Now we’re going to go over some Parenting Basics.
The first one is commitment to continuous learning … sometimes called “Constant and Never-Ending Improvement.” Parenting is life’s most complex job and we talked about this before. You really need to get a Ph.D. in Parenting. It’s like heart surgery, it’s like being a Therapist, it’s like a lot of things that are just majorly complex. You have to learn it, and learn it, and do what we call in therapy “over-learning” it.
So you want to learn it so you know it like the back of your hand. You have an almost intuitive sense of how to deal with and handle things. NOTE TO YOURSELF: Have you taken ANY steps in this area? Did you buy a book on parenting? Have you taken a course besides this one on parenting? Are you planning to in the future? Are you putting aside 15 minutes a day, maybe even just 3-4 days a week, to just spend reading a few pages on parenting before you go to bed? Or to read psychology, human development or any of the other areas we discussed previously? There’s a lot of them. Try to get in the habit of doing continuous learning.
And you can also do research on the web, you can check in with other parents. What I want you to do for continuous learning too, is to Notice other parents parenting styles. Notice what they’re doing right. Notice what they’re doing wrong … and write that down. STUDY Them. And notice what they can doing that’s great, but it can still be better. Can you can think of an upgrade? Grab those ideas and run with them. Now FLEXIBILITY.
This is the ability to try different things until it works. You have to try different things. The definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over again … hoping to get a different result.” Well the definition of genius is: “Trying things over and over again till you get the RIGHT result. And then duplicating that result over and over and over again and then trying to enhance that. Keep asking yourself, “What’s better than that?” “and what’s better than that?” Asking “What’s better than that?” Creates constant & never-ending improvement So you have to be flexible in life. Buddha said “All things in moderation including moderation.” So have some flexibility … be willing to adjust to adapt. That’s what Humans are great at. And parents need to be too.
So a lot of times it’ll be hard and fast rules for things. OR you think there’s hard and fast rules right things. And then you realize now this would actually go better with a little bit of flexibility. Always make sure that you work as a team. When I was going into people’s homes to do family therapy … The Biggest challenge half the time was parents working against each other. One was the good guy .. One was the bad guy. One was the nurturer. What was the Punisher. They Needed to Work Together as a TEAM .. NOT as ROLES.
That system doesn’t work. They weren’t TRYING to work against each other .. But That’s how it ended up. There’s something in Therapy that we call “Staff Splitting” … Patients and try to get one staff member to go against the other. Kids will do this too. They say, “Mom said it was OK” or “Dad Said it was OK” NO THEY DIDN’T! Or they ask mom and Dad for the same thing to see if they get the yes the answer from one. That is Splitting. We don’t want to be split … We want to be TOGETHER. So when the kid says, “Dad, can I stay up late tonight?” you say, “Did you ask your Mom?” Make sure they know you’re always working as a TEAM and SHARING Information. Ask them, “What does your Mom say about that?” And then go ask the Mom.
This teaches them not to split … and to be honest. We also always need to work together as a team to show a united front. To show consistency. And to have the power of TWO versus one. These are Great odds. If you want to have a little bit of that authority power without being harsh without damaging the relationship … being united as a team is a great way to use authority power.
Again, 2 to 1. Perfect! It shows consistency. It shows you’re on the SAME page. You don’t have one person trying to make the other person the good person or the bad person. This way all judgments are done together and they can’t split the Parenting Team apart. It shows the Child you can’t be Fooled or Played against each other. It keeps you strong. It keeps you consistent. It keeps you powerful. There is no downside to this. 🙂 So, even when you’re making decisions and you’re not both happy with it. Talk it over in PRIVATE. I don’t care what you decide … whether you’re happy with it or not …. When you go together as a team say, “Your Mother and I talked about it and this is what we decided … ” . No back and forth … Strong. When you’re in front of that child… you’re a team … you’re united. There is NO confusion.