Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the weight of parenting decisions, especially during the summer months? Are you constantly worrying about the long-term impact of your choices on your kids’ future?
In this episode, I share my insights about effectively managing parenting decisions without getting bogged down by every single choice. I explain how our parenting decisions can have a compounding effect, just like our finances. I emphasize the importance of focusing on the present moment, rather than the next 20 years, in order to build trust and communication with our children.
We also address how to manage power struggles between parents and kids, and how to recognize when our own subconscious thoughts and behaviors may be contributing to these struggles.
This Episode is For You If:
In the moment of parenting your child, you are thinking about their future and fear that if you don’t hold your ground on a particular issue, your kids won’t learn a particular lesson.
You feel like certain parenting decisions have the weight of the next 20 years and that if you “give in” to something, your child won’t turn out to be a responsible, caring human.
You have a distinct physical response or reaction when you feel like your child is being disrespectful to you, leading you to snap at, yell, or give consequences to your child.
As we explore the compound interest of parenting and the importance of teaching healthy disagreement, I challenge you to consider when you want your children to disagree with you and how you’re teaching them to do so in a constructive way.
By doing this hard but rewarding work, you’ll not only transform your family dynamics but also experience a shift in your own mindset.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Welcome to The Mom on Purpose Podcast. I’m Lara Johnson, and I’m here to teach you how to get out of your funk, be in a better mood, claim more with your kids. Manage your home better, get your to-do list done and live your life on purpose with my proven method. This is possible for you, and I’ll show you how. You’re not alone anymore. We’re in this together. Hello, good morning. Well, it’s morning here. I don’t know what time you’re listening to this, but welcome to The Mom on Purpose Podcast. You want to hear something really funny? I just recorded half of this podcast and I realized I never hit record, so I wanted to share that with you, to let you know that I am very human, as I am recording this podcast and sometimes, we forget to hit record. That’s such a good lesson for life, I feel like, and for Marco Polo. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done that one, talking with friends on Marco Polo. So we are coming out of winter where I’m at in Utah and I’m so grateful. The sun is shining, and the flowers are blooming, the trees are in bloom and it’s starting to warm up and my allergies are having a heyday, so if I sound really congested, that’s why. I’ve been having a lot of fun in my yard, and it makes me so happy, and I pay the price because I’m sneezing and sniffling all day long. Also, with this month comes May Madness. I’m at March Madness. That’s got nothing on May Madness for the moms that I work with. So for the most part, I work in all different time zones and parts of the country, but here in the United States, we are moving into, on a traditional school schedule, what would be the summer months and the summer break from school, and I found that not only is May just a really busy month because you have all the end-of-year recitals, team sports are wrapping up, assemblies where kids are performing, all of those things, and so it makes for a very busy month, but in addition to that, I find that a lot of my moms are, quote-unquote, gearing up for the summer months, where they know there’s going to be an accumulation of stress. There’s a lot of parenting decisions that are made every single day, day in, day out, because their kids are all home now, and so I wanted to spend time talking about one of the most common patterns that I see in parenting and the weight of parenting, because understanding this is going to set you up for success as you move into the summer months and help you have a little more freedom to breathe and not feel so weighed down by every decision you’re making. So you know this episode is for you if, in the moment of parenting your child, you are thinking about their future. And, in addition to that, if you don’t hold your ground on this one thing, then your kid won’t learn this particular thing. So, chores for example. If they don’t, or if you don’t hold the line on chores, then they’ll never learn how to clean. And then they won’t have a good house and they won’t have a clean house. And then that moves on to the next one – if you ever have thoughts that they’re going to be lazy, entitled, rude, and selfish, and they’re never going to learn these things. So you have to hold your ground today. The next thing is, you’ll know this episode is for you if you feel like whatever you’re trying to hold your ground on is very weighted, and you feel yourself starting to dig your heels in and you start to power struggle with your kids. And you have the underlying belief that if you give in to whatever this thing is, they’re not going to turn out into a responsible, caring human. And then I’ll say the last thing that I’ll talk about, just very briefly at the end – you’ll also know this episode is for you if you have a very distinct physical response or reaction when you feel like they’re being disrespectful to you and then you start to lose it, you snap at your kids, you yell at them, you start throwing out consequences and all these things because they’re being disrespectful to you. So those