Leadership Energy in Parenting

Leadership Energy in Parenting

Jan 31, 2024

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What kind of energy are you bringing to your parenting, the decisions you make and the way you show up with your kids? In today’s episode, I’m talking about leadership energy in parenting and how it can shift the dynamic of your home (in a good way!).

You know how some moms’ kids seem to listen to them and others don’t? What is it that makes some kids listen and follow directions more than others? What is it that allows the parent to have more ease in those moments?

I believe leadership has a huge impact.

Individuals with leadership energy seem to be able to get people to work together and motivate people to follow their vision and plan. What I’ve seen with parents is that when you bring that leadership energy, there is a lot more compliance and ease and less chaos and arguing. 


Why Is Leadership Important in Parenting?

You may not be a leader in your job, but inside the four walls of your home, someone has to be in charge (and it’s not the kids). As the adult, you know what’s best. You understand time and money and nutrition and sleep. Your kids don’t. Plus, kids are wired to look to the adults around them for safety and to be guided and taught. 

The energy that you bring to that role will impact the way your kid responds. 

Imagine a situation where you ask your child to do something (get dressed, clean up their toys, get in the bathtub, etc.). 

When you tell your kid what to do, they will have some kind of response to it. They’re humans, after all, with their own personalities, desires and interests. 

If they don’t want to do what you’ve asked, you’re going to see some resistance and protest. This might look like ignoring you, saying “no”, complaining or negotiating.

What happens next can go a couple different ways…


Without Leadership Energy

Your kid’s resistance makes you feel powerless, overwhelmed, angry or resentful. You might think, “I don't have any control over this kid.”

Often, the parent then tries to get the kid to buy in and agree to what they’re being asked to do. It turns into convincing or coercing them to behave a certain way. 

You might notice yourself explaining why something is important (and they usually start arguing back). Or maybe you try to bribe them with a promise of some future reward (which they’ll also try to negotiate). Or the threats of punishment come out and you use fear to try to get them to comply. Shame or comparison might even make an appearance. “Other kids get to school on time. Why can’t you?”

When we get into these convincing strategies, we’re communicating that we feel out of control and we’re not sure how this is going to go. And it actually makes your kid feel unsafe because they’re looking to you to be the grown-up. On some level they know they shouldn’t be the one in control. 

These ineffective strategies come out when you feel like you’re backed into a corner and you don’t know what else to do.

I want to offer that you DO know what to do. You have tons of evidence from times when your kids have listened to you. Maybe not always on your timeline or without protest, but you do know how to get what you want from your kids.


With Leadership Energy

The opposite of convincing is confidence

When you are in your leadership energy, you show up like, “100% these people are going to school” or “This kid is 100% going to bed.” You have clarity about what needs to happen. You’re committed because you know the outcome is inevitable.

You may not know how long it’s going to take, but that kid is going to put their pajamas on and get into bed.

Let yourself notice that, in fact, most nights your kid does put on their pjs and go to bed. Look for the patterns and evidence that you DO get the result you want. You ARE capable. You are the grown-up and you know best.


4 Traits of Leadership in Parenting

There are four common traits that make a strong leader, and they are skills you can learn and practice.

#1: Clarity You see the big picture of how you want something to go. You are the grown-up, you have a lot of experience and you know what is best. If you aren’t feeling clear on what needs to happen, start by asking yourself what you want it to be like.

Your kid might protest, but you know that feelings come and go, and feelings are okay. You can acknowledge feelings without changing your goal, having to negotiate, bribe, threaten or coerce them in any way. Connection is so much more powerful than coercion. 


#2: Commitment You are committed to the outcome. Yes, this kid is going to school. They are going to practice or whatever it is. It’s okay to allow yourself some flexibility here, but be careful about being too permissive or rescuing your kid.

Sometimes, you might decide that you really cannot take them somewhere you were planning on going. But sometimes, you just don’t want to deal with the situation and the big feelings. Rescuing happens in all families sometimes. But if you are consistently going back on your commitments, it might mean that some confidence and leadership energy are lacking. 


#3: Confidence I think of this as having “done” energy. You trust that the thing you want is going to happen. Use past evidence of other times you’ve been successful, and remind yourself that you’ve got this. You’ve put a kid to bed many, many times. You’ve fed them, you’ve gotten them in the car and to school. You’ve done it before, and you can do it again.

You can also look to the future and see that it’s all going to work out. When your kid is potty training, look ahead to when they’re 8 or 18 and see that they totally know how to use the bathroom and clean themselves up. It’s going to happen no matter what.


#4: Calm Calm comes from having thoughts like:

  • I've got this. My kid has got this.
  • We're fine. This isn't an emergency. 
  • I can slow down and connect here. 

It's so cool what happens when you actually sit with a child (or teen or adult) and ask, “What's going on here?” And you get to soothe whatever comes up and help them calm down, too.


I know some of you aren't quite sure if compassion is really enough or if it really works. And the truth is it does. It soothes the nervous system. It helps shift emotion. We're not bypassing emotion. We're digging in, and we're riding it out. This is leadership energy.

When things go off the rails, that energy will let you respond with, “No problem, I know how to steady this ship. I know how to reset.”

This episode is an invitation to you to see the value of leadership and the value of connecting with your own leadership energy. 

Being the leader in your home is a process. Parenting is an opportunity for growth, to learn more about yourself and to grow as a person and a leader in your own life and family. 

If you want to learn more about using the Calm Mama Process to connect with your kids so they actually listen to you, check out my programs at www.calmmamacoaching.com


You’ll Learn:

  • The benefits of bringing leadership energy into parenting moments
  • How to get more compliance and ease in your family (and less chaos and arguing)
  • How to build the leadership traits of clarity, commitment, confidence and calm

Ready to stop yelling?

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