SARAH MACONACHIE

WORK HARD PARENT HARD

Our mindset controls around 96-98% of everything we do- I know, it’s a crazy amount and it basically means that we work on Autopilot and live our lives in a very habitual way. As the founder of work hard parent hard and a mindset coach for working parents- the best thing I have learnt is how to understand my children better and how my behaviours/ actions are shaping them and their futures.

The way we think, behave and act is very much determined by our belief system and the environment we were raised in ourselves. Our paradigms and belief systems are created by our parents, their parents and those that we were surrounded by when growing up.

So how often do you think about what it is that you are passing on to your own Children? Do you ever reflect on how you were raised and think, I want to do that differently? It’s great to make changes and evolve as society does, but being consciously aware of how we change those behaviours isn’t as easy as we think.

What to think about around Children:

  1. Do you want your children to be risk takers?

Do you ever find yourself shouting “Careful Careful Careful” at you children? As a mother of 3 with two of them being very adventurous 3-year-old twins, I want to shout out “be careful” approximately every 30 seconds. Now, I obviously just want my children to be safe and to not hurt themselves or others, but in reality, I am creating a paradigm around them taking risks.

If they are constantly being told to be careful (or similar), they are likely to grow up being cautious, risk adverse and have a fear of pushing themselves. If I bite my tongue, close my eyes, and try to look away in hope that they are okay when I look back, I am allowing them to take risks, learn by experience and push themselves out of their comfort Zone. There is no right or wrong with this, ideally, we want a balance of them both. Being mindful of when and how we use boundaries and caution with our children can really shape the way they live their lives, try to be selective when you feel it may be okay for them to take a bit of a risk, and when you know that situation is dangerous, and they need to learn boundaries.

Try to be mindful of what you are communicating around your children, this is important across all topics, but I will use money as an example. In a world where everyone seems to be struggling with inflation and the rising of costs in everyday expenses, think about what you are talking about and saying to your children. If we are frequently saying “That’s way to expensive, we can’t afford it, we are broke, we could never have that, it costs too much” you are creating a limited money paradigm in your children. As they grow up, you are at risk of them being overly conscious about money, having a boundary around their self-worth and this is likely to have one of 2 outcomes. It could limit their own earnings as they get older, and what they think they are worth. If they were successful, they will still likely hold onto their money and obsess over what they are spending/ saving as they have an internal fear of having to go without. Keep the conversations positive around children and what their possibilities are. We want to teach them the reality of life, but we also want to shelter them from it too and not create limitations in areas we can avoid.

The way we show love and affection to our children and spouses really sets them up for the way they are going to form relationships themselves. If we are constantly showing love and affection, that behaviour will become “normal” to them, and they will often replicate this in their own relationships as they are growing up. Be kind to those around you, speak with good manners and be polite. Think about how you would want your child to be and model that behaviour yourself.

Do you find yourself swaying towards the ideas that you can, or you can’t? I have always had the attitude that I can do anything I set my mind to and have achieved so much in my life because of it. When I look back my parents would always support me in my wild decisions, even if they were probably rolling their eye’s thinking I am being ridiculous at the time, they never said you can’t or you won’t be able to do that.

Think about whether you are encouraging your children to have a can-do attitude or are you questioning whether things can be achieved and constantly saying you “can’t do that”. Of course, we need to set realistic expectations but having an attitude that allows us to strive for what we want is always going to be more likely to get us there.

When I was pregnant with my Twins all I seemed to hear was “you won’t be able to do this, you won’t be able to do that” and it was a real eye opener to me how many people have the view that they “can’t” rather than they “Can”; After all, when people put their views upon you, it’s a direct reflection of what they think they are capable of, not a reflection on you and your capabilities. I am extremely conscious with my children and making sure I encourage them that they can do anything (within reason- of course) and not reflect my own limitations onto them.  

I’m not sure what the equivalent is of the phrase “happy wife, happy life” with regards to parents but I’m sure there would be one. When we are happy, driven and feel like we have purpose, we are MUCH better parents. I have experienced this myself. My children are often a complete replica of my emotions / mood and seem to reflect exactly how I am feeling in their behaviour. It is hard to prioritise yourself when you are a parent, but try to do things you love, follow your passions, take time for yourself, and spend time with your children feeling positive and energised. They are going to be so much happier for it themselves. Investing in yourself to be the best version of yourself is the best thing you can do for your children.

Conclusion

We have complete control over what we are instilling into your children, so think about how you want them to think and behave and start to think and behave like that yourself. This is the best way for them to learn those behaviours and live a successful life. If you think you are really struggling with some of the areas covered, it may be time to start shifting your own mindset. Not only will it create a happier life for you, but it will create more growth and opportunity for your children too.

If you’re ready to invest in yourself and be the best version of YOU, it’s the perfect time to take action. My program “The mindful working parent” is out very soon, so please reach out for more information on how I can help to transform your life.

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