Good managers (moms/dads) are good motivators

The complex job of motherhood is similar to being a manager — we are tasked with influencing people to do what we want. The people are smaller, and like good employees, they want to please us.

At work or in a family, everything hinges on the quality of the relationship, how conflicts are handled, mutual respect — or the lack of it, reasonable expectations, and how managers motivate people.

What I like about the parenting/management approach I teach (online workshops starting Sept. 1) is that it is based on mutual respect for parents and children. I emphasize a positive approach, especially for spirited children.

My third child was very difficult as a toddler. I didn’t like him very much because he was so demanding and complained loudly when he didn’t get his needs met. I took some parenting workshops and it changed my attitude towards Ian.  I began focusing on what he was doing right.

I learned about the enjoyable art of encouragement, how to let natural consequences happen, and to use family meetings – dinner – and – chores to teach him responsibility and give him a place to belong in the family.

I learned management skills, which included creating a family team. My four children did chores as soon as they could walk — without getting paid by the chore, only by allowance. Paying someone to do something is the LOWEST motivation. Money is the quickest and dirtiest way for parents to manipulate their children. In the long-term, it will bankrupt your relationship if money is the only tool you have to motivate your children.

The highest forms of motivation, according to Daniel Pink, author of “Drive,” are mastery, autonomy and purpose. Alfred Adler would add a fourth primary motivation — the need to belong — to a family, workplace, team, community or whatever.

Good managers are good motivators. My book and online workshops teach parents how to do it well, without bribery, berating, beating or nagging.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Alfred Adler, belonging, Encouragement, Family meetings, mutual respect, parenting classes, positive parenting

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2 Comments on “Good managers (moms/dads) are good motivators”


  1. Focusing on what is being done right seems to be so much harder to do in times of stress,but once you start doing it, it seems the only and best way to parent. When my daughter was four I can remember sitting on the porch swing with her and her toddler brother, who was a handfull at times, and explaining to her that if I started yelling, she had carte blanche immunity to remind me that I was yelling. It worked. I came from a family of yellers and I didn’t want to raise my kids in that environment. To this day we always talk things out as a family.
    I have based my parenting philosophy on mutual trust and respect from the time my children were born and it does come back to you as a parent if you remember to practice what you preach to your children.

  2. raisingable Says:

    Way to empower your children and teach them to be in the present moment.

    Giving up yelling is like giving up smoking. It requires a commitment!


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