Kristin, the oldest of our seven children and a member of the QBQ, Inc. team, knowing my “salesy” personality, coined a phrase a decade ago that still makes me chuckle. She said, “Just bump into my dad at any airport and pretend you don’t know him and he’ll give you a free book!”
So, a month ago I landed at her airport in Madison, Wisconsin where she and her two little ones greeted me. She immediately asked, “Do you have a copy of the parenting book on you!?” When I pulled one from my bag, she grabbed it and ran off to give it to a mom she’d just met five minutes earlier!
Like dad, like daughter. Call me proud.
Since the book came out, Karen and I have been interacting with moms and dads by email, growing our “Parenting the QBQ Way” Facebook page, selling books, and, of course, giving some away. It’s been fun!
Recently, I taught “PQW” to parents on staff at City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer care and research center located an hour north of Los Angeles. When preparing the content outline, we knew I could go many directions with the flow and design. In the end, we built the session on three foundational “PQW” principles. And they are …
Parenting is a learned skill
When moms and dads just “wing it” and don’t seek training to be the best parent they can be, the results they get may not be the results they hoped for when they chose the job. The truth is, we can all absorb new ideas, implement new practices, and form new habits—and when we do, both the parent and the child win.
Parents, keep learning!
My child is a product of my parenting
Meg highlights this key point in her review above. Good for her, because we know that some want to debate this. But Karen and I have found it’s easier to practice personal accountability in our parenting by not fighting this principle but instead grabbing hold of it. With this premise in place, any parent can become the outstanding mom or dad they wish to be. Any other approach is blame and, as Doug Coupland once said, “Blame is just a lazy person’s way of making sense of the chaos.”
And there might not be anything more chaotic than parenting.
Outstanding parents engage in strong parenting
Years ago there was a show on television called “Charles in Charge.” Many of today’s moms and dads probably watched it as kids. Sadly, there are parents now that could title their family “Child in Charge.” Not good.
The evidence that your child has become your boss is clear to everyone if:
- Your child constantly interrupts you when you’re chatting with other people.
- Your kid continues to whine, knowing that your “No” will eventually turn into a “Yes.”
- You make excuses for bad behavior like, “She’s tired!” to “He’s strong-willed!”
- When you tell your children not to do something, they do it anyway because your follow-through stinks.
- Your son or daughter is allowed to speak to you disrespectfully.
- Any penalties that you impose for misbehaving are lifted early or never enforced.
Outstanding parents demonstrate love for their child by not engaging in weak parenting. It takes both diligence and vigilance to be a strong, accountable mom or dad, but that’s okay because no parent had children to avoid work and inconvenience!
Be a strong parent.
So that’s what was shared with the City of Hope moms and dads, and, I must say, they were a terrific audience. If you know of a group that would benefit from the QBQ! parenting message, please let us know at [email protected].
Of the three “PQW” principles shared above, which one do I need to embrace right now and why?
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