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My top 3 parenting tips are likely to surprise you. You won’t find them listed in best-selling books on the subject. In fact, you might argue that they have nothing to do about parenting at all! Be that as it may, I routinely find myself sharing these tips with parents I coach.
I’m going old school on you today.
Parenting is a lot different now than when I was a kid. Parents today invest way more time, energy, and money into their kids with less results.
From dawn to dusk parents are focused on making sure their kids have what they need to succeed in life. Nothing wrong with this right?
The amount of attention and the battle for control between parents and kids is exhausting!
Parents today struggle
Contrast this to earlier generation of parenting.
- Getting their kids to go to school or at least get there on time
- Getting their kids to do homework without their supervision
- Getting their kids to and from multiple activities (school programs, sports, music, etc…)
- Getting their kids to do basic chores: picking up after themselves, making bed, etc…
- Getting their kids off electronic devices
- Getting their kids to bed on time
So, what is different between the generations?
- Kids were expected to go to school
- Absences were not allowed unless child was truly sick
- Homework was child’s responsibility to complete with minimal parental assistance
- Participation in sports/arts was limited
- Kids had chores
- Kids had considerable unstructured time to play
In one simple term–leadership
Parents established and maintained authority over their children by balancing love and limits. They set expectations and enforced consequences. Kids learned to obey and respect their parents.
What was the result?
- Fewer power struggles with kids
- Kids had more autonomy
- Parents had more free time
- Less stress, more connection in the family
Kids are looking to their parents for leadership. They want you to be in control and this starts with yourself first. Kids react to parents who are routinely stressed out. They will push your buttons. Deep down they want you to lead your family out of the chaos.
So, how do you bring leadership to your family? Here are my top 3 parenting tips you cannot afford to skip over.
Parenting Tip #1: Get control of your family calendar
Families on the run is a crisis in our society! It is tearing families apart. A typical family today is on the go, moving in different directions, stressed out, and disconnected.
Over-involvement in activities is not healthy for your kids or family. You need more evenings and weekends at home to replenish your energy and connect with each other.
Parents want to pour into their kids things that that will help them succeed. The most important thing to pour into them is you—building a relationship with them. You cannot do this sitting in the stands.
Cut back on the amount of activities you schedule for your kids. Reduce the amount of work you bring home.
Have dinner together at home. Go for walks. Play board games.
Parenting Tip #2: Invest time in personal growth and self-care
You must pour into yourself before you pour into them. If your tank is empty you have nothing of quality to give your kids. A stressed-out parent produces stressed-out kids!
Time invested in personal growth and self-care will help you stay connected to yourself. This allows you to give the best of yourself to your kids.
Give yourself one or two activities you do for personal enjoyment, to de-stress, and develop your inner self.
Parenting Tip #3: Invest time in your marriage
Kids are negatively impacted by a distressed marriage. Their base of security and development is correlated to the health of their parent’s marriage.
The most important parenting skill is building a strong marriage.
Once you get control of your calendar (tip #1) it will free you up to invest more time in your marriage. Think in terms of “pockets of time” and “planned time” together.
If your marriage is in a bad spot, invest time in marriage counseling/coaching. I find this often helps couples get back on track.
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Now it’s your turn
Trust me, these are parenting tips you cannot afford to skip over. They establish your leadership in the family.
What are one or two things you can do right now to get control over your calendar?