The 5 Cs of Strong Parenting (don’t be a weak parent!)


“You don’t really have 7 kids, do you?!”

Yep, we sure do. When Karen and I married in 1980, having seven children was not the plan. Actually, there was no plan.

It’s been a wonderful ride, though, and with “the kids” now 36-years-old down to 21, we’ve learned a bunch. In fact, we’ve even formed some firm opinions. ?

What We Have Learned About Parenting

One steadfast belief we hold is this: STRONG parenting beats WEAK parenting.

Our parenting years began in 1983 and have coincided with a world of change in the world. Everything from “participation trophies” to increased entitlement and victim thinking to college-age students needing “safe spaces” so they’re not offended. There’s simply been a ton of societal change.

Much of it working against parents who want to raise accountable kids.

Children have always needed strong parenting, but more than ever, modern-day moms and dads are the salmon swimming upstream against a cultural current that fails to promote the core tenet of the QBQ! book:

Personal Accountability.

So, when Penguin Random House (publisher of our books) asked Karen and me to create a parenting book based on the principle of Personal Accountability, we were thrilled.

Hence, the Raising Accountable Kids book was born and with it our “RAK” Facebook page.

What We Can Share With You

Recently, Sally submitted this question on RAK Facebook:

“Our 12-yr-old daughter is challenging us big time. No matter what we do, she continues to rebel and not listen to us. I’m not sure what we’re doing wrong. Can you give us any help?”

Based on Mom’s question, we shared the material below. This might not apply for you right now, but we suggest keeping it handy just in case … or share this blog with someone who needs it today!

5 Cs of Strong Parenting

1. CLARIFY: Ensure your child knows the specific unacceptable behavior that concerns you which must cease. Leave NO doubt.

2. CONSEQUENCES: Define in YOUR mind the action you will engage in—what you plan to do and enforce if/when your child goes off-track.

3. COMMUNICATE: Make certain the child understands the consequences that WILL BE enacted if s/he engages in the clearly identified unacceptable behavior.

4. COURAGE: Possess and show the strength and nerve to follow through to implement the consequences—even if/when INCONVENIENT for you!

5. CONSISTENCY: Be boringly predictable so the child knows you will absolutely NOT WAVER and will always do what you say you’ll do.

We trust you will implement the “5 Cs” where and when you need them as you build responsible children. Remember, strong parenting beats weak parenting …

Every. Single. Time.

So, which of our “5 Cs” do you need to work on most? Comment away!

Join our Raising Accountable Kids Facebook page, give us a Like, and dive into the discussions!

Perfect for individual, couples, or group learning, grab Raising Accountable Kids books here!


6 Responses

  1. While I agree with what you say here, there is a huge part missing that goes with being a strong parent.

    Teaching. Many children react to things based on the way their brain is wired. As parents we need to teach/reteach/model/discuss proper responses or actions in situations. We cannot assume a child will know what the right decision to make is. I believe there should be consequences for actions, but without remediation and teaching of what proper actions should be, consequences alone will typically not change future behavior. Bottom line…executive functioning.

  2. John, As always, thanks for the great blog. I would suggest two more C’s to your list, Compassion and Caring. The idea of caring relates to the fact that people, including kids, are much more likely to accept and embrace some difficult but needed changes IF they realize that we are enforcing the 5 c’s out of our love for them–we know that in the long term, this will benefit their life. To this I would also add that exercising the five C’s requires compassion or a deep understanding by us “adults” that we “get it”, that growing up and maturing is hard work and requires many sacrifices. Our ability to exercise our compassion helps us to better present the 5 C’s in a more thoughtful and understanding manner. JIm

  3. Yes! I often tell my daughter (13) that she may not like it but it is about being a strong parent. That anchors her and gives her security.
    I have noticed that I need to change my style as she exercises her decision making.
    I explain why I sometimes continue to “tell” even when she does not want me to (and is very vocal about that!)
    And then.
    Our conversations return to calm conversations and debate.
    Trust me.
    This is not always easy! Please tell me I am not the only parent in the world who self-administers time outs and retreats to a small, lockable room!
    Oh, and humour is often a way out of deadlock but we try not to over-use that one.

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