Growing up, I frequently heard the terms “a can-do attitude” versus a “can’t-do attitude”. You probably say something similar to your kids to encourage their mentality when trying a difficult task.
Did you know that parenting requires the same motivation? Raising a child well is one of the most difficult tasks you can possibly undertake. Your mindset makes a huge difference in the execution of that task.
You have to have a mindset of success in parenting.
There will be days when being a parent is discouraging.
Maybe your child is doing that thing you’ve told them not to do a hundred times.
Maybe you forgot the snacks, the stroller broke, and it started raining while you were at the park.
Maybe your spouse is being less than cooperative.
Having a mindset of success means looking at the bigger picture, and knowing that even if you experience setbacks, you will eventually succeed at raising a thriving child to become a competent adult.
What happens if you choose not to have a mindset of success?
Would you like your boss to be running the company based on the idea that it will fail? Based on the idea that maybe it will achieve mediocrity?
We need leaders to have a can-do attitude, striving for the best and expecting success. Your children need a leader who expects success and works hard to make it happen.
If you don’t expect success, you won’t try as hard. If you don’t expect success, you will settle for less than the best. Your children deserve the best out of you. They deserve to know that you are trying your hardest to be a good parent and a good example for them.
And we know that children follow our example. When they see you refusing to be discouraged, but instead focusing on your parenting goals and expecting success, they will be more likely to adopt a similar mindset.
We live in a culture fraught with anxiety over raising children. There are so many different ideas out there. Positive parenting, authoritative parenting, helicopter parenting, instinctive, attachment… How do you know that you’re doing the right thing?
According to Forbes Magazine, your attitude is a better indicator of success than your IQ is! This is certainly true in parenting. Maintaining a positive attitude and trying your best will get you further than knowing every trick in the book.
An expectation of success will keep the family moving forward: learning new things, improving relationships, trying out activities, going on adventures… It takes the fear and anxiety out of parenting. That nagging feeling of “Maybe I’m doing something wrong and my children won’t turn out right”. Get rid of that. You don’t need it.
The reality is that different parenting styles work best for different parents and different children. While there may certainly be some ideas that are better than others, consistency is more important. Switching between different styles will confuse your children more than help them. Make your decisions, make sure the child is aware of your expectations, and go forward with the attitude that you are a competent parent and your child will be alright.
Sure, you’ll tweak here and there. You’ll notice what works and what doesn’t. But never revamp out of fear. Any change you make should be with the ultimate goal of success.
I’m a Christian, and I believe that 1 Timothy 1:7 is just as applicable in parenting as it is in any other context:
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (NIV)
I don’t believe that God desires anything less than success in raising our children.
You should not accept anything less than success in raising your children.