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Power-Decade Parenting

Family Friday: The 2 Phases of Parenting

Published 2 months ago • 2 min read


Family Friday Newsletter - 2 min read

by: Finley Robinson


A Single Sentence from a Season Ahead

Knowing your child is leaving someday should shape how you spend your today with them.

How Did You Do It?

I get this question about once a week from young parents I talk with.

Maybe it's because I don't have the 😩 look on my face as much anymore like most parents of 3-13 year olds. Maybe it's because when I talk about my kids now my face is more 🤩 than it has ever been.

I had coffee with a friend this week who has 3 kids in what I call Phase 1 of parenthood.

It's the season of parenting where everything inside of you as a mom or dad wants to control and change your kids externally. What we discovered, after a lot of reading, asking questions and failed attempts is that the early years are best used for being internally focused.

It is one of the hardest struggles as an early parent to care more about their internal development than their external behaviors.

🥇🥈🥉 After all, don't most parents give out medals for the best-behaved kids in the friend group?

So, what did we learn and attempt to lean into in the Robinson Family?

Phase 1 - Strengthen

Roughly age 3-10
  • Love - Give your kids as much love and affection as possible.
  • Character - Talk openly about honesty, integrity, sympathy, patience, perseverance, courage, loyalty, humility, etc.
  • Identity - Ingrain in them that their worth and value aren't tied to their performance.
  • Belonging - Create a family culture of team and togetherness so that they feel bonded to their people at home.

As difficult as it is, if you can look at 90% of your parenting situations with an internal focus in Phase 1, you will accomplish so much... even when it doesn't feel like it at all.

The pre-teen and teenage years are full of endless situations that require deep internal strength. There are so many first-time moments they will encounter in Phase 2 that the hard work of Phase 1 cannot be overlooked.

Phase 2 - Situational

Roughly age 11-17
  • Conviction - Discuss what it means to make consistent choices that align with their principles and give them chances to practice.
  • Community - As they make their own friends, help them process healthy relationships and identify their peer influences.
  • Independence - Give them room to try, experiment, fail, grow, practice and succeed ... while being close by to process it all.
  • Gifting - Help them discover their unique wiring and special skills, affirming how you see them fitting into their world.

Internal Strength Early
External Situations Later


⬆️ This is a gross over-simplification to explain how we chose to raise our kids. I do believe that it is the right big-picture approach for parents like you.

As my oldest daughter turns 20 🤯 this week, I'm reflecting back some. In my early years as a dad, I doubted myself constantly. I had long stretches and many decisions that I second-guessed.

🧭 This framework was a helpful compass that served me well throughout the years and I hope it serves you well too.

See you next Friday!

PS ... whenever an email connects or is helpful for you, would you might sharing your link below with a friend in a similar season of parenting? Thanks!


The 3-Part Family Framework

When you share your unique referral link below with 1 friend, I'll immediately send you a 5-minute read that will give you a framework, vision, and strategy to help you build a home you love for a lifetime.

[RH_REFLINK GOES HERE]

PS: You have referred [RH_TOTREF GOES HERE] people so far 😉

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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