Parents often say that getting their kids to listen to them is their top challenge. It was my top challenge too.
Something that helped me was to look at leadership. After-all, parenting is leadership. And truth be told, there are better leaders than others. There are leaders who are respected, listened to, and celebrated. There are leaders who are not listened to and not respected. Could it the same for parenting? Why not.
I looked at how the best leaders were doing it and then I applied that to my parenting. It was a game changer.
The best leaders were focused on influencing through strong relationships and empowering those under them. They created cooperative environments of mutual respect, shared values and shared vision. On the other hand, it was clear that bad leaders were insecure and ineffective. They focused on controlling and containing those under them. The top leaders were so confident that they didn’t feel the need to control. They trusted their teams and brought out the best in them. Lousy leaders were fearful and threatened. They limited the potential of the team and actually demotivated them.
I decided to copy the best leaders. I focused on:
- Regulating my own behavior
- Building strong relationships
- Creating mutual respect
- Earning trust
- Empowering rather than controlling
I held myself to a high standard. I focused on acquiring real leadership skills at home.
It was not easy to do. It was a process. It took time and I needed support in doing it. But my kids are the most important thing to me so I had to make sure I was giving my best to them.
After an investment of time and energy, after breaking old behavior patterns, I can say that my leadership skills have significantly improved. I went from ineffective and angry to confident and in control. My kids responded in the best of ways. They started listening to me!! I’m serious. I felt respected, like a true leader.
If you are angry and losing patience, trust me there is another way. However, it takes some willingness to reevaluate your parenting, and step into a real leadership role. I believe it’s worth it. Our kids are worth it.
Simon Sineck on Leadership – when those you lead feel safe, there will be trust and cooperation. Do your kids feel safe?