Ever wonder why some kids grow up and love doing things with their parents? They go on shopping trips, fishing trips, etc. while other kids grow up and have a strained relationship with their parents? The answer is influence...
Good parenting isn't about a bunch of 'how-to's' or 'positive attitudes'. Good parenting isn't about buying your children things or even spending quality time with them. It's 100% about influence.
Influence is the road unto which you drive on to deliver great information in a meaningful way to your child that persuades them to be, to think, to do, or to act a certain way. Influence is the spoon that delivers the cereal to your mouth. It's the syringe that allows the medication to enter your body.
Good parenting is far less about saying craft phrases in the exact right way at the exact right time. It's about the ease of access you have to your child's heart to actually shape their thinking (influence). If you have a clear path to your child's heart you can become the strongest influence in their life. AND THE STRONGEST INFLUENCE IN THE LIFE OF YOUR CHILD WINS!
Your children get hit with literally thousands of ideas and concepts that are constantly vying to occupy their thoughts, transform their worldviews, and re-tool their morality to things you may not agree with. Between the Youtube stars, celebrities, and the billion dollar companies who hire the best in the world to craft message to aim at your child's heart, it can be an uphill battle to become the strongest influence. So let's talk about 3 things you can do to become the strongest influence in the life of your child and WIN.
Step 1: PLAN. Most parents do not spend anytime in a "time of non-conflict" planning on what they with do if this happens, or if that happens. Most parents aren't even on the same page about what should happen in a given situation. A time of non conflict means not trying to figure out how to parent when you're smack dab in the middle of a big to-do with your child. Plan a date night with your spouse, bring paper and pens, and plan out your parenting goals and what you'd like to see happen in the given scenarios.
Then when you walk into an unclean room, a full garbage can, or your child on the computer when they shouldn't be you already know what you're going to do and you simply execute the plan.
Step 2: TALK. Once you have a plan of what you'd like to see happen, begin to have meaningful conversations with your child about them. Most parents parent like a police officer. When you see a police officer and his dark blue uniform, dark police sunglasses, and maybe the flashing red lights you know this is going to be a formal interaction with an officer of the law and a law breaking citizen.
In contrast, come to your child like an undercover police officer. You still have the same gun, badge, and authority....you just don't LEAD with it! More importantly you blend in and become relate-able and relevant in their life. At this point you are just 2 people having a relationship and not interacting in your formal positions. This is called Direct Influence.
Step 3: Culture. Now take everything you've planned and explained to your child and create those things as culture in your home. These things become the identity and culture of how your home operates. Everything do comes back to this culture. You home becomes a place not only where your children want to be (because they feel is a relocatable and relevant place to be) and their friends want to be as well. When you control the culture of your child's friends then you have neutralized the biggest influencing 'threat' in your child's life.
And when you can begin to influence not only your own children but their friends as well, your job as a parent is 95% under control. It almost becomes cheating when you reach influencer status. Your kids will actually WANT to do the good you're trying to teach them just like they (and you) do with their favorite online personalities.
At the end of the day when they are all grown up and you can't ground them or take away their phone or put them in time-out you'll be left with one thing...YOUR INFLUENCE. Focus on that now and watch your home transform quickly!
For more information about becoming the strongest influence in the life of your child you can find us on Youtube!
- Brad Zude