I Didn’t Know Squat About How To Be A Successful Parent

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parentingPost written by Peter G. James Sinclair.

Being the parent of what I would call two perfect children, I thought I had parenting down to a fine art. In my view, I was an expert and could advise all parents of exactly what they should and should not do.

Then number three arrived. Wrecked all my theories and trashed all my mindsets that were, until then, set in concrete. Love that!

My final analysis? I didn’t know squat about parenting and needed to go back to parenting school.

Through the years I have learnt to love each child and go with the flow. Flexible is the name of the game.

Now with three adults in my company – one still at home – well at least they sleep and graze here, and two now married – I’m enjoying the next challenge – grandparent mindset destruction! And loving it!

But let’s get back to being a successful parent. Well, having now guided my number three into her early twenties unscathed I must have learnt a thing or two.

She graduated as a hairdresser and the very next year I purchased my first hair salon. During the first two weeks of owning the salon I went on a speaking tour and left the new salon, the staff and my new customers in the capable hands of number three.

Why? Because I was confident that my investment as a parent over the years had begun to bring a great return of love, trust and confidence. I wasn’t disappointed.

So allow me to share some of the keys I’ve discovered, through experience, of how to being a successful parent.

Here are just three.

1. Love No Matter What

Love is a funny word. It has many interpretations. But when it comes to the love between a parent and a child it means this – ‘No matter what you do, where you go, what you say, how you feel – I will love you no matter what. I am flawed. You are flawed. And if that means our love is flawed at times, then so be it. But for as long as I live, I love and accept you for whom you are. I am the eagle. You are the eaglet. May my love equip you to soar.’

2. Lead By Example

Before I ever ask my children to clean up their room I go clean out my shed. I have never asked my children to do what I have not been willing to do myself.

At times, rather than telling them what to do, I invite them to join me as we do it together.

Now that my children are adults, they are free to build upon the foundations laid during their childhood.

For them to pursue their dreams, I continue to show them how to do this by pursuing my own dreams.

They have a shoulder on which to stand, so that they can see and reach further than I have ever reached – aligned to their own unique gifts and talents.

3. Use These Words Constantly

And the words are:

  • I’m sorry.
  • Forgive me.
  • I love you.
  • Thank you.

Add these to your vocabulary. Share them consistently with your children and, they in turn will start using them. No barrier will ever stand between you and your children, that cannot be broken, if you use these words.

Unforgiveness has driven apart many members of our extended family – and I chose a long time ago that as for my family and I this would never happen because we have learnt the power of these words.

And Then There Is More…

My children, even to this day, share with me as their father and with their mother things of life at the deepest of levels.

I am often amazed at how much they do share – but I guess it is because trust and openness has been engendered from the very day they were born.

It is extremely satisfying. It is so rewarding.

So go and hug your children. Tell them that you love them. Say that you’re sorry – even if you think they should make the first move. Hey, don’t do that. You always be the first to move, and watch the world move with you.

The great news is this: that even if you don’t know squat about how to be a successful parent – you can start by applying these three principles that I’ve just shared with you, and watch miracles happen.

And remember that children are the mirrored reflection of our parenting.

photo source: bloomintoparenting.com

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