This week’s best life parenting tip is to Parent With The End In Mind.
Companies, universities, schools, sports teams and more have mission statements, values and goals. Their mission statements and values guide them in every decision they make (or at least they’re supposed to!).
So why is it that most parents don’t have a parenting mission statement or goals? What job is more important than raising our children.
Parenting with the end in mind helps us get clear on what our mission is as parents. Then, we can weigh decisions against this and make sure that they’re in line with this vision.
Parenting with the end in mind helps us be the best parents we can be…..
Today’s video is all about how to be the best parent you can be by parenting with the end in mind. I’m Cheri Fogarty, founder of the Habit Gratitude Blueprint and the Best Life Blueprint For Busy Families and author of How to Get Happier and More Grateful Children in Just 21 Days, No Matter How Busy You Are Or Your Family Is.
What do I mean by parenting with the end in mind, and how is that going to make you a great parent? Think about this for a minute. If you work for a company or an organization or every school, or college, they all have mission statements. They all have an end in mind. They all have something they’re working towards, right? If they didn’t, they would just be going day by day, right?
They have mission statements. They have values and priorities and goals. As parents, being a parent is one of the most important jobs, if not the most important job in the world. What we do, what we teach our children and the values we impart are doing nothing short of shaping the future of the world because our children are the future. The world that we are going to live in and that they’re going to live in and that our future grandchildren are going to live in is shaped by what we teach our children as parents now, today. Most of us, however, are going day to day. We don’t look at parenting the same way we look at running a company. We may have an idea clearly of what’s important to us, what our family values are, where we’re going but we haven’t made a parenting plan so to speak.
We haven’t put all of that thinking into action into a concrete plan that we can use on a daily basis. That plan is a topic for another time, but it goes hand in hand with parenting with the end in mind. What do I mean specifically by that? Everything I do as a parent is based on a quote that I always say, you’ve probably heard me talk about before, and that I paraphrase from Goethe although it’s been attributed to other people as well, but the paraphrased version is, “There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots, the other wings.”
The wings portion is what I mean by parenting with the end in mind, to get them … What is our goal as a parent? What is the end result we want for our children? For me, I want my children to live meaningful and purposeful lives, filled with love, happiness and fulfillment, to have everything they want to have, be everything they want to do, be everything they want to be, and do everything they want to do based on what’s most important to them and continue growing as people and as human beings. I call that living their best lives, designing and creating and living their best lives. What it means for you is different. You can take that definition and use it as a framework or you can make up your own. That’s what I do for everything.
That to me is the wings so that my kids can soar, that that’s my end result, so that when I’m ninety or a hundred, however old I am, I can look back and say, “I inspired, motivated and empowered my children to design, create and live their best lives.” Bumps along the way, mistakes and failures, bad parenting days and moments aside, I always have that end result in mind. Now how I get there is the roots part, it’s through the best life lessons and character development, all of the things that I taught my children for years and continue to teach them. There’s a lot in-between there.
I always parent with the end in mind, what end result I want. I want independent, capable children with self-esteem and self-confidence that are resilient and determined and dream big and live boldly and reach for the stars and can take chances and be okay with mistakes and failures and learn from them and do better the next time, who have humility, who have wisdom, who have personal responsibility for themselves and their choices, who have integrity and who are grateful first and foremost, who are grateful and appreciative each and every day as much as possible.
Who have love in their lives. They love what they do and they do what they love and that they have meaningful connections with others, that they’re good citizens, that they know and use and understand the power of positive thinking, that they also, while they live boldly, know how to be present, that they go with the flow but that they also live with passion. All of these lessons and more are what I teach my children, so no matter what else is going on, and this is how it helps you be a good parent because you’re teaching your children what’s most important and you’re doing it consciously because you have two choices as a parent.
You can let the crazy business of everyday life, and believe me, I’m as busy, if not busier than anyone I know and so are my kids, right. We’re all busy. I get it. That’s one of the biggest obstacles to good parenting nowadays is just being so busy, so stressed, so overwhelmed, having information overload because even, not even knowing what to do or where to start, those are all obstacles to teaching these things to our children. I get it. I’m a real mom in the real world, just like you. I have four very busy children and I have a very busy life of my own. But before my children were born, I started parenting with the end in mind, so that no matter what else is going on, I make sure that I’m teaching these best life lessons each and every opportunity I get and that I’m finding opportunities to teach them.