are the things that we’re going to be talking about in this episode. But before we dive into that, I want to use an analogy. You know I’m not a math whiz by any means – that’s my husband’s department. But I do want to use something called compound interest as we are talking about these things. So just for today, thank you. A high overview of compound interest is if you take money and you put it into an account, you make some kind of deposit into this account and you leave it for a set amount of time – 20 years. And there is an interest rate which means your money is making money, making a small interest over time. And, as that builds, you get a larger amount back out of that account than what you originally deposited. So, I’m going to put this like a number so that it’s easier to understand. So, say you had $10,000 and you deposit that into a bank account, you have about a 3% interest rate. It’s not really high, it’s not that low. And in this moment, every single month, you’re putting $100 into this for the next 20 years. Now, if there was no interest rate on this, you would, at the very end, get $34,000. That’s what you have saved, based on the deposits you have made. But let’s change that just a little bit. Let’s say, because you’re working on compounding the amount of money you have with an interest rate of 3%, if you were to do that exact same thing – $10,000 in, $100 a month for the next 20 years with a 3% interest rate – you would get back $51,000. Now that’s a really big difference for not having to do any additional work. That money made you money, and because of that, you are able to pull out at the end of it a much larger sum of money. Now, what’s kind of cool is that you can go online, and they have compound interest rate calculators and determine, like, if I continue to do this, what will it produce for me? It’s just kind of a fun game to play. But what’s really cool is it will give you a trajectory like an exponential curve, and it’s interesting that as you’re making these, by about year eight that curve starts to take a steeper angle up. And if you continue with that, by about years 16 to 18, you’ve drastically increased that curve. But you have to trust that you’re going to get there, right? Think about this for just a minute. Say you’re about to make one of your monthly deposits, you’ve got a hundred-dollar bill and you’re standing outside the bank right now and you’re looking at this hundred-dollar bill and you’re talking to it. You’re like, “Alright, you are going to be how I retire. I want you to know a hundred-dollar bill, when I deposit you. You have to work; this has to work. And I need to be able to retire. And this one-hundred-dollar bill right here is what’s going to determine whether or not I have a good future.” It makes no sense, right? It sounds ridiculous to put it in those terms. Because we understand compound interest, we understand that you keep making those deposits every single month. But also think about that. You don’t actually have proof that it’s going to work out. And for the most part, in those 20 years, you know there’s going to be some kind of recession that happens, where your money will dip for a time like it ebbs and flows over so many years. But you trust, even though you don’t have proof, that every one of those deposits is building and moving forward and compounding that interest. It’s making money for you. Alright. So that’s your little math lesson for today. But what does that have to do with summer and parenting? Okay, I want you to think about the compound interest of parenting. We accept that that exists with our money, but for some reason, we don’t accept that this exists with our parenting decisions. So when we get at a crossroads with our kids and we can feel our heels start to dig in, we do it because we believe that every decision that we make will determine our child’s future, and if we “give in” to something, then they will have a negative future. So we hold our ground because we love our children, and we want them to have a good future outcome. But what happens in this moment is a couple of things: you’re carrying the weight of the future, the next 20 years, in this very moment, and that’s a lot of weight to carry, like if you’re thinking about just asking your kids to clean their room. But you’re carrying 20 years in the future weight of them not turning out into a good adult. It’s essentially like standing outside the bank holding that hundred-dollar bill, telling it that it has to work. This is how you retire. It’s the same thing. And I know your brain is saying, “Oh, but what if I keep giving in to them?” Yeah, sometimes there’s recession, sometimes there’s ebbs and flows, sometimes things will go down and then they will go back up again. You will not make a hundred percent perfect decisions in your parenting, but the more you make deposits of good choices, or what you believe are good choices in the moment, the more that compound interest starts to build. You don’t have proof it’s going to work, but you do have trust that each decision you make will compound over time to help create the result you want, which is a really successful future for your children. So then, the other thing is that when you’re really holding your ground in these parenting decisions and you start to power struggle with your kids, your judgment starts to diminish, as well as your patience. This is when you will find that you are most exhausted and that you will, quote unquote, lose it the most with your kids, because your kids are like a woodpecker. They’ll peck, peck, peck, peck, peck all summer long, and if you’re holding the weight of their future, your patience will be non-existent, and you will continually be snapping at