This post is for the parents and soon to be parents out there. Sorry non-parents, I will be back to regular programming in my next post.
As I mentioned in my last post, if you are parent, you are a leader.
I have an important question for you. What is more important to you: your role as a parent or your role in your job?
Most parents I speak with quickly say Parenting! Well, then why have you put in only 1/10th of the training you have put into to acquire your ‘day’ job?
Parenting IS A Job!
Parenting is a job and it is time you start treating it this way.
Parents act and say irrational things all the time. Just think of some of the dumb things you have said and done while you lost your cool at your kids. Now, can you imagine acting this way in the office the next time you had a disagreement or something didn’t happen the way you wanted?
I lost my cool on my kids several times in a week last fall and being a leadership and communication guy, that got me thinking…. What is really causing this blow up and there’s got to be a better way to communicate with my kids. The behaviors of my kids and myself was not acceptable to me and I wasn’t willing to carry on like this for years to come, i.e. making it “normal’ behavior in our family.
I reached out for support, advice and training to be the best leader parent for my kids. I am still on this journey and will continue to seek parenting professional development long into my kids’ teenage years, just as I do for my job, because in a job your training doesn’t stop after you get hired or even after you have mastered some of the skills of your trade.
Yes, You Need a Job to Support Your Family but Even Without a Job You Are Still a Parent
Learning techniques through proper training can prevent most irrational parent blow-ups. The problem is that most parents never seek out the training they need to parent well and suffer years of frustrations, damaging themselves and their kids in the process.
Take a moment and think about all the training you have acquired to land the job you are in today: bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, internships, mentorship, endless training courses and cumulative experience. Now, can you imagine what kind of exceptional parent you would be if you only had just half this amount of training focused on parenting. I know I would be a better parent, spouse, son, brother, and leader for it.
Parenting education is a relatively new phenomenon that has slowly developed over the last 30 years. Before then, we didn’t really need it or know any better. For thousands of years, parenting education came from the close-knit communities we lived in. People usually had their parents and closest relatives living with them and if not with them, then in close proximity. The training came from your community in which you interacted with daily.
Fast forward to 2017 and other than the odd Facebook/Whatsapp group and Skype chat, many people live in relative isolation from their family community that in the past would provide much of the parental training. This leads parents to try and figure it all out on their own or seek outside training, except they don’t.
Are You Are Better Parent in Public?
Parents use the phrase “just wait until you get home!”, all the time when speaking to disobedient children while in public. What do they mean when they say that? That you are going to do something to the kid they don’t want anyone else to see. What are they going to do? Probably (at best) yell at them, spank them, hit them, deprive them of food, lock them in a room. I know this sounds drastic but you never know what goes on at home. Perhaps it is just a threat.
My goal is to never say that phrase, as I want to treat my kids the same way in public as I do at home. If you are treating your kids with love and respect (even during the blow-ups) there should be nothing you wouldn’t say or do to them in public that would happen at home. Sure you wouldn’t want to embarrass them in public and you may have more time to speak with them at home but you get the point.
Parenting is a JOB, in fact it is the most important JOB you will ever have and its time you start treating it like one!
Why not commit to attending some kind of parenting conference, retreat or in-depth training course, even a couples course, as you do for your ‘day job’ each year?
I understand there is not a ton of training out there for parents but each year more and more quality accessible training is becoming available, you just need to seek it out.
Action: This week, research parental training in areas you find challenging or anticipate going through soon and commit to taking that training in the next 12 months.
Until next time… Embrace the Adventure
Shawn Stratton is an international leadership and team building consultant, professional speaker, bestselling author and Ironman competitor.
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