How much power and control do you really have as a parent? A little and a lot. When I’m struggling as a parent – it’s often because I’m operating from the belief that I have super powers. If I instruct my son to do his homework and then later find out he didn’t do his assignments, I’ll begin thinking: ‘If only I had the right approach I could get this kid to do his work. Maybe I didn’t give him enough attention when he was a toddler. I should have read more books to him. Maybe he really didn’t hear what I said.”
With this kind of “super power” thinking, I’m blaming myself for something I really have no control over – whether or not my son does his homework.
James Lehman, creator of The Total Transformation Program, (a great online resource for parents) puts it simply: “You, as the parent, can take ACTION, but remember, your child is responsible for the RESULTS.” When I first heard this idea, my jaw dropped, realizing I had been taking responsibility for the results! To the outside viewer, it might have looked like I was “pulling out all the stops” to get my son to do his homework or my daughter to clean her room, but really, I wasn’t accepting the limits to my power.
Establishing a time for homework or room cleaning is taking action. The rest – (completed homework or a tidy room) is in the hands of our children.
Pretending to have super powers kept me, well, feeling powerless and prevented me from teaching my children the important lessons of responsibility and accountability. In order to raise kids that turn into happy, creative, well-adjusted adults – let go of your super powers to empower your children to be responsible for their results.