Imagine holding all the keys to unlock the full potential in your children. The truth is, you do! We're here to guide you on harnessing your inherent power as a parent, an indispensable force that shapes your family's success journey and happiness. In this episode, we navigate the essence of intentional parenting, the incredible influence you have, and how to step up as the indisputable agent of change in your teen's life.
We delve deeper, challenging you to understand the significance of parental knowledge and the emotional dynamics in your interactions with your offspring. It's time to stop walking on eggshells and embrace your power as a proactive parent. We'll guide you on prioritizing your parenting role, sharing invaluable insights on how to regain control and create a positive, flourishing environment for your kids.
Lastly, we explore the concept of parental leadership, and why it's crucial in molding successful children. We discuss the importance of having a shared vision with your co-parent, being the sturdy pillar for your kids during difficult times, and the value of personal growth in molding you to be the best leader. The conversation wraps up with the importance of effectively leveraging your parental influence and working in unison with your partner for a unified direction. Listen up, take action, and reclaim the power that's rightfully yours, the power of a parent.
There are as many ways to parent as there are parents in this world, but there is one way to parent that wins every time, and that's doing it intentionally. This show is about helping things go right before they can go wrong. Each episode is chosen to help parents like you, who may be overwhelmed or uninspired, find the ideas and motivation to give their best efforts to the people and place that matters the most. I'm Dr Tim Thane, author of the book and host of the podcast Not by Chance. I believe that a family's success and happiness is not by chance, so welcome to the podcast, built especially for intentional families. Let's jump in. Hey everyone. Thank you so much for joining me again for the Not by Chance podcast. I'm really excited today. I want to, I guess, convince you today that you, as a parent, have more power and more influence than you actually believe, maybe because I've worked with a lot of parents who've had teens that have struggled. But most of the parents that I interact with have been convinced, either by their own children, maybe by themselves and their own mind, that they really don't have much power, and that's understandable, isn't it? I mean, when we've done everything we can think of for a struggling teen and nothing seems to be working, but instead they seem to be spiraling further and further down. All we can think of is we just are not effective. And so we start to look outside ourselves for more power or more influence. We look at professionals and we start to think that maybe that's the answer. You know, if we can get them with the right therapist, we're going to access the power outside of ourselves to help our teen. The problem with that thinking is that there is nobody in position, like you are, as a parent, to actually have influence with your teen and in their life. And there's a lot of reasons for that, if you think about it I mean, let's count some of the ways right. You love this child like nobody else will. Nobody's going to come close to the caring, the love, the history, the sacrifice, everything you've done to raise this child to this point, and so they're not going to care as much, and that in and of itself qualifies you beyond anybody else on the planet, to be the number one influence in your teen's life. So let's go beyond that for a second. Let's talk about history for a second. Nobody knows your child like you do Now. I would admit that some of the history has probably spun things in your mind in a way that you're convinced now that you don't have power, because you've noticed that in that relationship, that really intense, caring relationship, you feel all the pain that they feel and so because of that you feel even more powerless because you really can't control their emotions. So it's understandable that you might have convinced yourself, because of all that history, all that baggage, all those experiences of failure, that you really have no power. But again, I'm going to come back to this point you are the most powerful agent of change in your teen's life. That's my goal today. I want to convince you of that fact, which is contrary to all the things going on in your mind if you're struggling, contrary to what the society would want you to think or tell you to think, probably contrary to what your teen has been telling you, either through their actions or out and out, by telling you things, maybe swearing at you and kind of showing you look, I'm more powerful than you. So you definitely see that in our lives sometimes, where our teen is exerting their power and putting us below them and that's actually a really unhelpful thing for them, it may feel good to them at some point because it expands their freedoms, their options. But if they're not ready for that freedom, it's really not good for them. So we're going to go through several things today. We're going to talk about why it is again a little bit more details about why you are the most powerful agent of change in your teen's life. We're going to talk about how to get that power back, how sometimes the hierarchy in our family system is flipped and there's so much I could say about this, but we're going to confine it to this one principle, and I think it's the very first principle that you need to know is that parents are the most powerful agent of change in their children's lives. If you check your energy level, you might find that the battery is pretty low, and if you equate energy with power, you're probably going to say I'm really low on power, because it takes a lot to be a parent over time, and sometimes your child the one that you may be worried about the most seems to have a full charge and you're running on empty, and that's a pretty challenging scenario where you need to be the leader. Now I want to convince you that if you don't accept this role, if you don't say yes, I am the most powerful influence for change in my teen's life. There is a