Are we striving for greatness at home?
Climb the corporate ladder. Grab the brass ring. It’s our goal at work.
If you tried to get a promotion with your children, would they give you one?
What about at home? If you tried to get a promotion with your children, would they give you one? It’s an imperfect analogy, an apples and oranges comparison. And yet, it could be useful.
If our performance slips at work, there are ways we’ll learn about it. At home, it isn’t as clear. It’s a good reason for thoughtful parents to consider where they currently stand. “Would I earn a promotion with my kids, based on my current performance with them?”
It doesn’t put our kids in charge
The analogy of getting a promotion with your kids is a specific one. It isn’t to say, your kids should be the boss at home. It’s to offer parents a new way of thinking about their progress as parents.
It isn’t to say, your kids should be the boss at home.
Who eats a promotion at work? Ideally, it’s the person who serves the company and the customer and makes everyone better. Who gets stuck and can’t advance. Usually, it’s the one who fails to show up.
We may fall down on the parenting job, at times. And yet, we’re not suggesting that you ask your kids for a progress report. Kids aren’t equipped to evaluate their parents. We need to monitor our own performance. Below are ways how.
Contradictory parenting advice
Some may take offense at the suggestion, they may need a promotion at home. Parents today work hard. Two-income households are the norm. If our kids are fed, sheltered, and protected, should we really worry about scoring bonus points?
For advice in these matters, parents once looked to the experts. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of contradictory information out there. Some say it isn’t even necessary to spend quality time with your children. Others believe it’s still important.
… the data is saying, “It’s OK to be busier.” Do we believe it?
As parents become busier, the data is saying, “It’s OK to be busier.” Do we believe it? Do we think our kids are fine, even if we’re at home less often? Involved less often?
How to get a promotion with your children
Many parents accept it as a fact. Close parenting is better parenting. To “get a promotion with your children” would mean, your kids are experiencing that close bond. Your children are thriving.
Great parenting makes children feel:
How can you get a promotion with your children? For the sake of argument, how do you seek a promotion at work?
Read body language
We’re encouraged by experts to give off confident body language at work. However, body language isn’t all about us. We can also “read” how others react to us. Including our children at home. How are they when we speak to them?
There are obvious reactions. You say hello and your child scowls. Something’s wrong. There are more subtle cues as well. Looking down or away. Curling the side of the mouth. Deflated shoulders. Is it simply a phase the child is going through? Or, is there a deeper problem with how we’re being perceived?
It will help us to identify unspoken issues.
It’s an everlasting complaint about parents. We see a situation generally as one-sided. When we take the time to size up our child’s body language, we show a great deal of respect for our child as a person. It will help us to identify unspoken issues.
Have a yes attitude
THere’s power in the word yes. If we’re looking for a promotion at work, we embrace it. As parents, we guard our use of the word yes. We don’t want to indulge our children. Or, we could disappoint them if we have to say no later.
A yes attitude is engaging the desire behind the child’s want …
A yes attitude isn’t handing out yes’s to our children to make them happy. It isn’t being a yes man. A yes attitude is engaging the desire behind the child’s want or need. It’s about finding something to say yes to when our child comes to us.
Parents who approach a child’s needs positively will increase the child’s self-confidence and self-worth. It’s easier to cut to the chase and say no. There could be a yes hidden within the request if we dig deeper and find out the context.
Be proactive about opportunities
When you want a promotion, we’re told to be a “go-getter.” As parents, we’re fired up when our children are newborns. We think ahead to our baby’s every want and need. It gives us great joy to serve our helpless little babe 24/7.
They get older. We get busier. We begin waiting for our kids to come to us with requests. If our kids don’t speak up, we assume they’re happy and satisfied. They may very well be. Still, it’s better to proactively look for ways to connect by thinking ahead.
Being proactive is a great way to show love.
An impromptu trip to the zoo. Helping them get ready for a school event. Inviting them to the grocery store to buy their favorite foods. Being proactive is a great way to show love. Our thoughtfulness can also teach our children to be thoughtful.
Always follow through
It’s a winning trait in business, to follow through on your word. Reliable people gain our trust. They show integrity, which is in short supply. Reliability is a trait that parents universally want to pass along to their children.
The problem lies in expecting our children to give us a pass …
It goes without saying, we should model these traits ourselves. We know when we don’t. The problem lies in expecting our children to give us a pass when we don’t follow through for them. In this way, we take our kids for granted.
At work, we have a short leash on making mistakes. We can’t appear to be flaky and unreliable. Can we acknowledge the same holds true at home? Children are insightful. They’ll slowly stop relying on us if we lack regular follow-through.
Ask for feedback
“What do you think?” A person who wants a promotion says this often. You can’t afford to live in a silo. You may be the most dynamic, selfless person, but it isn’t enough. Those involved want to be invited to give feedback on your plans.
Some parents take a “my way or the highway” approach.
The same is true within families. Some parents take a “my way or the highway” approach. Their kids may toe the line. The parent believes everything’s fine. And yet, e parent doesn’t know who their children are or what they want.
Parents who embrace feedback show trust in their kids. The family grows together.
Don’t rest on your laurels
You’re in line for a promotion at work. It goes to someone else. You realize you slowed your pace. You thought your reputation would carry you through. It’s a natural response to success. To think we have the situation covered.
It can happen at home. Parents forget a close relationship with their children. Then the routine changes. The parent gets busier. As parents, we believe our relationship is the same. It can be hard for our child to convince us otherwise.
Our job is to nurture our kids to adulthood.
We should routinely evaluate the time we make for our kids. What are their needs? Are we on autopilot, trying to meet the needs they used to have? Our job is to nurture our kids to adulthood. To do it well, we can’t take too many days off.
Work-life and home life are thankfully very different. And yet, work sharpens us. Gets us focused. At work, we think about how to achieve what’s important. Work inspires us to follow best practices and review our performance regularly.
This little idea has its limits, of course. Our kids aren’t in charge. Parents are. You decide what’s needed to keep your relationship growing. Viewing the family routine in a new way can shake things up a little. Spur some new ideas.
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This post first appeared at The Joyful Father.