To be a good father and mother requires that the parents defer many of their own needs and desires in favor of the needs of their children. As a consequence of this sacrifice, conscientious parents develop a nobility of character and learn to put into practice the selfless truths taught by the Savior Himself.

– James E. Faust

Not long ago I talked with 25 experts and asked them what the #1 lesson they learned from their parents, which helped them to become the unique individuals they are today.

It was an honor to talk to these amazing people and gain insight into their lives.

…but I had an ulterior motive.

I wanted to know if a pattern would emerge in their answers.

Patterns that would, in turn, reveal principles of parenting and help me to test a theory of mine.

I believe that there are four specific skills a parent can and should develop to virtually guarantee your success with raising your children.

I say ‘virtually’ because no matter what kind of parent you are, the fact remains that every child has their own will.

In the end, even after all we can do, a youth may choose to walk a different path than the one you show them.

That being said, it’s my belief that there are four critical skills, that if embraced and applied to parenting, you’ll have better experiences and gain both the respect and confidence of your kids.

So what happened in my amazing roundup?

Nothing, that’s what.

Oh, don’t get me wrong—the answers were great!

The perspectives and stories were brilliant, but only one person brought up any of the four skills I was looking for!

…and it was the LMHC (Licensed Mental Health Counselor).

Way to go, Jon.

I have to say that I was disheartened.

After all these years, these four skills have served myself and Kathilynn so well in raising our own children, but there was more to it than that.

My parents used these skills, my grandparents used them…Kathi’s parents used them, as did many of my friends!

Once I’d realized this, I combed through the guest’s answers again.

You know what I found?

A pattern.

(rubs hands eagerly…)

In every case, the presenter expressed an appreciation for what they learned from their parent or guardian.

That implies some level of trust or confidence was established, expressing a value for what was learned.

I also noticed that most of the answers shared accompanied personal stories, revealing a  grownup who was ‘present’.

Another pattern that jumped out at me was teaching through example and not so much by precept, which is important.

It implies less of an ‘because I SAID so’ and more of a ‘watch what I do, not what I say’ attitude.

So what did it all mean?

It meant that the patterns were there, I was simply looking in the wrong place.

All of the parents talked about had a powerful impact on their child, yes—but more than half of the answers were fondly remembered, which gives the impression of a successful parenting figure.

My own perspective, when I went back after the fact and re-read the submissions in full, showed me that atLEAST half of the entries were utilizing 3 out of 4 Skills of Successful Parenting.

*sigh*

Awesome.

Now the question to you is…

Do YOU know what the 4 Skills of Successful Parenting Are?Click To Tweet

Would you like to?

Jaime Buckley
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