’t signed with them.
Here’s how baby sign language worked for us:
- At 8+ months my daughter would sign ‘MILK’ when she wanted to nurse. (this provided multiple deposits to her POWER bucket daily)
- At 8-10+ months my girls would sign ‘MORE’ at mealtime if they were still hungry. (this provided daily deposits to their POWER bucket)
- At 12+ months they would sign ‘EAT’ when they were hungry. (this provided daily deposits to their POWER bucket)
- After they signed ‘EAT’ when they were hungry, I would often give a choice of snack. (Because I allowed them to choose between 2 or 3 items it provided them with a deposit to their BELONGING + SIGNIFICANCE bucket.)
- At 18+ months when my girls were having trouble with a toy, they would bring it to me and sign ‘HELP’. The problem could have been something as simple as they couldn’t get a container opened or a toy fell apart. But because they were able to clearly let me know there was a problem, they did not get frustrated and would patiently wait for me to ‘fix’ the problem. (one deposit to their BELONGING + SIGNIFICANCE bucket!)
*And these were just a few ways my girls used baby sign language throughout their day.
Here are OTHER ways I’ve made deposits to my kids emotional buckets…
Belonging + Significance (contribute to the family in meaningful ways):
- Allowing them to help around the house.
- Put their own garbage in the garbage can.
- Helping set the table.
- Fill dog dishes.
- Reading them a book.
- Allowing them to fold facecloths and pair socks.
- Put their dirty dishes in the sink.
- Putting their toys in toy box (can start this as soon as they are walking).
Power Bucket (allow your kids to make controlled choices):
- Do you want blueberry or strawberry jam on your toast?
- Do you want to wear your blue socks or red socks?
- Would you prefer to wear shorts or a dress?
- Which of these 3 books do you want me to read to you tonight?
These simple actions may seem small to you, but they have a big impact on your child’s emotional state. Put this plan into action today and you’ll see positive results right away.
Now I want to hear from you – In the comments below tell me what you did today to make a deposit in your child’s bucket(s)!
Much love and support,
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