The three magic words that will transform your parenting success are:
Creative, flexible and imaginative - and the beauty is that they are virtually interchangeable! If you are creative, you can think of alternative and different ways to work around your family ups and downs and problems and these new ways always work with your own skills and they naturally feel right and reflect your values.
If you are flexible, you are able and willing to change and modify your plans and your behaviour as you just adjust to new circumstances and needs easily. If you are imaginative, you use the power of your imagination to see how you’d like things to look and you focus on making them happen in your family relationships through constantly visualising successful outcomes for everyone.
The key to all three words is your willingness to experiment, be curious and to be up for “having a go” with new approaches and fresh solutions. When you have these qualities, you will bend and not break when challenges arise.
It’s like being grounded, firm, secure, anchored and tethered to the ground like the roots of a very old wise oak tree so when a storm comes the tree bends in the fierce wind but doesn’t break. Parenting is like being that very old wise oak tree able to withstand the ups and downs and storms of family life whether it’s being grounded for your toddler or your teen!
All successful parents have triumphed by using their imagination and their flexibility. They have experimented with new techniques and strategies that often seemed unusual, outlandish or different at the time. The thing that makes them different is that they are always willing to try something new.
As Einstein said “The definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
Successful parents fail but they fail forward – learning from their mistakes but never feeling regret or blaming themselves unduly. They just pick themselves up and look at what they have learnt from the experience. Each time they simply abandon what didn’t work, revised their techniques or strategies, and continue to look for what will work – staying positive and focused on what they want to see happen.
They are flexible and wise enough to learn from other people's mistakes and successes too and to adapt them to their own family relationships. They copy what works! So why not choose to be unstoppable and be curious to have a go at new and different ways to bring up your happy, confident, well balanced adult – today’s child but tomorrow’s future!