leadership vacuum. There's a vacuum that nobody is going to fill, because nobody can fill it like you. So think about the downside of not at least planting the seed and saying you know what? I may have given up my power, I may have been convinced that I don't have any influence, but I need to change that and my hope is that, through this podcast and hopefully some inspiration you might receive during this conversation, that you're going to jot some things down, you're going to take some action and, as a result of that, you're going to end up having a different experience in terms of your kid. I'm going to share with you three ways and I know there's a lot of other ways we do this that we give away our power or we make ourselves powerless in this role as parents. A lot of times we actually, if we took a look at the prioritization of the different roles in our life and we listed those out you know one to 10, whatever how many roles you have legitimately where would you put your role as a parent? You might value it more than any other role or say that is the most important role, but it actually is it in day to day life. Are you putting in the time, the effort, the emotional work you know, the self-discipline, all of those things to understand what that role is, to get good at that role and to actually prioritize it in the real world with your kids? If you're not, then it makes sense, doesn't it, that we don't feel as powerful and influential in the lives of our kids as we should, because knowledge is power. We've heard that and there's no place it's more true than in the role as a parent. But we think, since we had a kid, we should automatically have the knowledge that goes with that, and especially all the knowledge that starts with when they're a baby, all the way through childhood and then the challenge is adolescence, and yet we really don't. It doesn't come automatically. It's an exercise of study, of practice, of self-awareness, gaining insight and ultimately get better and better and better at that. I feel sorry for my first couple of kids because I really didn't know a lot and sometimes there's some experimentation going on there. But if it's coming from a place of care and really you are trying to do your best, that's the best you can do and it's going to be good enough, but really make sure you have prioritized the role of parenthood, because you need to feel powerful in that role. I remember a long time ago reading some kind of quote from a trainer of horses. He said something to the effect of when a rider starts to lose their patience with a horse, what they need to really understand is that their knowledge about how to work with a horse runs out at about the same time as their patience runs out. So if we're losing patience, it's probably actually we have kind of hit the limits of our knowledge and understanding as a parent, and that we just need to expand the knowledge and our patience will expand as well. So, again, knowledge is key. I'm so impressed by so many parents that I meet who read all the books. The best predictor of somebody who is doing self-development or self-help, the best predictor of those who would buy a book like that, are ones that have already read books like that. It's because they're in the mode of continually developing themselves, and so I really love that when I meet people like that who are especially prioritizing this role of parenthood. Another way that we give away our power and our influence is we react to the emotions we have we let that dictate the way that we feel, the way we act and, ultimately, whether we have influence or not? We had a young man that we worked with him and his parents. He had gone to a treatment program and months after we worked with him he kind of came clean. And this young man said something like we were talking about hey, your dad really made all these changes, and what was it like for you? And he said you know, when my dad stopped yelling, that's when I realized I had lost my power. I realized that my manipulation skills were slipping because his father had started to have self-control around the emotional side and therefore his influence and his power increased. Now that's a tall order. I know that all of us have these times when we are so triggered, and it's not always anger. It could be something even stronger than anger. These days we have a lot of kids struggling so much that their depression, their anxiety, is so extreme that they feel like they can't function in the world, that their depression might get the best of them. And they definitely leave those little messages out there that I'm not sure I want to live through this and, of course, a parent hearing something like that. What are they going to do? They're going to immediately start to operate from a different place. It's going to be coming from a place of fear. I was talking to a father one day on the phone and he shared this that their son had needed to go to the hospital because of self-harm and suicide ideation. And he said, since that time, since he'd gotten home after the hospital stay, he said, honestly, we're just walking around on eggshells and we really have stopped parenting. So if you ask that father and so many others out there right now, what would you say? Your power, level of power and influence in your family life is, especially with this teen, on a scale of one to ten. They would say a one or they might even say a zero. So that's where they're operating from. So we definitely want to flip that around, because we do. We do no good in this most important role of parenthood if we don't feel like we can have influence and help our children. If you look up quotes on leadership, you know and I'm not talking about family leadership, I'm talking about sort of organizational government, whatever leadership out there If you find some good quotes on that, I want you to try this. I want you to replace the word leader with parent or parenthood instead of leadership, and instead of employee, put child or put teen in its place and find out that that leadership quote actually applies probably just as well in most cases to your family and your role as a parent as it does for that manager in an organization. Let me share a couple with you that I think are interesting. A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go