We are all leaders in several areas in life. People lead in relationships, at the workplace, and even as citizens. Searching for the meaning of ‘to lead’ I found several synonyms such as: to move ahead of others, to play a principle role or to be responsible of certain results. Listening to Michael Hyatt podcast on ‘How to be a storm-proof leader’, he explained how leaders should keep moving in turbulent times, though being temped to stop, and they just have to make sure to shift their direction not their objectives.
As parents, we all face turbulent times, whether it’s a toddler who regularly goes through tantrums, a child who’s developing a negative attitude, a teen who’s performing low at school or a young adult who’s not acting up to his parents’ trust. Noting that parents are the first leaders children encounter in their lives and that children learn by example a lot more than learning by preaching, we ought to think well of how we lead, especially in tough times. I find the concept of changing the direction not the objectives genius. Though a common objective for parents, in most cases, is to raise their children well, it isn’t enough. Parents need to be clear about their specific objectives. Is it raising happy children, confident, successful, principled…etc. Second, they must learn to adjust their direction in tough times. Following same parenting strategies would only bring them the same results. When unsatisfied with the results, they need to shift the direction, adopting new techniques. A child who isn’t responding to punishment could be in need for praise and encouragement. A teen who is poorly performing in subjects might be in need for more time to practice sports or to have a richer social life.
When children aren’t brining out the desired results, parents need to:
1- Press the pause button
To avoid acting according to moods and instead acting according to principles (could be out of love not anger, out of care not disappointment..)
2- Remember their objectives
What they really wish for their kids, what is their family about, the fundamental principles they desired to establish when they first thought of building a family
3- Shift the direction
Remembering Einstein’s saying: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
4- Reflecting constantly
On their new adopted directions and whether they are getting them closer to their objectives. If not, they will need to try new techniques and methods
5- Observe themselves
What parents dislike in their children might be originally in them. A dishonest child could be mirroring his father, a lazy daughter could be imitating her mother
6- Discuss the direction
One of the crucial things parents should teach to their children is to communicate their needs and their feelings. This will give the parents new insights on the shift of direction they need to adopt.
I personally recommend you to read Stephen R. Covey’s book ‘The 7 habits of highly effective families’ especially the first two chapters on the destination and the end in mind.
To listen to Michael Hyatt podcast click: