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Practical Parenting – Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

Practical Parenting – Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

    Parenting 101

    Yesterday at lunch, I had a fascinating conversation with my business partners Mikey and Johnny about parenting. Mikey has two kids (ages one and three), as does Johnny (seven and ten) and we discussed the merits and pitfalls of the various parenting styles. Of course we covered over-protective parents who don’t allow their kids to… well, be kids. We talked about parents who seem to hand their insecurities, fears and issues down to their off-spring. And parents who micro-manage every moment of their child’s day. We also spoke about kids playing team sports where no scores are kept during the game because the grown-ups don’t want any of the kids to experience losing.

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    Good grief.

    My Childhood

    Growing up in a country town, I spent countless hours with my mates riding our bikes (without helmets) through dense leach-infested bush. In the middle of the wilderness, we would make fires, build ramps and jumps for our bikes, ride down stupidly steep hills, catch frogs and other critters, wade in swamps and often get lost. When we weren’t exploring the wilds of Latrobe Valley, we were playing team games and sports where there would be actual winners and losers. Amazingly, nobody died from losing a game of football, playing in dirt, climbing a tree or coming last in a running race.

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    And I should know; I came last many times.

    So, clearly the bloke with no kids is not the guy to turn to for parenting advice but as a casual observer, can I respectfully suggest that perhaps all our parental protection, direction and intervention might (at times) be leaving some of our kids ill-equipped to deal with the messy, nasty, unfair, uncomfortable reality of life beyond the parental bubble? Life post-childhood?

    Just saying. 

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    Life Lessons

    I worry about kids who never experience any kind of loss. Who never scrape their knees. Who never climb a tree, chase a frog, attack an ant nest, crash their bike or play in dirt. Who never experience the unfairness of life. Who never have to work hard or get uncomfortable. Who never fail anything at school because some grown-up decided that giving marks or grading work could be detrimental to the child’s self-esteem. Again, good grief. Wait till that child enters the workforce and their first boss is a total prick.

    Let’s see mum and dad fix that.

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    But then again, maybe the non-parent is missing the point? What would I know? The only thing I’ve ever raised is a Golden Retriever. And he had issues. Which is why I need your help today. Feel free to answer one, all or some of the following questions. Don’t be shy. Participation makes this a worthwhile exercise. I will give away five signed copies of my new book for the contributions that blow my lace-up Ugg boots off. Yes, we will post books anywhere in the world.

    Here are my conversation starters:

    1. Am I vaguely in the ball park with this topic or am I totally missing the point?
    2. Are we adequately preparing our kids for life beyond childhood?
    3. When does protecting, guiding and encouraging a child go from being a positive to a negative?
    4. What are the signs, symptoms and consequences of an over-protective parent?
    5. Do we tell our over-protective, neurotic, control-freak friends what they’re doing or do we stay out of it?
    6. Your general thoughts on the matter?

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    Craig Harper

    Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

    Do You Make These 10 Common Mistakes Before Weighing Yourself? If your Childhood Sucked – It’s Time to Stop Blaming Your Parents! Exploring Relationships with the Single Weirdo Education Should be More than Academic Basics How to Stop Being an Over-Thinker

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    Last Updated on April 8, 2020

    Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

    Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

    Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

    Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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    Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

    However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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    The leap happens when we realize two things:

    1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
    2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

    Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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    Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

    My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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    In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

    “Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

    Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

    More Tips About Building Positive Relationships

    Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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