If you are wondering how, with all your life experience and business skills, your family came to be run by your children, this article is for you.
Here is the scenario. In your non-parent life, you run a company, manage a team of people, take care of home finances, plan events, do important volunteer work, make investment decisions, and have other seriously impactful responsibilities. The adults you interact with listen to what you have to say and even ask for your advice.
So how is it that the leadership of your household is held by your children? These young people don't often listen and have little patience for your guidance. You may have even been the recipient of the dreaded eye roll. Negotiation is the one business skill these children do have. These PICs are master negotiators whose superpower is stamina. They endlessly question you (“Why, why, why”), beg you (“Please, please, please''), and upset you (with crying and tantrums) in order to keep their position.
The development of these PICs came slowly. You, like all parents, wanted your children to be happy. At first, it was simple to ease their unhappiness. As they grew, so did their demands and you found yourself stuck in your desire to keep them happy. It is now your default and it is exhausting.
In the interest of self-preservation, parents must reclaim their roles as PICs of the family. For their part, the children need to understand that they are trainees. You can start by using the same skills you already use in your non-parent life.
Vision: Articulate 3 core values that your family stands by such as Respect, Kindness, Self-Sufficiency, Education, Responsibility, etc…_
Mission: Take charge of the family and lead with clear expectations and procedures for follow-through to create a peaceful home with plenty of fun.
Action Plan: Choose one or two of your children’s behaviors that are most in need of a change of leadership. I’d say whining and crying when they don’t get what they want are on the top of the “Most Destabilizing” list.
Then decide on the action, such as the children’s wants and needs will only be considered by the real PICs when the whining or crying stop.
Team Meeting: Have a family meeting to explain the new plan. This meeting should not be longer that the child’s age: 5 minutes for a 5-year-old child, etc
Explain that you, the parents, have devised an action plan. From now, you will only consider* a want or need if it is communicated respectfully and kindly. Whining and crying are not respectful or kind. This is important, as it ties the undesired behavior to your core family values and teaches the children to see a big picture of what it means to be a member of a family.
*Notice the word consider means you’ll think about it, not automatically give in.
Debrief: Meet again in a couple of days or a week. Discuss what worked, what the benefits were, and what adjustments need to be made. Hold weekly meetings until the Action Plan becomes the default.
Give this change time to take hold. Once it does, choose the next behavior on the “Most Destabilizing” list and start again from the Action Plan.
Result: Congratulations! You are now your family’s PICs!
Job Benefits: Include and are not limited to more peace in the home and more time for fun.
If you want personalized Professional Development AKA parenting support, send me an email. email@example.com