but ought to be. Now let's, let's slip that to parent and child. A parent takes a child where they want to go. A great parent takes a child where they don't necessarily want to go but ought to be. Fits, doesn't it Really does fit. And and here's another one, at the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to an employee's success is the positive involvement of leaders. Now let's check it out for a parent and a child. At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child's success is the positive involvement of parents. Absolutely right, that absolutely fits. So what I'm trying to convince you of is that, number one, nobody's in position, like you, to fill this leadership role. And number two, it is a leadership role and is essential. You need to be in a position to play that role, to provide stability, consistency, to transmit values from you to them, to help them understand how to live a happy life, how to get along with others, how to succeed in life, how to excel. All of that requires that a child be raised in a situation where they have leaders showing them the way and, primarily, parents who are showing them the way. Now we've all seen the circles of influence. Right, if you can imagine three concentric circles and you've probably seen the diagram of this. But on the inside you've got the small circle, and that is the circle of control. Then outside of that you've got a little bigger circle called the circle of influence, and then the larger circle that encompasses all of those two plus others outside the circle of control and influence is called the circle of concern. Now, this has been around for a long time. I don't know who really originated this sort of concept or this idea, but it's got a lot of truth to it and it applies to what we're talking about here. Let's talk about the circle of control. That inner circle, that smallest piece of all the things we're concerned about, is actually within our control and when it comes right down to it, there are very few things that land inside that circle squarely and they all are inside me. For me, and they're all inside you. For you, it is the thoughts, the feelings, the actions that I take. It is your ability to understand and then manage and also change those three things. And as we start to focus on that inner circle, the interesting thing that happens, that is inevitable, it is something that follows, it is a principle, and that is that when we focus on our areas of control that we actually have full control over, our influence expands. So you can imagine those two circles, the circle of control getting bigger and the influence around that even bigger than it was before, and therefore the things that fall outside those two circles of our concerns are less. But conversely, if we flip that around and we focus on the things we actually have no control over but we're very concerned about, and this is the most automatic, easy thing to do if we're not paying attention, that is, to focus on the things that are outside our influence and outside our control, and we begin to shrink our control and our influence and our hope and our feeling of powerlessness it grows. So I want to take this into the real world with you for a second, going back to the father I talked to about the child that had attempted suicide, ended up in the hospital. So this father for a time, you know, before I talked to him, they had been focusing completely on that outer circle, and by the time he got to me, his feelings of control were shrunk down to probably a pinhead. There was almost no feeling of any control. All they were trying to do is sort of keep their son alive, and that threw everything else out the window. It's no way to live and it's actually no way to actually help your teen. So they've got to be empowered beyond that. So that's really the goal of this discussion today is I want to definitely help you start to focus in on what you actually have control over and then start to see the ripple effects of that in your life. Now I want to make sure you understand that when I say parental power or leadership, or personal control, I'm not talking about controlling the lives of our teens. That'll never work If our goal is to try to control them. Remember that falls outside our influence. We want to expand our influence, though, and we do that by fostering a positive relationship with them. We do that by playing a leadership role in their life, where we are setting an example to them by what we do every day. All right, so I want to tie this a little bit to what we're kind of our mission here at trustee. We're really excited by the way the trustee app is getting close to beta testing. We've got a parent group right now that's meeting every week. Our goal is, in six weeks, to empower them to feel trust throughout their family at a greater degree than when we started. And so far, so good. We're into it two weeks. We're going to be doing our third week week next week. And guess what? We are talking about these true parenting principles that parents are the most powerful agents of change, that they need to be united as co-parents that's otherwise their power is undermined. And that they, as co-parents, need to be at the top of the family hierarchy. Now I'm going to go into those other things in more detail in future podcasts, but all of that is setting up the leadership structure right. That's parents at the top. It's not to overpower or control the kids, but it's to provide leadership. They have to be there, they have to lead from the front. It's having those parents in sync with one another so that they don't undermine each other, and so they're not allowing the teens to split them. It's a very common thing. There's so many ways that teens split parents, but it's not just that. Parents are often splitting each other and they're creating a coalition with the teen, making one of them the bad cop. The other is a good cop, and in the process, the teen doesn't receive what they need. So let's talk about what does a good leader do? Right, you could apply these principles at home or in the workplace. So a good leader knows that they are in a leadership role. They're in a position where they need to teach, they need to train, they need to be really good at communicating. When there's conflict