Strong parents raise strong kids. 8 traits of strong parents:
I’m not a scientist or an academic. I’m a father. And an observer. There’s nothing that matters more to me than being a parent. I want to be great at it. I want to be strong. So I study other parents I admire and aspire to emulate. Here’s what I’ve seen:
Strong Parents Focus On Themselves No, I don’t mean they’re selfish or self-absorbed at the expense of their kids. Quite the opposite. Strong parents recognize that the growth and maturity of their kids, Will be enabled (or limited) by their own continued growth and maturity.
There’s a book titled: “How Children Raise Parents.” Nothing could be more true. Parenting continually invites you to grow as a person. Strong parents accept that invitation. You can’t afford to forget – Who you are becoming is just as important as who your kids become.
Strong Parents Know Their Story A mentor once gave me this advice: “The greatest gift you can give your children is to heal your childhood.” Each of us has a complicated relationship with our own childhood. And nothing brings it to the surface like parenting.
As your kids grow and develop, it takes you back into your story. You can try to outrun, ignore, dismiss, overlook, minimize, or deny it. But strong parents stand and face it. And seek healing. You can’t fully love your own kids until you come to love the kid inside you.
Strong Parents Have Strong Relationships Broken relationships are like a tapeworm constantly feeding on your relational capacity. They inhibit your ability to give yourself to others, including your children. Strong parents recognize this, And fight for strong relationships.
Your most important relationship is with your spouse or partner. Protect it. Do the work. Fight for it. And don’t neglect other critical relationships: – Family relationships – Friend relationships – Faith relationships It’s rare to find a strong parent without them.
Strong Parents Think Long Term The greatest discovery I’ve made about parenting is that it’s a long game. Having the best 4 year old doesn’t mean much if they end up bottoming out by 40. Thinking long-term about your child’s development changes what you do in the short term.
The strongest parents I’ve found rarely focus on right now. They weigh their actions and interactions with their kids, Carefully considering the long-term impact. They accept some short-term losses, headaches, and pain, To help their kids win in the long run.
Strong Parents Have Older Mentors There’s a common link between all the parents I admire. They all have mentors. Strong parents crave outside input. Especially from people who are 20 to 30 years ahead of them. Simply put, they all love older people.
We live in an era where we are dismissive of those from generations ahead of us, Labeling them as out of touch, irrelevant. But this is to our detriment. The wisdom and perspective of someone who’s been there before, Shapes the path to becoming the parent you want to be.
Strong Parents Discipline Why Over What When my kids were young, I overheard another parent correcting their child. What they said caught me by surprise: “I care less about what you did, And more about why you did it.” Strong parents are concerned with why rather than what.
If you focus solely on behavior, you completely miss the bigger picture. You may teach rote obedience and outward compliance, But you never shape what matters most – The motive behind the action. Strong parents want their kids to do the right things for the right reasons.
Strong Parents See Their Kids As People The strongest parents I know aren’t losing sleep about their kid’s GPA or future career. They have nothing wrapped up in their child’s athletic or intellectual ability. They see their children as people – not problems or projects.
Strong parents treat their kids with dignity and honor their humanity. Rather than trying to change who their kids are, They smile and express their delight in it. They are driven by a profound conviction: When you’re parenting, you’re shaping a life, not a resume.
Strong Parents Are Strong People Each and every strong parent I’ve seen is also a strong person. They don’t shy away from responsibility. They’re willing to wade into conflict when required. They’re resilient, disciplined, focused. And they offer that strength to others.
Ironically, every strong parent I know doesn’t think they’re a strong person. They see their flaws, limitations, failures, and shortcomings clearly. And they aren’t afraid to admit them. They are shining examples of a simple truth: Humility is always your greatest strength.
Since it’s Mother’s Day in the U.S., It’s fitting to close by expressing my love for two of the strongest parents I’ve ever known: Cynthia, my mother. And Caroline, my wife. Each has shaped me as a man and a father in immeasurable ways. I dearly love you both. ❤️
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