In my years of working with different families, I can always tell which parents who come to my office will have little to no problems in handling different situations with their children and which parents will be the subject of some made for tv show on how not to parent.
Here are some traits describing successful parents:
1. They Are Long-Term Thinkers
A mother and father duo came in last year and planned out and executed a successful transition from one private school to another that took us 6 months to orchestrate. The mother prepared for this event months before and called me during the early part of the season. Her and her family arrived at exactly the scheduled time for the assessment - and not one minute too early or late.
The following week, her husband, came in to "follow up" and made good on his word that they would follow through on the plan. He also reassured me that the family would make this a new habit and boy, did he mean it.
2. They Follow Through on Their Promises
You will never know who my favorite clients are (it's something that I can never let on due to the emotional distance that I need to keep from my clients) but sometimes they read the blogs and can identify with what I am saying:
One father that is part of the Learning Ridge family is very humble and modest. I had a scheduled home visit that day to work with his daughter who was going from 5th grade math to 7th grade math in one summer. His younger daughter was practicing piano while I was talking to him and he asked her to stop practicing while we were conversing. She initiated a few more chords and he reiterated to her that she not play when adults are talking to each other. The moment that she hit the keys the third time he walked over to her, moved her away from the piano and said, "time out now".
Knowing that children test boundaries, it was quite nice to see that this parent did not spare one second in showing his children who's the boss.
3. They Know How to Treat People Who Care For Their Child(ren)
One of the best mothers I have ever met in my entire life was Mrs. C. On the outside she looked like she was always training for a half marathon, on the inside she was one of the kindest, most thoughtful individuals in my life who knew how to be grateful.
Unlike some individuals who I've come into contact with, she knew that the key to her children's success was the collaborative efforts shared between her and the people who work with her children. She always said "thank you" for everything that we did for her and made me feel important in our efforts to help her little four year old learn everything she needed to learn to be successful in school. I enjoyed working with her because she helped me realize why I love doing what I do and who I needed to help.
4. They Realize What Is a Priority, and What Is Not
I have been in close contact with an amazing mother who I have known for years. For some reason - this mother has a business sense that is unparalleled (she paid off her mortgage in ten years).
This mother has three wonderful daughters but the youngest child is Quadriplegic and has Cerebral Palsy. Instead of giving up on her daughter and leaving her in the care of strangers, she wakes up just a little before everyone else and plans out her duty filled day for everyone in her family. She sacrifices vacation for family celebrations with her three daughters and fights each and every day to make sure that all of her daughters feel important and empowered. There was even one time where one of her daughters was having a difficult time in her first professional occupation as a nurse and she gave her life advice on how to manage stress.
She's a hero to all mothers. Surprisingly, her actions are not done for a reward or an article that will be written about her in the newspaper; she does this because one day she knows her daughters will remember all of those times where their mother had given them one of the most valuable gifts: time.
5. They Know When To Be There (and When To Vanish)
I absolutely love working with the J. Family. This mother heralds a different set of mothering skills and is successful in long-term planning/emotional regulation for her children and in making you feel at home. Her husband is one of the kindest people I have ever met and I even have told her that I felt like she wasn't a real client because she was just "too nice".
When Mrs. J. would schedule appointments, she would come visit with her boys in tow and the doggie in the van. (I can't remember the breed of the dog - but he's huge!) Mrs. J would show up with a huge coffee beverage sometime between 7:45am and 7:55am in the morning for an 8:00am appointment and I can already envision how the first few hours of my morning would look like. She would have a huge grin on her face and as each of her children would come in and would act more like they were attending a "sleepover" and not a "session with your learning expert". She would leave in her dressed up pajamas and the boys would be left in their own devices learning vocabulary two to three years above their level and math that would knock any person out of their senses.
6. Understand the Difference Between Realistic Expectations and "Miracles"
If you know anything about me or my company, you know that I like to work using realistic timelines. Everything that I encounter is based on a timeline and the processing speed of information that can be absorbed by an individual.
During one period of time, I had revisited a student that I had worked with for a period of four years but needed a break from because of an irregular schedule that his family imposed on my personal time. (To be honest with you, that is the best way to not be taken seriously - if you do not have a plan in place for helping your child - do not expect them to respect you.)
When the student came back, they were in a different educational setting and this provided us with an opportunity to supply him with educational services. What first appeared as an hourly series of tutoring sessions turned out to be an all out homeschool support system that resulted in a series of A's and B's never before seen on his progress reports for high school.
I had to reason with him and his parents that through all of his hard work, patience, and persistence - these favorable grades could be accomplished on a more frequent basis. However if you expect long-term results for doing very little in a short period of time - this would be a "miracle" and not the norm.
What are your secrets to being a Highly Successful Parent? If you would like to share your comment or have questions on how to be a Highly Successful Parent, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .