Sometimes the very best advice comes from the most unlikely of places. It’ll rush over you like a warm breeze you weren’t expecting on a chili day, leaving you grateful and recharged! This happened to me recently while listening to a podcast that had nothing to do with parenting, yet offered crazy-powerful wisdom on the truth of good parenting skills!
I was so motivated and encouraged, that I want to share it with you!
I can’t even remember what made me choose THAT particular Podcast episode. I’d heard of Hal Elrod before, and I have been a fan of Jeff Goins for a few years, but I don’t particularly recall why or how I “picked” that episode, but I’m so glad I did.
It’s not always easy to articulate the amount of energy I’ve spent on parenting research and study or the way I feel and think about parenting, or what I believe it takes to raise great kids.
Which is why I was so moved as I sat and listened to Hal talk about his life. It was as though I could simply take a mirror, and reflect everything he had to say through a lens of parenting!
Patience, persistence, faith, consistency, follow-through, a right attitude, and sheer relentlessness were dripping from every word he spoke! And every one of those attributes (among others) is necessary to establish the good parenting skills you need to raise children who stand out and stand up in the world today.
The Truth About Good Parenting Skills
Good parenting skills often require intentionality to learn. They come more intuitively for some. However, even the most naturally maternal mama will need to scroll her better judgment from time to time.
For the mama who finds herself completely baffled, yet chooses to pursue good parenting skills relentlessly, she’ll find them when she approaches it with the same tenacity as Hal.
Good parenting skills are not gained by winging it. Good kids aren’t born; they are trained up by determined parents.
Humans educate themselves on every other subject, but for some reason, moms falsely think there is something wrong with them if they don’t know all the ins and outs of child development, and how to parent well and correctly without having to, actually, learn it!?
Reading the books, taking the courses, and learning the ropes of good parenting skills, makes you a good parent, not a bad one!
Cancer, Kitchen Knives, a Book, and Good Parenting Skills!
How Hal Beat Cancer, Met Impossible Goals and Sold Millions of Books
At one point in his life, Hal was diagnosed with rare cancer and given a mere 30% chance of survival.
His cancer was so aggressive and rare, the very best holistic doctors in the world told him he absolutely must do chemotherapy. So he decided to do both chemo and implement the miracle equation for himself.
His extraordinary effort to beat cancer consisted of 70 whole food supplements every day, juicing, acupuncture, perfectly clean diet, and much much more.
When Hal wrote his widely popular book, “The Miracle Morning, he knew it had the potential to change lives. But to do so, people had to read it. To read it, people had to buy it.
To make sure that he sold one million copies, he committed to promoting and advertising the book until it hit that goal. He told himself whether that took six months, or the rest of his life, he wouldn’t stop until it hit a million.
It took much longer than six months, but eventually, it sold a million. And in fact, at the time of the podcast recording had sold 1.7 million.
His philosophy is this, “I will put forth extraordinary effort until I get there, no matter how long it takes!”
While even I am willing to admit that this kind of effort is incredibly extreme, it does beckon me to wonder, what are we all capable of that we have never tapped into?
We approach the things we refuse to fail at, in this way. There’s just very little most people refuse to fail at — even life and death.
Hal’s approach is how I’ve embarked on parenting. I’ll gamble on (or have faith in) my kids one billion times without accepting or entertaining the possibility that it will be “Less Than.”
How long will it take to see the results we want when parenting our children?
What if it takes just 5 minutes longer than the point at which we quit?
Are we largely misunderstanding the effort required to accomplish something? Yes, most of the time we are.
Which Good Parenting Skills are Most Necessary for Success?
Skills are the ability to do something well or our expertise. Doing something well is different than just doing something. Anyone who’s ever provided half the DNA to make a child is technically a parent, that does not mean they have parenting skills. Yet, the skills are there to be had.
One of my favorite parenting, family, and child development experts, James Dobson says, “Good parenting is getting enough of the big things right!”
So what are those “big things?” Which good parenting skills do we, as parents, need to be certain we are giving extreme effort to?
Based on my experience and research, I have a list of good parenting skills, that I believe cannot be missed in order to connect with, train, and raise-up great kids!
While there are literally dozens of virtues, character traits, and attributes that will contribute to the skill at which you parent, let’s focus on what I call the Big Five!
7 Good Parenting Skills You Must Have to Parent Well
Consequences not completed are merely empty threats. No-one wants to threaten her child. Just typing that makes me cringe. The word “threat” alone brings with it a sense of fear. Yet, that’s exactly what we are doing when we put forth a consequence and do not follow through with it. Follow through, or don’t threaten it.
Much like lacking follow-through, a parent sets her child up for failure with inconsistent parenting. Deeming something unacceptable one day, then letting it slide the next creates confusion and frustration for kids.
Children are cars on the road, and your good parenting skills are the lines between which they stay. Without consistency, children will veer off the side and crash. Decide what’s what, and stick to it.
