Chapter 3: How Does Your Mindset Affect Your Style & Outcomes?
In the last chapter, you learned about the 5 parenting styles and decided which style you want to be (if you are still reading, I’ll assume that’s the Balanced parenting style). Despite your best intentions, however, your mindset and belief system, which is what drives your parenting style, will determine every choice you make in parenting.
So, before you dive into the plan and its tools, it’s important to first discuss the number one key that can unlock the secrets to getting the results you want — your parenting mindset.
Conditioned, Reactive or Conscious Parenting — Which Do You Use?
Your parenting style is first and foremost determined by how you were parented. When under stress or when you’ve run out of options, this is usually your “fallback” parenting style.
Sherry* was a Conditioned Parent. She was raising her three children the way she was raised. She often found herself in power struggles with her disrespectful teenage son.
When she was a child, she would never have spoken to her parents that way and would have gotten a slap in the face or whooping for it. Although she admitted to resorting to those tactics, she could tell it was just driving her son farther away — they were barely on speaking terms.
Sherry wanted to heal their relationship, so she came to the T.I.P.S. class. Each week, Sherry would have “aha” moments and say, “I love my parents and know they did what they believed was best, but I wish they’d known how to do that. I wouldn’t have had such a hard time in life or as a parent if I’d learned this growing up.”
By the end of the class she and her teenage son were closer than ever and her younger children’s behavior had improved more than she had ever expected or hoped it would.
(If you want to understand more about how your parenting mindset gets programmed, watch Is Your Childhood Running — or Ruining — Your Parenting?)
So your Mission, should you decide to accept it, is this:
STOP AND THINK…
Deanice was a Reactive Parent. She was raised in an abusive home and swore she’d never treat her children the way she was treated. She hated it when her daughter would get demanding and she’d find herself getting in screaming matches with her. She tried not to use physical punishment, but when pushed to her limit she’d find herself blowing up, saying and doing things she regretted.
Through the T.I.P.S. class, Deanice learned how to stay calm and respond helpfully to her daughter’s outbursts. After several sessions, her daughter said to her, “What happened to my mom?! I don’t know who you are, but I like this mom a lot better.” They are now closer than ever and her daughter’s attitude, behavior and grades have all improved.
To raise well-behaved children, you need to avoid quick fixes that may stop the behavior in the short-run, but have negative long-term side effects. You need to be willing to make an initial investment of time and energy to learn the skills and steps that achieve that goal.
The good news is that the skills aren’t difficult to learn or use and you usually see positive results right away. Many of the changes you’ll make are simple and small. This gets you on the “right path.” Then you can learn more tools and advanced uses, if you choose, to get even better results in more areas with longer-lasting results.
PLAN A HELPFUL RESPONSE…
Mike was a Conscious Parent. As a single father of 8 children, he and his ex-wife got along generally well and agreed on parenting. Yet, he was finding it difficult to manage all eight children on his own when they visited. When he took the T.I.P.S. class, he liked the Universal Blueprint® and its logical approach. He said the goal-oriented approach was similar to what he used in his professional life. It gave him practical tools for improving every area of his relationships with his children and responding helpfully to problems that arose when they were together.
If you want to be really good at something, whether it’s golfing, sewing or painting, you set goals, develop a step-by-step plan for reaching those goals and seek additional education and skill-building to help you achieve those goals.
If you take the same approach with parenting, you will need to know what to do when challenges arise, which reduces your frustration and gives you more patience and confidence as a parent.
DELIVER IT EFFECTIVELY
“Right/Wrong” Parenting vs. “More/Less Effective” Parenting
Speaking of the “right” path, in parenting, there is never only one “right” way to do anything; but there are “more effective” and “less effective” ways to reach your parenting goals.
Nancy found herself screaming at her kids and punishing them. She felt guilty, because she was also a therapist. She didn’t want to attend the T.I.P.S. class (even though she could have gotten continuing education credits for her therapist license) and didn’t even want to buy The Parent’s Toolshop® book. (Not a problem.) But she was willing to take this free 30-Day course, to “try out” the ideas. (Perfect! That’s exactly why I offer it.)
Nancy soon became calmer, more patience, and started feeling better about herself. She learned more effective skills, but she often questioned what she was learning. “What’s wrong with doing (what she’d been doing that was less effective)?”
She would take a pause when a situation happened, to respond instead of react. She might try using what she was learning, but if it didn’t work immediately, she’d conclude, “This doesn’t work,” as in none of it. She’d say “My child is doing this just to make me mad. Nothing will work” and would resort, again, to punishing her children to “teach them a lesson.”
Unfortunately, Nancy dropped out of the course, not because what she tried didn’t work – it did — but because it was so different from her belief system that she couldn’t get past judging whether the advice or her being “right” or “wrong.”
You can expect that some of your parenting beliefs will be challenged in this course. If you see this course through — just 30 days out of your entire lifetime — and consistently apply what you are learning, you will see results.
(If you are basing your parenting on beliefs that have been passed down to you (like a roasting pan) or want to know if it’s the “right” thing to do, get the free bonus report, “The Common Sense Guide To Screening & Weeding Parenting Advice” and/or the “Top 10 Parenting Myths & Truths.”)
Don and his wife took the T.I.P.S. class together. She could use the tools with the children she cared for as a home daycare provider and they both were at their wits end with their drama queen daughter. His wife’s calm nature seemed to escalate the performances as did Don’s no-nonsense refusal to listen to the drama.
Throughout the course, Don asked a lot of questions, because this approach was very different from how he was raised and what he thought was the “right” thing to do. The answers made a lot of sense to him, so he committed to using the tools and plan consistently for the eight-week class.
In the beginning of the class, he had a cocky know-it-all air and jokester personality. Week by week, I could see the wheels turning in his head as he processed the information. He was trusting the process and getting results.
As the class clown, clear to the last session, it surprised everyone when he said that what he got out of the class most was that he was the one who needed to change; when he changed his parenting approach, his daughter naturally adjusted. Don and his wife knew how to respond helpfully and were seeing dramatic improvement and less drama from their daughter.
Do this course for yourself, not to change your child. The only person who you can actually control is you. Take responsibility for your own growth and start using the skills. This will set the wheels of change in motion. If you control your emotions, actions, perceptions, and words, others often respond in more positive ways. This is called the ripple effect. When you drop a pebble into a pond, ripples start at the middle, expanding outward. Any time one person in a family changes, it is like dropping a pebble in the family pond. There is always some change; it’s the natural law of cause and effect.
- In order to get the most out of the powerful parenting strategies you’ll be learning and putting into place, please identify one parenting challenge that you want to work on in the next 30 days. When you’ve decided what it is, please post it in the Introductions Forum.
- While you are in that discussion thread, if you haven’t introduced yourself, do so now. I’d like to get to know you, too!
Here is a list of the recommended resources in this lesson:
- Chapter 1 of The Parent’s Toolshop®book. It’s a free download.
- If you want to understand more about how your parenting mindset gets programmed, watch Is Your Childhood Running — or Ruining — Your Parenting?
- Get the free bonus report, “The Common Sense Guide To Screening & Weeding Parenting Advice.”
- Read the “Top 10 Parenting Myths & Truths.”