While many talk about leaving a better world to our children, accountable parents work to leave better children to the world.
One thing I’ve learned writing a bunch of books is this: Every book has typos.
Some mistakes don’t matter much, as we can still understand the author’s meaning—even when there are two in one sentence! Example:
“The theif couldn’t climb the fence while wayed down by the gold coins.”
But some mistakes change the writer’s entire message, like the one we found in our Parenting the QBQ Way book. If you have a copy of the book, follow along …
Here’s what is printed on the upper half of page 3:
Since this book is focused on personal accountability in parenting, we prefer to encourage all dads and moms—including ourselves—to look beyond how we parent for reasons why our children think, feel, or act the way they do.
Here’s how it should have been printed:
Since this book is focused on personal accountability in parenting, we prefer to encourage all dads and moms—including ourselves—to NOT look beyond how we parent for reasons why our children think, feel, or act the way they do.
Yep, the word “not” is not there, somehow deleted in the proofing/editing process. One little word, one big difference. Ouch.
To this author, it’s a big deal because the core message of our parenting book is this:
My child is a product of my parenting.
I’m accountable for what he or she is becoming.
Outstanding parents don’t blame external factors. Rather, they look in the mirror asking The Question Behind the Question—or QBQs—like, “How can I learn new parenting skills?” and “What can I do to change my approach?”
But what’s most bothersome about our page 3 mistake is the way it’s written now is actually socially acceptable for many. So often, when a child is “acting out,” the mom or dad is NOT thinking, Huh. My bad. I need to alter the way I’m parenting.
More likely, these are the thoughts:
- She’s just like her sister.
- He’s strong-willed, you know.
- She picked up that bad habit at daycare.
- Television is a terrible influence!
- His friends are a terrible influence!
- Teachers and youth leaders aren’t doing their job.
- Hollywood, politicians, celebrities, and star athletes set lousy examples!!!
Personal accountability in parenting is no different than personal accountability in life.
I recently keynoted a conference of 600 franchisees. When the organization’s president and I talked by phone before he booked me, he said, “John, I haven’t read QBQ! yet. Can you sum up your message in a few words?”
I said, “Yes, I certainly can. ‘No excuses. I own the results!’”
He hired me.
See, when running a franchise of any kind where the desired results are NOT there, a weak franchisee blames the “lack of advertising,” his or her store location, the employees, competitor pricing, and/or the economy.
But the strong, accountable owner doesn’t go there. What you hear this person say is, “I own the results!”
That’s what strong, accountable parents say, too. They simply don’t buy into society’s current mantra that nothing is ever anyone’s fault. They ask QBQs such as, “How can I improve?” and “What can I do to solve the problem?”
Just like I am completely accountable—after proofing the manuscript a dozen times—for the error on page 3 of the “PQW” book!
So, please, don’t let my writing mistake become your parenting mistake. Put accountability into action by … NOT looking beyond yourself for why your child thinks, feels, or acts the way he or she does.
That’s what outstanding parents do to raise great kids.
What excuses have you heard dads and moms make about why their kids “think, feel, or act” the way they do? Have you made any parenting excuses? If so, give us an example!
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