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Power-Decade Parenting

Family Friday: Error Increases With Distance

Published 9 months ago • 3 min read


Family Friday Newsletter - 3 min read

by: Finley Robinson


A Single Sentence from a Season Ahead

You get to choose the big stories you tell your kids, so choose wisely because stories shape futures.


WIN-Coach-Release 🥇

You are in a competition for the heart of your son or daughter.

The amazing truth is, as their parent, you have the inside track. You are almost guaranteed to win. It's tough to fail, but parents do it all the time.

Because you have the title of Mom or Dad, you have every advantage you can imagine. Think of it like this:

  • If you're a poker player, you were dealt Pocket Aces.
  • If you owned a stable, your prize horse is Secretariat.
  • If you are a soccer club, you have Messi on your team.

This is what it's like to be a parent of a 3-13 year old. You have the upper hand in every way.

You are in a competition for the heart of your son or daughter and you have hours, days, months, and years to win their heart.

But with many of the parents I talk to, I wonder if they realize they are playing this game.

Disney is playing this game.
Schools are playing this game.
Sports teams are playing this game.
Their (teenage) peers will play this game.

In your power-decade of parenting, you have every opportunity to build an unbreakable bond with your child. It earns you the right to discipline them when necessary and to celebrate wildly when they succeed.

But the question remains, do you realize you're playing this game?

If you can win their heart, the truth is you can lose it as well. So how do you play? We'll I'm glad you asked.

Win The Heart 💜💙💚

I have written before that connecting with your child's heart is your most important job as a parent.

Winning the heart of your child means 2 things:

  1. First, know them individually. Not as the oldest, middle or youngest. Not for the plus/minus they bring to your daily family experience.

    It's what makes them unique, how they think, what they love, their dreams & fears, and why they are special to you.
  2. Second, build a bond of trust and affection. Do you have a vulnerable relationship with them? You need one because it's the foundation of everything else.

    When you have a big conflict, do you repair the relationship? Are you consistently a safe person for them? Do they know you love them unconditionally and how long has it been since you told it to them?

In the competition to "win your child's heart," your opponent isn't who you think it is. This is where I've seen so many parents get it wrong.

The competition isn't with your child's heart for you. Children want to be known and loved by their parents.

The competition is between you and everything else in your life that you could give your time to as a parent.

Your career.
Your hobbies.
Your priorities.
Your relaxation.
Your friendships.
Your entertainment.

Left to themselves, these things aren't bad or evil. Between your child's ages of 3-13 though, they are fierce competitors.

To win the heart of a child, you have to be there. This is why I've written about the With You Principle before that we adopted as a family.

When you are with your kids, don't just get by. Pay close attention to them. You need to study them, not to fix them, but to understand them. You need to know what makes them unique and their orientation.

Are they fast-paced or do they connect at slower speeds?
Are they more task driven or do they want to walk and hold hands?

Do you need a way to connect with them as summer winds down? Then here are 17 ways to connect this weekend that might spark some interest, so have fun!

H-O-R-S-E

I heard a story about a dad who was playing HORSE with his son. At first, all the shots were close. A layup followed by a free throw.

Eventually, they moved behind the 3-point line and the dad made it while his son missed. He pulled his son aside and said...

Don't ever forget son, error increases with distance.

The parenting principle clearly applies. Stay close to your kids. Steward their young hearts and know that even when they are giving their best attempt at melting down your home, they need you.

Don't worship them. Don't hover and overprotect.

Win, Coach, & Release their heart to the mission of your family.

Just to reiterate and wrap up this 3-week Family Friday mini-series...

The earliest years are marked by winning their heart. This happens when you physically spend time with them on your knees in their small world.

The middle years are shaped by coaching their heart. It happens first by listening with your ears and then by speaking encouragement and correction with your mouth.

The final years are determined by releasing their heart. When you place your faith in them and allow them to test their abilities and decisions in the real world.


The 3-Part Family Framework

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Power-Decade Parenting

By Finley Robinson

Helping propel moms & dads of 3 to 13 year-olds to invest in their power-decade of parenting. Father of 3 teenagers and pastor of 20 years turned digital writer.

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