your kids. This comes from having a lot of subconscious beliefs that if you don’t do this now, then they won’t turn out later. And you are really forgetting that every decision compounds over time. So there is some leeway, and some give on not having to be perfect in every decision you make when you think about it this way. So I want you to just take a small shift. I’m not saying you give up on your kids and you never parent them. Of course, you do. But instead of carrying the weight of the next 20 years, think about the weight of the next five minutes or 15 minutes or one day. That’s when you start to release some control or the grip, and you don’t feel like you have to power struggle, but you’re building trust and communication with your child, and in this moment, you’re only thinking about parenting for this moment and the next. And what will happen is that’s like making a deposit into your bank. This is making a deposit into your child’s future, and you are allowing every one of these decisions to compound over time and not expecting perfection because there’s a million decisions that will go into this and a million experiences that will help set them up for success, not one that will determine the rest of their lives. So when we get to this moment, it’s really hard to do because it will require you to notice your behaviors and your subconscious thoughts. Now, if these thoughts are subconscious, it’s very tricky to see them. The best thing you can do is to notice your body and when it shifts, and you’ll feel that very distinct shift happens. That’s where I want you to lean into those shifts, because that right there is your life hack into your subconscious and what beliefs exist there. So for me, I know when I get to this moment and the patterns, the behaviors that I have, is I start to lean forward a little bit, and I can feel my jaw start to clench, and it’s almost like I’m preparing for battle. I start to lean in, and I can feel my arms start to get really tense. That’s where I know that I’ve shifted subconsciously, and I’m starting to carry the weight of their future. It’s like I’m gearing up for that battle, but that weight is causing me to lean forward. That is the very physical manifestation of when I feel like I have to power struggle. I want you to find that for yourself, and in that moment, that’s where I want you to take a deep breath and think about how you want to parent for the next five minutes. That’s it, and it will feel like it’s not enough. I want you to stay with it and trust. This is the deposit I’m making into my bank today. This does not determine my future retirement; this is just the deposit I’m making today. Then it gives you a chance to release some of that pressure, to breathe, and to get centered back in the moment where you don’t have to lose it with your kids. The other thing I will say is that the more you shift back into the present and into these parenting decisions, the more fun you’ll be able to have because you won’t be power struggling with your kids constantly. You’ll actually be able to enjoy them and be in the moment and release it because you move on to the next moment and you’re not making some story about how they’re not going to be some entitled brat in the future. This is really scary to do because you don’t have proof that this will work. I’m going to be very honest with you. This is the hard work that I do with my clients and in coaching because when you start making these shifts, your brain will tell you it’s not enough, and you’re right. It’s not enough to help set them up for success. Just like $100 is not enough to create a future of retirement for you, what you are doing in this moment is trusting all of these decisions will compound over time and that it will create the result that you want, and you’ll be able to be more present and enjoy your children more this summer as you lean back into this kind of parenting. The last thing that I will mention here, and I’ve found this in all the years of coaching, studying my brain, working with people, workshops, and studying patterns in Facebook groups, you know, mom groups, the number one reason why people lose it with their kids is because they feel disrespected. And I want to speak on this very briefly. This will probably be its own episode at some point, but I want you to think about when you feel disrespected. Just step outside of that for a moment and look at all of what’s happening. Almost always when you feel disrespected, your kids are behaving in a way that they feel backed into a corner where they are not seen, they are not heard, and they are not acknowledged for whatever opinion they have. At that point, their nervous system is triggered, and they will act out in some way. And at this point, this is where you are digging in the most because you are making their behavior mean they are being disrespectful to you. Now think about this in terms of yourself. Let’s say you’re doing some activity, you know PTA, and you have a very distinct opinion on this, and nobody is seeing and hearing you. And you have evidence. You know what feels right to you; you know what works for the kids that you’ve seen, and the PTA is not hearing this. The last thing that I will mention here, and I’ve found this in all the years of coaching, studying my brain, working with people, workshops, and studying patterns in Facebook groups, you know, mom groups, the number one reason why people lose it with their kids is because they feel disrespected. And I want to speak on this very briefly. This will probably be its own episode at some point, but I want you to think about when you feel disrespected. Just step outside of that for a moment and look at all of what’s happening. Almost always