Every time I fall into mom guilt, I visit one of the best parenting blogs, this one in particular, and now it has become my go-to place for parenting guidance and inspiration.
And whenever I do, I’m an altogether different mom… one who emits happy and positive vibes!
The author, Raluca, is an amazing mom to a five-year-old sweet boy who knows how to channel love and empathy we all have for our kids into an actual amazing relationship.
Imagine what THAT can do for our children as they grow?
Her advice is very hands-on. For example, she will even tell you the exact words to use if your child won’t listen (and the amazing concept behind WHY they don’t.)
I often leave Raluca’s blog with tears in my eyes. Or with the metaphorical super mommy cape fluttering behind me. And I had wished for a long time how awesome it could be if she visits here and shares insights on her best positive parenting techniques and other mommy stuff.
She was kind enough to take out time for us so let’s chat with Raluca.
Tell us a little about you and your parenting journey. What led you to become ‘parenting’ centered? Especially in the midst of so many pressing matters. Like housework, health, finances, marriage etc that take over a stay-at-home mom’s life. In that context, also tell us about your parenting blog playful notes (dot) com.
After my son was born, I felt very overwhelmed with all the changes that were going on in my life. I was trying to do everything (taking care of my baby all the time, being a good wife, managing all the household tasks, and so on) and I was failing because I felt completely exhausted. It took me a while to find a balance and understand that I need to set new priorities in my life.
For me, it has always been very important to build a close relationship with my son. I always wanted to be a gentle and loving mom for him, and this has been the biggest motivation in my parenting journey.
Discovering positive parenting and being able to find gentle solutions for every parenting struggle that I faced along the way had an amazing impact on my life.
This is why I wanted to share my experience with other moms, and I decided to start my blog. I wanted to write about the challenges that we face because I wanted other moms to know that they are not alone in their struggles. And most of all, I wanted to share the tips and ideas that helped me because I knew that they could help other parents as well.
I’m very glad that you asked this because this is a topic that I think many moms are struggling with, including me. Being a playful parent didn’t come naturally to me. But understanding how important play is for connecting with my son motivated me to find ways to become a more playful mom.
One of the things that helped me the most was becoming more intentional about my schedule. I eliminated many of the tasks that were only adding stress, and I tried to simplify our life as much as I could.
Also, I make a connection a priority every day. Even if I have a very busy day and I can only spend half an hour of quality time with my son in the evening, I make sure that I don’t miss the chance to connect with him. This commitment to spending special time with him every single day had a great impact on our relationship.
This also inspired me to create the Playful Mom Toolkit and share the easy ideas that I use to connect with my son. No matter how busy we are, even 30 minutes of play and connection every day can make our kids feel loved and help us build a close relationship with them.
…understanding how important play is for connecting with my son motivated me to find ways to become a more playful mom.
What is the single most important thing that you think you have done/do differently that impacted your relationship with your son. Especially something you see struggling parents NOT doing? What is the biggest/ most common mistake around you wish you could change in how mothers parent their kids?
For me, motherhood turned up to be a lot more challenging than I ever imagined, so I faced many struggles along the way. And I also made plenty of mistakes!
But the one thing that helped me every single time was the fact that I never gave up looking for gentle solutions for my parenting challenges. I am a big believer in the power of positive parenting, and I would recommend it to every parent!
I think that many parents are tempted to use “traditional” ways of disciplining kids because we were raised that way and it’s very hard to “break” that cycle. But methods like spanking or punishments have a very negative impact in the long run and only make parenting more difficult and unpleasant.
This is why on my blog I always try to convince parents to try positive discipline with their kids. Because I know that it works and I’m convinced that it can have a great impact on their lives and on their children’s future!
Isn’t positive parenting ‘more’ work? Asking from the perspective of the overwhelmed/ worn out/ bored SAHM.
Positive parenting does involve a lot of effort and patience. But it also comes with great results if it’s implemented every day!
In the short run, it might seem easier to punish kids than to connect with them and help them improve their behavior in a gentle way. It might seem more efficient to send kids in a time-out than to sit down with them and discuss what happened.
But in the long run punishments and time-outs are only causing more negative behavior. This makes things more difficult for parents and causes more power struggles.
In my opinion, it’s better to invest more time in preventing difficult situations and building a strong relationship with our kids than spending the same amount of time dealing with negative behavior and engaging in endless power struggles.
There are 3 steps that I would recommend to any mom who wants to build a positive connection with her kids. They made a big difference in my life, and I’m sure that they can bring more joy and connection to any family.
1 – Regulate your own emotions
As moms, we often feel tired or overwhelmed, and this can make us become angry more easily or have less patience with our kids. This makes children feel disconnected and misbehave, and their behavior triggers more anger and frustration. The only way to break this vicious cycle is for moms to regulate their own emotions and get more control over their reactions.
2 – Become more intentional about connecting with your child
Our busy schedules make it easy for us to get caught up in other tasks and have no more time (or energy) for play and connection. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to make a commitment to spend quality time with our kids every day. Even if it’s just for 20 minutes after dinner. Having that special time with the kids is very important for building that strong relationship that every parent wants to have with their kids.
3 – Put connection before correction
The core principle of positive discipline is putting connection before correction. This means that when kids misbehave, it’s important to first connect with them and then address the issue. This is a very important aspect of building a positive connection with our kids! The moment when a child is having a difficult time is the moment when they most need our support! So making sure that we focus on the connection before correction is the foundation of building a strong and trustful relationship with our kids.
Tell us your secret time management tips. Especially because you also run a blog AND manage to find time to read books too (above everything else).
As a work-at-home mom, I only have a very limited amount of time for my projects. And I learned that setting clear priorities is the only way to make sure that I do the things that are the most important. Every day I try to set 3 priorities and only focus on them. I do my best to avoid distractions and use my time wisely. But there is still a lot of room for improvement.
My best advice for every mom who wants to manage her time better is to simplify everything. And let go of all the things that are not truly important to her.
(Since Raluca’s interview, I took one action step in particular. I schedule at least 30 minutes of play time with my son daily now. I cross off each day’s accomplishment on his calendar so I can actually SEE how much conscious effort do I take to connect with him on a daily basis. Please do try this. I can already see how much happier my son is.)
Note: I’m very humbled that Raluca agreed for this interview. Apart from her busy stay at home mom life and the workload of running a full-time blog online.
You can find her best tips here:
- Download her FREE Positive Discipline Toolkit
- Join her FREE Positive Connection Challenge
- Find her on Pinterest
- Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit her online store The Playful Shop
Table of Contents
- This post contains affiliate links.
- Tell us a little about you and your parenting journey. What led you to become ‘parenting’ centered? Especially in the midst of so many pressing matters. Like housework, health, finances, marriage etc that take over a stay-at-home mom’s life. In that context, also tell us about your parenting blog playful notes (dot) com.
- I look up to you as an amazing PLAYFUL mom. Can you share any tips for overcoming the everyday hurdles to find the time (and energy!) for play.
- What is the single most important thing that you think you have done/do differently that impacted your relationship with your son. Especially something you see struggling parents NOT doing? What is the biggest/ most common mistake around you wish you could change in how mothers parent their kids?
- Isn’t positive parenting ‘more’ work? Asking from the perspective of the overwhelmed/ worn out/ bored SAHM.
- Can you share your best advice on the first step(s) for a struggling mom? One who wants to form a positive connection with her child?
- Tell us your secret time management tips. Especially because you also run a blog AND manage to find time to read books too (above everything else).
- Want to remember this? Click this link or the image below to save this ‘positive parenting’ post to your favorite KIDS Pinterest board.