Great parents are family leaders, not just managers of children and their behaviours and anxieties. Look at any parent who sees herself or himself as a leader and you'll notice they have these three behaviours in common:
1. They absorb children’s fears, insecurities and anxieties, and instil a sense of confidence that these can be overcome. Using a mixture of coaxing, coaching and cajoling they somehow find a way instil in their children a sense of courage to put themselves in new or potentially awkward social situations; to have a go at activities where failure is a real option; and to contribute to the well-being of others which reduces anxiousness and fear.
2. They accept that life is sometimes confusing for children and teenagers but they manage to convince them that they can cope and life will get better. This certainty provides hope, the antidote to confusion.
3. They mobilise their family to support each other; persuading often self-centred individuals to act for the common good. They inspire generosity not selfishness; giving rather than taking; and action (such as volunteering) that creates better futures.
Parenting, as an industry, has changed. It used to focused on child management. That is the focus for many ‘experts’ and newbies to the scene, who don’t see the bigger picture.
But great parenting is more about family leadership than merely focusing on child management. Great leaders offer confidence, certainty and direction.
That’s exactly what parents who are leaders offer their children too!
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