when you feel disrespected, your kids are behaving in a way that they feel backed into a corner where they are not seen, they are not heard, and they are not acknowledged for whatever opinion they have. At that point, their nervous system is triggered, and they will act out in some way. And at this point, this is where you are digging in the most because you are making their behavior mean they are being disrespectful to you. Now think about this in terms of yourself. Let’s say you’re doing some activity, you know PTA, and you have a very distinct opinion on this, and nobody is seeing and hearing you. And you have evidence. You know what feels right to you; you know what works for the kids that you’ve seen, and the PTA is not hearing this. They have some amazing system that they want to implement, and you know it’s not going to go well. Suddenly, you have a couple of choices, right? At some point, you’re going to shove those emotions down, and somebody is going to say something to you, and you’re going to snap back. You’re going to be really frustrated. Or you’re going to go home and you’re going to vent to your spouse. I mean, like, these people are crazy; I can’t do this anymore. You’re going to quit PTA because you’re so frustrated. Now, those are behaviors that you’ve learned, right, where you’re either people-pleasing or you’re shoving down your own emotions. It doesn’t feel good. What’s happening is, you know, go back to the scenario with your kids. What’s happening is when you are feeling disrespected, and your kids are feeling triggered and reacting. They have not learned people-pleasing, and they have not learned how to shove down emotions. But the more you power struggle with them, the more you are teaching them to people-please and to shove down their emotions. I want to really challenge you this summer to teach your children healthy disagreements so that they have an opportunity to use their voice, so that down the road you know all of these deposits that you’re making where you’re allowing for healthy disrespect. You’re allowing for healthy disagreements. All of these compound over time so that they will be able to effectively communicate disagreements in the future. And I find that this is so interesting because we want our kids to be 100% obedient, and then we demand that and we think that’s what’s going to set them up for success when in reality, what we’re doing is we’re often teaching people pleasing and we’re teaching them to shove down their opinions when in reality, let’s teach them healthy disagreements, let’s teach them how to navigate their desires and how to make those things known in a healthy way. And that can really come from you unraveling your thoughts about them being disrespectful when they’re not feeling seen or heard. So a couple of questions, and again, this will probably be its own episode because it’s something I’m really passionate about. But a couple of things that I want you to ask yourself in the meantime is when do you want your kids to disagree with you? It sounds like a funny question, but I want you to really consider it. When do you want your kids to disagree with you? Because most of us will say never, but do you see the problem there? And then the second thing is how are you teaching healthy disagreement? And that’s really important because right now you’re not modeling healthy disagreement; you’re modeling it’s my way or the highway. So a couple of questions. You can really sit with that and again, that’s going to be its own episode because your body and your mind are going to have a lot of questions and reactions to that. I promise I’ll come back to that, and we can have that conversation, and you may have a very healthy disagreement with me, and that’s okay. But I want you to consider this for yourself: as you teach healthy disagreement, you are also making deposits into your child’s future and setting them up for success. So, all of this again comes back to the compound interest of parenting. The more deposits you make, the more you are trusting that those deposits are working for you, and the more your children will be set up for success in the future. You won’t have proof of that right now. I’ll tell you; it is a scary road to take, just like you don’t have proof that you’re going to be able to retire if you’re making deposits. But I promise you, the more you make the deposits, even if they’re not perfect deposits, the more that will compound over time, and your children will be okay and will be the responsible, respectable, service-oriented, faith-filled children that you want them to be, the adults that you want them to be. Of course, at any given point, if you want to dive deeper into your subconscious beliefs about this and start really observing and navigating the deposits and the parenting decisions you’re making right now, I’ll help you through that. This is the hard work that I do with my clients, and I will tell you that it is hard because it’s scary since we don’t have proof. But what’s so cool is, as I work with my clients, they start to see that immediate shift in their home and with their family, as well as within their own body, and they start to see those bits of success and, just after a few short months, they don’t even have to wait years to see that shift. Over just a few months, they start to see that compound interest, and they get to celebrate those wins and experience a much more harmonious home. That’s what I want for you. Go to www.larajohnsoncoaching.com and click on “Work with Me” to schedule your free consultation, where we can dive deeper into this. Have a wonderful day. Thank you for listening. Please share, review, and subscribe to this podcast so that together we can live life on purpose.