Parenting Toolbox Introduction

Parenting is right up there with brain surgery when it comes to hard jobs. So why is it that brain surgeon’s need years of intense study before they even get to touch a brain and the rest of us folks require only the skill of procreation to reach the status of parent and be thrust into the grind of parenting without a proper internship? That doesn’t seem right nor fair does it?

In my years as a parent, I’ve read many parenting books, blogs, and magazines. I’ve listened to podcasts on parenting and watched parenting experts on TV talk shows. Even though I have 56 cumulative years of parenting as a mother of five, I dare not claim to be a parenting expert. Just when I think I’ve got this parenting thing figured out, one of my kids – and sometimes more than one – will spin everything out of control. I’m left standing there like a deer in the headlights (think Bambi) wondering what to do next.

Learn One That One Thing

Fortunately, I do have some things figured out. Although no one parenting book will ever give you THE answer, every parenting resource can give you at least one useful takeaway for you to try. And the good news is that is all you need, that one thing. Take one idea, test it out. Give it a red hot go and see if it works for your family. If it does, then great! One more parenting skill for you to have in your back pocket. If not, you’ve gained experience to better cope next time.

Can you imagine how awesome it would feel if your child was on the verge of a meltdown and instead of raising your voice or hitting or yelling, you had twenty or even forty ideas you could choose from to diffuse the situation?

No more deer-in-the-headlights, crying, “What do I do now?” moments as you scramble to figure out what to do when little James won’t stop hitting his older sister.

What every parent needs is a parenting toolbox. A toolbox filled to the brim with many different tools. Having lots of parenting and discipline skills makes the great parent stand apart from the average parent. Just like a talented artist sees expression in its most subtle forms, we as parents can learn to be sensitive to the small differences in our children and respond accordingly with the appropriate tool.

Parenting in Real Time

Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply read a blog post, surf a website, read a book and then like magic become a better parent instantly?

Unfortunately, knowledge merely brings to our attention possible solutions. We need to look up from the book and see apply the knowledge to the real world, our world. The good news is that you have complete control over this process.

Consider the following, when Bobby forgot his epi-pen at home even though you told him to put it on three times before he left for school. Should we let natural consequences play out in this situation or do we go out of our way to make sure he has his epi-pen and then deal with the consequences later? What if you had a parenting tool that included your child in deciding the consequences of this particular behaviour?

Or when little Gracie gets angry at the grocery store and demands Frosty Cocoa Bears even though the sugar sends her running around the house at warp speed for three hours. Do you let her scream it out at the store? Do you give in and put up with the craziness tomorrow morning? What if you had a parenting tool that could help you teach your children – at any age – how to deal with their anger? Or any other emotion for that matter.

How at ease would you be knowing that if the kids decide to have a fight in the back of the car you could stop it with 3 short sentences?

Or how proud you’d feel when your kids try to throw a tantrum in the candy isle of the shopping centre only to have you whisper a few magic words which stop the explosion dead in its tracks?

Imagine the confidence you would feel knowing that for every parenting encounter, you have a set of tools available in your mental back pocket which you could use at will.

A Full Parenting Toolbox

What I’m about to introduce you to is a toolbox with various, practical parenting tools that you will be able to use at your discretion. You will have the ability to make the most effective choices to help your child learn from the different situations they find themselves in

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that my children are very forgiving, even if I feel like I’ve been completely inadequate as a parent.

Have you heard of the 80/20 rule? It says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. When applied to parenting, 20% of solid, well thought out principle based parenting will be enough to help mold most children into the good, honest, hardworking adults in the future.

You’d be pleased to know researcher Edward Tronick says that even great parents are in sync with their children only 20%, maybe 30% of the time. Focus on the 20% and you’ll be in great parenting shape!

Are You Making A Car Or A Rocket Ship?

Do you want your children that just get by or do you want your children flourish and launch into life like a rocket ship?

To build a rocket ship you need a vastly greater toolbox than if you were just building a Flintstone pedal powered prehistoric car. As such your toolbox needs to correspond to the result that you want to create.

The more of the right tools you have at your disposal, the more likely you will achieve your wanted outcome.

Conversely, the saying goes, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem starts looking like a nail. And hammers are gonna wreck more things than they fix if used frequently and indiscriminately.

There is no getting around it, parenting is hard work but you don’t have to put in the hundreds of hours researching, reading, synthesizing, testing that I have done.

Let me arm you with the knowledge, help you troubleshoot your parenting so that you can get the best result without having to tear your hair out.

As you try out each idea, you’ll start to get a feel for it. Is the tool something that is promising but needs work? Is it a top-shelf tool that you will reach for again and again? Or is it a tool that you’ll place in the back burner for now and revisit later? Often when a tool doesn’t work, it is simply because we have yet develop sufficient skills to use it correctly.

I don’t know that you can ever feel fully prepared for EVERY parenting situation. But I do know that when you prepare yourself for the worst situations, you often get the best out of any situation.

With that, let’s begin with tool #1 – Parenting Out Loud.


HB is a roller coaster father, one minute he is ecstatic about his children, the next he wonders if life will ever get any better. A long standing member of the 'I yell at my kids' club, he writes with passion and an analytical mind. Dissecting and separating the nuanced strategies that make a good parent great. He experiments with parenting techniques on his 3 year old so you don't have to.

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