140 // Jen Powers’ Top 3 Parenting Tips

As parents, we either replicate what our parents did because we feel like it worked, or we reject it completely. In this week’s episode, James enlists the advice of Jen Powers, Executive Director at Tried and True Parenting. Together they will go over:

  • Jen’s top 3 parenting tips
  • Chasing relationship over behavior
  • The importance of teaching kids about money (and money mistakes)

At Tried and True Parenting, their heart is in family preservation; keep the family unit intact and thriving. They teach resources and evidence-based tools while providing personal family support.

Jen says that it takes the wind to blow for parenting guilt to fall on someone. One of their class rules is family support – no blaming, shaming, or guilting yourself or others. No one has parenting down pat. The goal is to create safety and trust and earn the right to be heard by leading with humility.

It’s important to ask yourself what you bring to the parenting dance. Did you have a bad day at work and are now bringing that unresolved friction home to your kid who doesn’t feel like doing their homework? As caregivers, we need to regulate ourselves and tease out our emotions before bringing that energy to a child and their potential conflict.

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Ultimate Parenting Advice: The Goal Is Not perfection

When we can address a rupture, we have an opportunity to repair it. The first thing Jen mentions is not to dismiss or deny your missteps. Own your stuff and model that for your kids so they learn to admit their mistakes and don’t become adults who don’t know how to say they’re sorry. Rupture is inevitable. Parents assume that admitting they messed up invalidates their authority or dilutes their power, but it actually creates trust because your kid learns to listen and empathize.

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Parenting Advice 101: Connect Before You Correct

It’s profitable to the relationship if you connect with your kid before you correct their behavior. Kids need boundaries and consequences, but there is a way to do it without breaking the connection. Tried and True Parenting encourages parents to give kids four praise statements for every one correction. Find something to celebrate, then emphasize that boundary line.

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Another Misstep – Avalanche Trap

It’s easy and normal to get into a scenario with your kids where you’re flustered, and it escalates, and you essentially take their life away. No phone for a month, no friends, whatever you conjure up in the heat of the moment. A parenting tip Jen offers is to make it appropriate in size. You want to deliver on what you say and stay consistent, and for the kid, it’s more effective because the lesson is digestible now. Make the consequence contingent on the behavior. Empty threats incentivize rebellion.

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Intentional Time

Kids know when you’re not attuned to intentional time with them. When giving parenting advice, Jen encourages parents to spend as little as 5 or 10 minutes of their day listening to their child authentically. Ask them what’s going on that feels hard. It’s important to keep a pulse on that relationship so that you’re not your child’s chauffeur getting them from point A to point B while sacrificing the time for connection.

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Money Mistakes

Something James found most interesting is how this all relates to money. We have to give our children access to our mistakes. There is an opportunity to show maturity through responsibility with money or let them give it away and recognize that feeling early on. So often, money is the control mechanism for correcting bad behavior. It should be a neutral thing.

The last thing is to give them space to practice while they’re under your care so that they know right from wrong when they leave home. You can consequence bad behavior all day long, but how would they know the right alternative response if it was never taught to them? The same applies to the parents. Be able to say, “I just overreacted to that. Let me try again.”

If you do this well, you end up closer; even in the conflict.

If any of this resonated with you, you can get in touch with Jen at Tried and True Parenting here!

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