I don’t claim to be a parenting expert. That’s not what this site is about. It’s about having a successful life and a successful family.
Personally, I think most “parenting experts” are full of crap.
There is no way we can raise children into awesome adults by debating nature vs. nurture or never allowing them to eat fast food.
I hate to break your heart if you think you are a great parent just because your child has never eaten sugar. As a matter of fact, I don’t ever recall one successful person attributing their success to their parents eliminating processed foods from their diets.
Great parenting goes much deeper than the typical parenting topics. Great parenting is about having your life in order so you can be present in your children’s lives.
There are five things you need to get in order to be a great parent.
Money is important, regardless of what anyone else tells you. It makes life easier. As Zig Ziglar said, “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”
If you are in debt and spending more than you make each month, it is difficult to give your children the attention they deserve. Your mind is always on how the heck am I going to get out of this situation.
When I knee-deep in debt, I know it wasn’t easy to focus on my children. It’s stressful and sucks up most of your thoughts. Get your finances in order and you will improve your parenting skills 30% guaranteed (probably more).
According to many studies, upwards of 80% of people dislike their jobs or career. This is a horrible statistic because we only get one opportunity in life and spending the majority of your life in a career you hate is sad.
This also teaches our children a number of bad life lessons; like you need to work a job you hate for your entire life.
A bad job creates stress, makes you exhausted, and induces anger; amongst a number of potential health issues. Again, it is difficult to be a focused parent when your career takes everything out of you.
Find a job you at least like and enjoy going to every day. It doesn’t matter where you are in life, you can change jobs and careers. Take a look at sites like 48Days.com or HappentoYourCareer.com. Both of these sites are great starting points. This change will help your parenting in more ways than one.
Children are like the Energizer Bunny – on Red Bull. If you have multiple children then add 5 Hour Energy to that cocktail. They seriously just keep going.
If you aren’t in reasonably good shape, then it is hard to have the energy to work all day, give your children attention, have a good relationship with your wife, and all the other things you need to do.
To get in shape, you don’t have to train for a marathon. Start out by walking 10 or 20 minutes a day. Choose greens over french fries. Reduce some of you carbs. Create small habits.
Start small, be consistent, and you will have massive results over time. You will begin to have more energy, feel better, and a have more positive outlook. You will be a better parent just because you have more energy and focus for your children.
Over the past 20 years, psychologists have been studying positive psychology and things that make us happy. This is one of my favorite subjects and it surprises me how many parents have no idea what really makes us happy.
Most parents make the mistake of chasing happiness. We chase the corporate job that will help us earn more money. We purchase shiny things because we think that will make us happier. The problem is when we get what we want, it rarely makes us happier because we are already focusing on the next thing we want.
If you want to be happier, then try a few small things. Here is a list of three simple exercises that will make you happier:
1) Keep a gratitude journal of things you are thankful for in your life. Just write down 3 per day.
2) Spend your money on memories, rather than things.
3) Meditate and be present for 3-5 minutes a day.
These will have a tremendous impact on your life. You will be happier and your family will notice.
Specifically, you need to have good relationships with your children and spouse. It is important for your children and spouse to know they are loved.
The Dalai Lama XIV said, “A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.” A loving atmosphere will help your children have more confidence, worry less, and sets them up for success too.
You will probably never be perfect in all of these areas, but you can get very good at them. If you do manage to get these area of your life in order, then you will be well on your way to having a successful life and family!