Updated: Apr 10
Parenting is one of those constant struggles. It doesn’t matter if your kids are new born, it doesn’t matter if they are toddler, it doesn’t matter if they are a teen and it doesn’t matter if they are all grown up.
Our kids are constantly testing us. Testing our parenting skills, testing our leadership. It seems more accurate that they are always testing our patience. On the other hand, many aspects of their life also bring amazing new fun experiences. A lot of fun, a lot of learning, a lot of pure joy.
There’s nothing better than when your kids smiles at you for the first time, or when they give you a long heartfelt hug,or when they say I love you with a huge smile.
I’m here to talk about the other side. The side where your kids smear markers & poop all over the walls. Your kids refusing to eat anything other than candy, refusing to do their homework or go to bed. When you get the phone call from their school or from the police. They are always doing everything opposite from what they “should” be doing.
To make it worse, there’s no true process that works for every parent or for every kid. What works for one won't work for others.
Bette Davis said “If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.”
How do we stay calm? How to we guide our kids to success in this environment and not kill each other along the way?
Well I have a couple suggestions to make your lives a little easier.
1. Always see the potential
Think of a seed, you can plant it in soil, water it, care for it and eventually you are going to have a beautiful flower. There's a lot of potential in the seed and what it can become. But the flower doesn’t just grow because of its potential. It’s what you do with it that allows that seed to grow to its full potential. What hidden potential is currently living inside of your kids, just waiting to be cultivated? The idea is to first, know that the seed can become a beautiful flower. And second, it takes nurturing and great care to help the seed become the flower.
2. Help them see a path
Your child is a unique individual. They are not you. The things that might drive you crazy about a certain job, religion, friends, schools might be the things they absolutely love. Resist the urge to tell your child to avoid a certain paths just because it’s something that doesn’t interest you.
Encourage your child try different activities to see what peeks their interest and be supportive of their learning. Again, this is to help them SEE a path. If you can show your kids that there’s not just one path for them (your path) your already a million steps ahead of other parents.
3. Create an identity foundation
Every parent wants their kids to grow up successful, to fit in and add value to the community, to their career, to their relationships. It all starts with developing their core. Their internal wiring. I call it their identity. As kids are growing up they learn by experience. We need to create positive experiences that help our kids have certain character qualities. Some call them values other call them principles, I call these the character qualities we want children to develop.
Self motivated, Punctual, respectful, communication, Self discipline, leadership, honest, trustworthy and kind. These are just a few example of positive core characteristics.
If we truly want our kids to be happy and successful each and every one of these character qualities go along way in each and every aspect of their life.
4. Grow together
Growth is the ongoing process of understanding and developing oneself in order to achieve one's fullest potential. Think about this but together. Helping some else grow and learn which also allows you to grow and learn which also translates into an improved cohesive relationship. Plus, progress and learning brings little shots of happiness and confidence. Growth between two people also create a unique energy that will help create a forever bond.
5. Develop positive habits
Brush and floss your teeth twice per day. Exercise daily. Early to bed and early to rise. Eat healthy. Do homework before play. Clean up after themselves. Polite at the dinner table. Proper hygiene.
Each and every one of these help create fantastic results that your kids will appreciate as they get older. For example.. Brushing and flossing twice per day. They will be so grateful that they have strong clean teeth that ensure a beautiful white smile. And these habits usually get passed on from generation to generation. So pick positive habits that help them be happier and more successful and start young.
6. Remember it’s about THEM
What do you truly want for you kids? I’d argue that you want them to be happy and successful. To fit in to society, to succeed in their career, their relationships and to overall be an outstanding community member.
This happens when you think about them. What do they need from you?
When they are hurting, what do they need from you? Don’t try to be their answer, try to be what they need. Sometimes they need an ear that will listen. Sometimes it’s a hug for comfort. Sometimes its advice on a path. Each situation will play out better EVERY TIME if you have THEM in mind. Always remember to ask yourself, what do they need from me.
Every action, every facial expression, every word and gesture give your child a message about self worth. Be aware of your actions and always help your child succeed and more importantly, be happy.