between them and an employee, they need to be able to work that out right. Same thing at home. They need to be in sync with the vision of the organization. So a good leader in the home does the same thing. You need to clarify what is your values? What are you trying to actually live out day to day and transmit and pass on to the next generation? Is that clear to your kids? Would they be able to say, yeah, this is what my parents believe in, this is what they're trying to teach us. I can tell you that at least one value I think I probably hit the bell or the hammer, whatever I hit this bell constantly, and so all of my kids I'm sure from a pretty young age they could tell you this, and that was dad was all about hard work, and I'm proud of that to some extent. But I think that might have been the bell I was ringing more often than maybe some of the other values I had that I didn't share quite as much, and so would your kids clearly know what you're trying to accomplish in your family. Leaders need to convince the others that this is a good place to go. They need to have a shared vision, and I've talked about this in the past. But one of the great things that Roxanne, my wife, did for us is early on she said we need to have a family motto. In a way, it was a very short statement about our purpose as a family, and so we created one and it was great. And then we had a family cheer, and this family cheer we'd do it around the table. We had a round table and it was kind of fun. We'd all be around us and our five kids and we would say this cheer. At the same time, we would hit the table with our fists and we'd bump fists all the way around the circle until it came back to me and then I'd hit the table again, we'd throw our hands in the air and cheer and it was fun. But it was an intentional attempt to help convey what our family is all about, what we're trying to accomplish together and that we're all in this together. We're doing this as a team. Somebody has to lead out right. Somebody has to be in that position to say this is where we're going and it's a great place to go, and we're doing this together. Another one is going through the ups and downs of life. As a leader, you need to be the steady. You need to find a way that they can rely on you, that at the worst and hardest times, they know that their mom and their dad and their parents are going to be steady and capable of weathering the storm, whatever that is. I remember telling my kids from time to time and it was this Surprise to me, honestly that I would feel this way is like it was an honor to be their parent during their most difficult hours, as painful as that was. It actually made me feel like this is what it's all about, and I think I did a pretty good job in some of those cases of helping them know that I was absolutely with them and going through that together, and then it was a joy to actually feel that pain with them. So leadership is something we have to step into. We have to know that that is only our role. Nobody else can do it and it's going to take us being our best. Now, obviously we have some kids that are born into our families, sometimes that you know they sort of raise themselves, you know they just kind of figure it out really well. Other times we have kids that struggle along the way and we might think we're a great parent until that second child comes or that third child, and all of a sudden we go whoa, I don't know much about parenting, and that's when we might wonder do we have influence? I hope I've convinced you today that if you will focus on the things that you have control over, if you will constantly develop yourself in this most important role, develop your knowledge, develop your skills of emotional management, develop your ability to interpersonally understand the dynamics going on between you and each member of your family and how that's affecting the whole. And then I identify what it is in your circle of influence that you need to change in order to have a rippling positive effect on the family system. As you start to do that, day in and day out, whether you're tired or not and sometimes we're really tired. That's why it's really hard to be a single parent. You need someone to tag team with and if you don't have someone to tag team because you're not at your best, find other people outside the family. Maybe you're extended family members, maybe you have neighbors or people in your church or friends that you can call on. I call that the home team, where you can literally call them and say you know what? I'm having a bad day and I need to be better than I am right now. So I need your support or I need you to come over. I need you to be here, because I'm afraid there's going to be conflict if I don't have an outsider. Step in right now. But if you can do that on a daily basis, over time, just like you would, if you're trying to build your physical strength, you will grow, you'll strengthen in this role and you'll see your influence increase. I know you've been inspired by something today and I ask you to write down what it is you feel you need to do. Maybe it's something you need to stop doing and start. Maybe it's the thoughts you have about your inability. Maybe you need to catch yourself doing that and stop it, start to think about where your real power is, circle back to that inner circle and start to understand that you have great power. Please write down what it is you're going to do and then start to implement that in your life. I would love to hear from you Honestly love to hear what it is you're doing to start to convince yourself and then see evidence of your influence being the greatest potential influence in your child's life. I'd love to hear about it so that we can share that with other people out there. Well, all the best to you. This, as every other principle we're talking about on this podcast, is not by chance. These are things we have to decide to do. Thanks for listening to me and all the best to you as you capture more and more of your influence and power as a parent. Parents, your time is valuable and I'm grateful you spent some of it with us. What you're intentionally doing in your home life is inspiring and unmatched in its importance and long-term effects. Ask yourself what am I going to do because of what I've learned today?