Before I had kids, I felt pretty certain I had parenting figured out.
Just be consistent. It’s all about consistency.
Don’t let them watch too much tv.
Send them to public school. They’ll be prepared for anything.
Sports. They need to play a sport. Sports will get them ready for life.
Parenting should be no problem.
Even more embarrassing to admit is that I’d never babysat, and I didn’t have younger siblings. So I had absolutely no experience with kids.
So I’m not sure where all of my parenting confidence (a nicer word than arrogance) came from.
As you can guess, I was humbled before I even left the hospital with kid #1.
Nothing was as I’d expected, and none of my theories were remotely helpful when things got tough.
Even for parents with prior experience with kids, we’re all thrown into the deep end. And there’s no formula.
So parents do their best to create a formula.
Some parents set out to raise their kids however they were raised in terms of rules, discipline, standards, and interventions.
Some parents very specifically do the EXACT OPPOSITE of how they were raised. If their parents were strict, they’ll deliberately create a more lenient approach to parenting.
For some parents, it’s all about ensuring their kids like them.
But life never cooperates with our plans. Even if we create a formula that works, there’s a point at which it doesn’t work. Maybe a lot of points.
And that’s where the magic happens.
When human beings are forced to throw out their ideas, their formulas, and their plans, they tap into something big.
This is the space where people feel the most alive in other areas – when they cook, create music, compete in a sport, innovate and problem-solve at work – connecting to the creative process is where we do our best.
And outside of parenting, people love that space, trust it, and use it regularly.
But in parenting, it’s a last resort. Which I find fascinating.
For me, the best part of parenting was discovering, and showing my clients, how that’s a source of power we can draw on intentionally, and more often.
We can get good at it, like getting good at improvising in the kitchen.
As a parent, dropping into the unknown, putting away your playbook, and calling on the creative process is like having an extra parent show up (the helpful, reliable kind).
When parents drop into a creative space, they get more than just a fresh set of ideas. Parents that spend more time in a creative space draw out the more mature, reasonable side of their kids, they get more connection with their kids, and they spend more time being present and lucid versus reactive and tight.
Parenting is notoriously one of the hardest things to do, but it also pushes us to discover resources inside us like this.
That’s one of the topics of today's podcast interview with my colleague Jason Shiers.
To listen, click here or below. You'll be taken to this episode on Jason's podcast page.
To learn more about Jason, his work, or listen to more of his podcast episodes, click here.