Every parent I know would love to stay calm, cool, and collected no matter what their kid throws at them.
But when your toddler unspools a roll of toilet paper into the toilet bowl and flushes, overflowing musty wastewater all over your hardwood floors?
It’s human nature. Your emotions are bound to get the better of you. While you clean up the mess, you might huff, stomp, or raise your voice in frustration.
So much for being a calm and loving parent no matter what.
The Secret to Being a Calm Parent Isn’t What You Think
I used to think that if I could just figure out the secret for becoming a “zen mama,” positive parenting would come naturally to me every moment of the day.
But then I had an epiphany that changed my whole outlook on positive parenting.
Here’s the important thing I realized: Many people want to have a happy life. But happiness isn’t something you achieve one day and check off your list.
Being a calm parent is the same way. It’s not something you check off your list and never have to think of again. It’s a temporary state.
In other words, nobody can be perfectly happy all the time, just like nobody can be a perfectly calm parent all the time.
Here’s What You Can Do: Quick Positive Parenting Videos
In order to exist in that calm parenting mode as much as possible, we need to continually inspire ourselves to be better, more chill parents.
But if we’re being honest with ourselves?
As busy parents, we don’t always have the time or mental…freshness to read long think-pieces about parenting in the New York Times.
Sure, we need to keep reminding ourselves of our positive parenting goals, but how are we supposed to focus long enough to read a parenting book or inspirational article?
My favorite quick fix is to watch one of a few powerful positive parenting videos I’ve curated over the years.
8 Positive Parenting Videos That Will Make You a Better Parent
Below, you’ll find a list of the best, most inspirational parenting videos I’ve discovered over the years.
Not only that, they’re short – perfect for when you need a quick dose of inspiration to reclaim your zen parent status.
When you’re struggling to keep your cool because your kid Facetimed your boss while you were in the shower, watch one of these quick positive parenting videos and you’ll get back on track.
Go ahead and bookmark this page, and come back to it when you need to.
Also, I know firsthand that a houseful of loud kids can make it impossible to watch even a short video. So where possible, I’ve also included snippets of quotes from the videos so you can quickly scan for inspiration.
1. Does Your Face Light Up?
When Toni Morrison made an appearance on Oprah to talk about her books, she just so happened to drop one of the most powerful pearls of parenting wisdom I’ve ever heard.
“When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. And so, you think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them.
When they see you, they see the critical face. ‘What’s wrong now?’
But then if you let your…face speak what’s in your heart? When they walked in the room, I was glad to see them. It’s just as small as that.” – Toni Morrison
2. Which Wolf Will Win the Fight?
This is a powerful analogy about two wolves fighting in your heart. When I watch this, I think of the red wolf as the anger and frustration I feel as a parent – and everything clicks.
“There is a story, usually attributed to the Native American tradition, which illuminates different ways of paying attention.
An elder, talking to a child, says, ‘I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is fearful, vengeful, envious, resentful, and deceitful. The other wolf is compassionate, loving, generous, truthful, and peaceful.’
The child asks, ‘Which wolf will win the fight?’
The elder responds, ‘The one I feed.’
…That doesn’t mean we try to deny or hurt or kill the angry wolf. If we did that, we’d end up in a long battle, all the while somehow making that wolf more powerful through our hostility and fear.”
3. Things We Should Say More Often
This is just one of many gems from Kid President. Too often, we forget that our kids deserve the same courtesy and kindness that we would extend to one of our adult friends. Out of all these powerful + positive parenting videos, this one is most likely to put a big smile on your face!
Here’s a sample of the list…
20. Thank you. (And not just on Thanksgiving, everyday!)
19. Excuse me.
18. Here’s a surprise corn dog that I bought you because you’re my friend. (There’ll be more corn dogs and more happy people. This is a good idea!)
17. I’m sorry.
16. I forgive you.
15. You can do it!
4. Love the Kid You Have
This short film has no dialogue but always reminds me of this quote:
“Parenthood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you’d have. It’s about understanding your child is exactly the person they are supposed to be. And if you’re lucky, they might be the teacher who turns you into the person you’re supposed to be.” – The Water Giver
To read more about this short film, check out How Society Kills Your Creativity – In An Award Winning Pixar-Esque Short Film.
5. The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto
This clip is from an appearance on Oprah with Dr. Brené Brown, who is a researcher, professor, and author. Dr. Brown is also a parent, and Oprah asked her to share her Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto.
Here’s a taste for you:
“Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable.
You will learn this from my words and my actions, the lessons on love, and how I treat you and how I treat myself.
I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness.
You will learn that you are worthy of love belonging in joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.
We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability.
We’ll share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both…” – Dr. Brené Brown
6. The Way We Talk to Kids Matters
This video is a little different than the other positive parenting videos in the list because it’s targeted to people who work in schools. Still, this one always makes me reflect on my own tone as a parent.
And when the school administrator talks to the teacher about her students’ behavior, I cringe because I have definitely done the same when telling my husband about our kids’ behavior…in front of the kids.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. Everyone we meet throughout our day can make a difference. All the difference.
Talk with us, not at us.
Teach us what we need to know. That’s how we get smarter.
And when you talk with us and teach us, give us bigger and bigger words. Words that we can use to read and understand. And that will take us places we could never reach without you.”
7. How to Talk So Kids Will Listen to You
Josh Shipp is a parent, author, and advocate for youth. He has a few great positive parenting videos, but this one’s my favorite.
“When you ask a kid a question, you are inviting and evoking critical thinking. And ultimately as parents, that’s what we want. A fully functioning teenage human being who – without us there, in our absence – can analyze a situation and know in that moment what the wise choice is.
Focus on questions [and] get them to come to those conclusions so they will own those conclusions for life.” – Josh Shipp
8. Your Normal May Be Their Magic
This sweet video shows a normal day from both the mother’s and the child’s perspectives. Never forget that your “normal” may be their magic.
Before you go, get my FREE cheat sheet: 75 Positive Phrases Every Child Needs to Hear
What are your favorite positive parenting videos? Share in a comment below!