Are some days better than others? Absolutely. Are some days really not great? Of course. That’s the real world. Am I always a good parent? No. I don’t know anyone who is except maybe my mom. My mom was the best mother ever. I can’t imagine a better mom, and because I was nothing like her as a person, I decided I’d teach this to my children this way. That’s just not the real world. We have ups and downs as parents. Our kids have ups and downs, but I’ll tell you what, because I always parent with the end in mind and because I know I’m teaching my kids what’s most important, even on those bad days that I roll my head and …
Fortunately they’re fewer and farther between now as they’ve gotten older and I’ve gotten calmer and I’ve grown as a person and as a parent, but even on those bad days, they were okay because I knew in the end the good, what I was teaching my kids, far outweighed the bad or those bad days or those bad moments. When you’re parenting with the end in mind, when you know you’re teaching them what’s most important, you can stay the course, you don’t get as frustrated, and that also you’re able to prioritize things because honestly with everything we have going on today and our kids have going on, it’s not bringing most of us much happiness.
It’s bringing us stress and overwhelm and it’s bringing that to our children as well. The other thing with parenting with the end in mind, if you have your goals, your values, your priorities, you can weigh each decision based on that, right? That’s what companies do. “Is it in line with our mission, with our overall purpose?” If it isn’t, they don’t do it usually, right? If it’s not in their best interest or their shareholder’s or client’s best interest, they don’t do it. Our children are our best interest so we need to be weighing some of these decisions, some of these things we keep adding to our already too long to-do list, against the end result, parenting with the end in mind.
Are these going to help us teach our children to design, create and live their best lives? Is it helping us design, create and live our best lives, or is it just adding stress and overwhelm? Now the answer to those questions is as unique to you and your children as it is to me and to mine. I’m not telling you what the answer is. I’m just saying you need to start thinking about that and we have other resources and videos on that as well on how to do that. When you parent with the end in mind, it makes it much easier to say, “No” to things that aren’t in line with that.
Yes, as I always say, dinner, dishes and driving need to get done. There are things that just need to get done in the busyness of life. Yes, even though I’m so opposed to graduation from preschool, kindergarten, fifth grade and eighth grade, I’d rather it’d just be like when we were growing up, high school and college and law school. Yeah, I worked really hard in law school, and you know what? I was proud of that graduation, but you know what? My family lived across the coast and couldn’t come because they didn’t have the money and that was okay because I did it for me anyway.
Even though I’m opposed to all of those graduations and celebrating those, I get it. I’m going to go because I’m not going to be the mom who doesn’t show up. There’s a whole video of why I think those are a bad idea, by the way. Again, that’s where we are as a society. That’s what people have decided is important so we make those choices at that point. The bottom line is though that when you parent with the end in mind, it’s much easier to make decisions on a daily basis, to get rid of some of the stress and the overwhelm because you can weigh them against the end result you’re looking for.
Just like a company weighs its decisions against its mission statement, you can weigh decisions you make and you can help your children learn to do this with the decisions they make. You can weigh it against the end result, your mission that you’re going for as a parent. That’s why parenting with the end in mind helps you be the best parent you can be.
That’s it. Thank you as always for watching. If you want more tips, tools, ideas and resources on this topic and others including all of the best life lessons and character development we need to teach our children in order to create their best lives possible, part of the parenting with the end in mind and having a parenting plan, check out the links below because we’re always adding new things.
Also be sure to go over to CheriFogarty.com after the episode, if you’re not already there, and sign up for email updates so you get all the scoop, all the information and everything we come up with. Of course, always leave your comments and if you liked this video and found it helpful, please share it with your mom or dad network, so we can all start parenting with the end in mind.
Thank you so much for watching, for being a mom or dad and for everything you do each and every day to be the best one you can be.
It’s a hard job but it’s also one of the most important and I honor you for your commitment to being the best parent you can be, and as always, remember we can have happier and more grateful children. We can be happier and more grateful ourselves and we can teach our children to create their best lives while we start creating ours. We can and we are changing the world, one child and one family at a time, starting with our own.
Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you next time.
p.s. If you’re tired of all of the entitlement and ingratitude and ready to be an even better parent by teaching your children to be grateful, be sure to check out our exciting new program for teaching kids to be more grateful in just 21 days no matter how busy you are or your family is!
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