Don’t tell me how to raise my kids!!!


I’ve been reflecting on the evolution of parenting in todays society. From the grit-focused approach of my own father to the parenting of my kids, who belong to the millennial and Gen Z generations. Ask any two families and you’re going to get different answers on what’s “the best parenting style”. All of this is wrapped in bias and personal scarring. 

My parents grew up in the grit generation, as did I. We believe in the power of resilience and hard work. They instilled in me the value of perseverance, often through tough love. 

But the world has changed, and so has our understanding of child psychology. The social world and value systems are definitely different than when I was a kid! 

While we can parent the same way our parents did, and many do, is it healthy in today’s world? I honestly don’t know, but there’s a disconnect between generations for sure. 

We strive to raise great children. We want our kids to be resilient, but we also want them to be emotionally intelligent, empathetic, and kind. We want them to be great people and eventually amazing fathers, mothers, and members of society. 

So how can we do this in today’s insane world?

Dr. Laura Markham, a renowned child psychologist, says, “The most important parenting skill required today is the ability to manage one’s own emotions.” It’s about being a good example in every way, from our focus on them to our focus on family.

Notice this starts with you!? Then it extends into them watching how you treat the world? Your spouse? Your boss? Your neighbor? Their siblings?

Here are some of the most amazing things I’ve found that have helped me to heal my relationship with my own kids after years and years of assuming I was a good dad. Instead I started asking and looking for truth with my children. It wasn’t easy. I died many ego deaths. I pray this helps you.

1. Active Listening:

Active listening is about fully engaging with your child when they speak. It’s about understanding their feelings and thoughts without judgment. It’s about hearing their emotions without judgement or repair and letting them know that their voice matters.

Most parents would say “I don’t judge my kids”. I was one of them. For me, it was a lie. It’s a lie we tell ourselves to protect our ego. The truth is, we judge everything. As humans it’s in our dna to judge if a thing is good or bad. Even the kind and innocent statements of our kids.  This hit me hard.

Active listening is about having NO inner conversation while they speak. No pending recommendation. No waiting for your turn to dispense wisdom. It’s not easy, but it’s so valuable I can’t even begin to share how much this changed my relationships. 

2. Not Always Fixing Problems:

As parents, our instinct is to protect our children from harm. But it’s important to let our children navigate their own challenges. When we try to fix, what we’re also saying is “you can’t do this, let me show you”. How can they gain confidence, feel secure, and grow if we’re not showing confidence in their decisions? It’s how they learn problem-solving skills and resilience. Our well meaning attempts can truly rob our kids of their needed confidence. 

3. Be a Good Example:

Our children learn more from what we do than what we say. If we want our kids to be kind, we must BE kindness. They must witness kindness from you on a constant basis. To everyone. If we want them to be patient, we must practice patience, first with them, and continuing on to every person and every event in life. If we want them to find the amazing opportunity in challenge, we must love and embrace challenge and not complain about it. If you want them to be present in the world, look up! Get off this phone and start to enjoy life outside of this digital prison. 

Remember, parenting is not about raising a mini-version of ourselves. I’m sure I’m not alone in my prayers for my angels to be better people than I ever hoped to be. 

Parenting is about nurturing our children to become the best version of themselves. As Dr. Shefali Tsabary, a world-acclaimed clinical psychologist, puts it, “When we parent, it’s crucial we realize we aren’t raising a ‘mini me,’ but a spirit throbbing with its own signature.” 

What’s your child’s signature? 

Are you honoring the differences between them and yourself? Or are you carving a mini me from stone? Be honest. Let’s celebrate the evolution of parenting. 

Let’s celebrate the journey from grit to greatness. A merging of resilience and compassion. Let’s commit to raising children who are not just resilient, but also kind, empathetic, and kids who love the act of doing, being, and loving. 

Wishing you an amazing week to both mothers and fathers 😊

Share the Post:

Related Posts