Are You the Parent You Want to BE?

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“When you see a good person, think of becoming like her/him. When you see someone not so good, reflect on your own weak points.”
― Confucius

Hi friends, I’m MegAnne- and I’m a parent coach. I help parents raising children of strong wills drink hot coffee, stop yelling, and truly enjoy parenting again. After working with parents for almost 3 years I am here to share with you the critical first step you must take if you’re wanting to achieve anything different than what you have right now.

(Note: This can be applied to ANY aspect of your life, but for right now I’m applying it in the terms of “the good parent”)

We all know the good parent. It’s the parent in our life that lives the life we want to live. Many times it might be the parent at the butt of your jokes. That’s because we tend to criticize that which we admire! No judgement- just an honest observation. I know that when I’m feeling stuck in my shame storm- it’s helpful to criticize the skinny runners I see out doing the thing I wish I had. It’s easier to judge them than to face that I’m not doing the thing I want to do to be that person as well.

It’s because it’s easier to stay the same. Lamenting over what I don’t have. Thinking that if I just buy the new pair of running shoes- then I’ll get back on the wagon and start running again.

Man, this blog got oddly personal real quick. Perhaps because I’m imagining the paid of white Nikes I purchased shortly after the Colin Kaepernick protest as a way to stand with Nike. (Typically, I buy New Balance, but man do I throwing money at people doing right in the world!)

Okay- so let me cut to the chase, those Nike’s are not getting worn. I haven’t broken them in, I have maybe run two miles in them, and that’s because I fell into the common mindset trap. The mindset trap that most of us face when wanting to change our life and do something different. That is the mindset of “HAVE-DO-BE”.

Let’s unpack this for a moment.

Wait- before I do- full credit of this framework goes to James Wedmore for teaching it to me over the summer! I went to a conference hosted by Tyler McCall and hearing him speak on this was a total gamechanger! So now I’ll share it with you, my friends!

TYPICAL MINDSET: HAVE-DO-BE

Have:

I need to get the thing until I change. In my case it was the shoes. In order to “be a runner” I felt I needed to buy the shoes. For the parents I work with they think they need the vacation, the new van, the new puppy, the weekend to finally be able to live the life they want to live. So they wait until they have the THING before deeming themselves good or a success.

DO:

“After I get the shoes then I’m going to run all the miles!” is the next step in this typical mindset. For parents it might be “then I’ll relax, enjoy my children, be calm, stop yelling.” The thought is that if only I could get this thing- then it will unlock some mystery level

I have also seen this in the field of college, work, or marriage. If I just get this degree I’ll be successful. If I just get this promotion then I’ll make enough money. If I can just get the husband then I’ll have the perfect life.

BE:

The final level is being the person you want to be! If I buy the shoes, I’ll run all the miles, and finally I’ll be the runner of my dreams! Or for parents perhaps it’s something like “If I take the vacation, then I’ll relax, and be the calm parent around my children” or “If I just wait until they’re older, I’ll be able to talk to them, and then we will have a close relationship.”

Now the FLAW in this thinking.

Thinking in this mindset keeps you running and wishing your life away. It’s what I refer to as the video game mentality. “If I just make it to this level then things will be better.” The only thing is that- where ever you go, there you are. So no matter what you’re waiting for to happen before taking action- chances are when that happens, you’ll be on to the next milestone.

This is the creation of parenting burn out. The constant keeping up with the Jones’ feeling that leaves us feeling unfulfilled by our already AMAZING and perfect family!

So instead let’s explore the inverted, and more effective frame work of BE-DO-HAVE

EFFECTIVE MINDSET: BE-DO-HAVE

Let’s explore what happens when we flip the model, shall we!

BE:

Let’s start by asking ourselves these questions: Who do I want to be? What qualities, traits, values does that person have? When I think of how I want to be described by people- mainly my family, what words do I want them to use?

MMMM…okay, for me and running- I want to be “disciplined” “active” “prepared” “excited” “motivated.” For the parents I commonly work with they might say things like “calm” “patient” “respectful” “kind” “together” “connected”.

What are your words? Write them down now!

DO:

Next, we take those words and write out what actions someone who exhibited those values would take. Let’s unpack one for me and one for my typical clients!

“Disciplined” I would write, this person would make it a priority, they would make the time, they would eliminate excuses about why now is not a good time to run, they would eat food that fuels them in a way to make them a strong runner.

“Patient” Perhaps this person would take a breath before yelling, wait to react when something happens, watch before inserting themselves to fix a problem, ask questions to get more information before yelling, go slow to anger.

Take your words and unpack them! What actions would that person take?

HAVE:

Now is the fun part- if you were taking those actions and being that person, what is the life you would have! AWWWWW! Yes!!!! This the motivating part! The consequence of taking the actions and being the person! What would be the life you have?

For me- I would feel confident in my abilities to run 5 miles no matter what. I would be proud of myself and my accomplishments and be living a life of activity and routines! Leaving plenty of time for 1:1 time with Jason, because he too loves to run, especially outside by the river!

Perhaps for the patient parent, they would be living the life of less chaos, less reactive yelling, and in return having a calm and peaceful home!

And the best part! You can start BEing that person today!!! Go back to the traits you wrote down for the BE! Start implementing those values in your everyday life. Then just allow the compound effect to take over and snowball you into living that dream life.

Big changes start by taking teeny tiny steps and celebrating each and every win!

To Recap- How to Be the Good Parent!

1: Write down what kind of parent you want to be? What’s a “good parent?”

2: What actions does the “good parent” take? Think in a 360 approach.

3: What kind of life will the “good parent” have when they do the things to be the person?

BONUS: Need some help? Time to reach out- that’s what I’m here for!

Looking to take the first step? I invite you to take my free parenting style quiz: How Kind if Your Family and learn what your parenting style is. Make sure to download the free guide and read through to learn your assets, liabilites and possible outcomes! But don’t fret- there are some next steps to take!

And a reminder- my positive parenting group coaching program: How to Build Your Kind Family opens it’s doors in July! Get on the wait list here!