Self-control (also known as maturity)
I know this one sounds like common sense, but this good parenting skill is often missing in homes, and I know why. Every once in awhile, we start to question whether we are cut out for the task of parenting.
After all, we, as parents, are LARGELY responsible for the way a child turns out as an adult. That’s a mighty heavy burden to bear.
Unfortunately, when we question our ability, we end up justifying every little decision, action, or parenting choice we make, to our children (and others.)
Have you ever gotten off the train at explanation station? It’s an intensely frustrating place to be! You don’t have to explain yourself or have to have the last word. Understanding this will be a game-changer for parents who find themselves frustrated or yelling.
It’s far easier to be self-controlled when you haven’t exasperated yourself or your child with explanations, speeches, or lectures. Actions speak louder than words.
Kids have limited reasoning and great big development occurring at the same time! When we can put ourselves in our child’s shoes, and understand the developmental stage they are at, not only can we empathize, but we can better train and shape them through their development.
Educate yourself on the stage of development your child is in. Knowing WHY tantrums are frequent among toddlers and preschoolers will equip you with the good parenting skills and techniques you need to train behaviors alternative to outbursts.
By doing this, you are providing your child with necessary life skills, making his life more enjoyable, and setting yourself up for calm, confident parenting with FAR less behavioral battles!
The ONLY tool or good parenting skill you have at your disposal that will allow you to influence your child’s behavior, long term, is the relationship you have with him.
Whether your child comes to you with sensitive subjects as a teen, adopts your beliefs as your own, follows your advice as an adult, or enjoys being around you for the rest of his life comes down to how well you connect.
You do not have to be just alike or have similar interests to connect well. You need only be intentional. Correction without connection leads to conflict. If you desire your discipline and correction efforts to be effective, you HAVE to have a rock-solid connection!
People get weirded out by the word authority. I believe when people say authority, they picture a dictator in their minds. When, instead, what should be pictured is a powerful leader.
For instance, when I conjure up a picture of authority in my mind’s eye, I see a police officer running a scared child out of harm’s way. Or perhaps a business owner, coming to a team member’s defense when a customer gets irate.
Parenting authority is about leadership. The leaders make the rules, enforce the rules, and earn the respect of those under their authority with a servant-leader’s heart.
The art of being logical is an essential good parenting skill. Logic allows you to know that when your child needs firm correction, and you’ve established a secure relationship and trained her well… it’s OK if the correction doesn’t make her happy.
Being corrected doesn’t feel good. Not for kids. Not for adults. It’s necessary none the less. Be logical.
“A child who has not been disciplined with love by his little world will be disciplined without love by the great big world.”Zig Ziglar
A Few More Good Parenting Skills for Your Parenting Tool Belt
Traits such as patience, grace, steadfastness, and gentleness are all admirable skills to have. Most commendable qualities will fall under one of the seven that I’ve mentioned above. Master those, and you’ll find that you’ve covered pretty much everything else!
Practical Application of Good Parenting Skills.
To practically apply these parenting traits, consider how they would work in everyday situations.
Consistency + authority + empathy = toddler tantrum prevention.
Know that toddlers have a difficult time processing emotions and not getting their way. Set up an environment of loving authority, provide your soon to be toddler with the freedom to express herself calmly, and consistently follow-through with training. The more proactive a parent, the less number of outbursts!
Connection + authority + self-control = less teenage rebellion.
When teens are tightly tethered to their parents and have clearly defined behavioral expectations, they are less likely to rebel. They are woven into the family fibers, admire their parents, and desire to please them. Their parents are calm when they enforce the rules. Kind when they deliver consequences. And are undoubtedly the authority.
Different Children Need Different Parenting Skills
It’s no secret that children are as different as snowflakes, each with their own unique set of gifts, strengths, talents, and problematic behaviors.
You will find that while one child requires more resolute authority, another hungers for greater amounts of connection.
All the good parenting skills mentioned above are necessary, and all will be called upon when raising a child well. It IS, however, good and beneficial to adjust the level of each skill to the individual needs of a child.
The key here is to recognize what is universal and what can be flexible!
Good Parenting is a Marathon, Not a Sprint!
The miracle equation Hal mentions in this podcast, he calls, “Deceptive simple in its explanation, but it’s extraordinarily rare in its execution.”
This is 100% how it goes with good parenting. It’s easy for me to sit here and type all this out. The common sense and theory behind it all seem almost too simple!
Yet, sure as the sun will shine, there is a child (or billions of children) all over the place right now testing their parents resolve!
Which is why the last half of the quote above is what you and I, as parents, really need to pay attention to! “Rare in its Execution!”
While we may KNOW what to do, ONLY in actually doing it will we see exceptional results. Furthermore, ONLY in doing it with EXTRAORDINARY EFFORT (meaning determination and resolve) will you see results that truly set your family apart!