Four Tips That Impacted My Approach to Parenting

Published: August 11, 2020

In recognition of the start of the new school year and to stick with this week’s newsletter theme around creating stronger relationships with your children, I want to share some guidance I received about five years ago from Dr. Laura Markham, a clinical psychologist and well-known parenting expert.  If you do not have children, continue to read this blog anyhow as you will likely find a relationship between the parenting advice shared here and the leadership you must display in your business each day (in working with teammates, clients, and industry peers)! 

Dr. Markham shared several parenting tips with me.  These four thoughts/tips resonated most and have had a significant impact on my approach to parenting.

  1. Coach Instead of Control Your job as a parent is to support your child so she can flourish and develop. Doing things FOR her robs her of the opportunity to become competent. Doing things WITH her teaches her how and builds confidence. 
  2. Perfection is not the Goal – When your kids set out to achieve something, step back and let them tackle it on their own. If this is their first time working on a task, they usually hit many roadblocks, get frustrated, tears may even be involved, but, eventually, they make it to the end. Now, the end result may not be perfect, or how you would have done it, but the task is completed and that is really all that matters. By allowing your kids to work their way through a task, their confidence builds and they gain a newfound sense of accomplishment.
  3. Encourage, Encourage, Encourage and Teach Self-EncouragementHelping kids learn self-encouragement is integral to their growth and development. Constantly encourage your kids to do their best and work hard; always reminding them that they can do it. My wife and I have taught our kids to say to themselves “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” anytime they are struggling through something. So, when we cannot be there to encourage them, they will have that inner voice to remind them ‘I can do this!’
  4. Focus on Effort, Not Results – “I see you worked so hard on this.” And “How did you learn to do that?!” Give positive feedback about specific things that she has control over, like hard work or perseverance, rather than things she feels she has no control over, like being smart. The point is never the product — you don’t want her resting on her laurels at the age of six, or sixteen. Your goal is for her to keep trying, practicing, improving, and for her to learn that when she works hard, she can accomplish her goals. 

I encourage all parents reading our Metrix blog to think about the points above, improve in the areas where you believe a better job can be done, and double down on those areas in which you are already excelling!

And for the real estate team leaders reading our Metrix blog, replace the words “parent”, “kids”, and “children” with “team leader”, “agents/coworkers”, and “peers”!  The approach to developing your team is not all that much different to building a family unit!

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