Being successful parents is very hard work, and there’s no shortage of second-guessing and agonizing about whether you are on the right track. It doesn’t get any easier when even professionals can’t seem to agree on parenting strategies.
I’ve spoken with thousands of kids and parents and have found a common thread amongst many; most parents start with good intentions, but they still manage to annoy, anger, or confuse their kids with their actions.
The most successful parents do things differently by continuously questioning themselves. Here’s what that inner dialogue may sound like.
1. Do I want what’s best for my child or what’s good?
Parents will advise their children to play it safe because they want them to avoid uncertainty and discomfort. However, is this the best way to go?
No, because the path full of obstacles, challenges, and failures is the best path for personal growth.
Successful parenting means you distinguish between what’s good and what’s best and always advise children to choose best every time because that’s how they learn.
2. Do I measure successful parenting by how much control I have or how good my relationship is with my child?
Successful parents develop great relationships with their kids rather than create intricate attempts to control and manipulate them.
An obedient child does not make you the best parent because you may be sacrificing the relationship. Plus, are you able to say that an obedient child is also a self-confident, well-adjusted person?
3. Am I living vicariously through my child?
Many parents strive to bring up a child who will be a great success because it will make them feel successful.
Successful parents don’t take this approach because their success does not hinge on how well their children do. Parents should be successful in their own right and let their children determine success for themselves as well.
4. Am I behaving in the same way I expect of my children?
You can’t expect a child to behave in a certain way if the parent does not exhibit those same behaviours. For example, parents would prefer their children to be curious about the world and love learning. Now ask yourself, when did you last discuss with your child something you recently learned?
5. Do I force my child into doing things, or do I ask them to commit to something worthwhile?
Committing to a worthwhile endeavour is the seed of achieving something great. You can’t force your child into greatness, which is why winning parents never coerce their child into doing something for which they don’t have the passion. Instead, they teach their children about the values of goal setting and give them the freedom to forge their own path.