What Defines Parenting Success?

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I am working quite diligently right now to grow a successful and sustainable parent coaching practice, and in this process I have had to clearly define what it means to me to be successful. Which of course got me thinking about my own clarity with regards to parenting success. In parenting, much as in business, success often seems elusive and immeasurable. As a parent I might not know until my children are grown and have families of their own that I have been a success! Seriously now, if I have to wait that long to see if I’ve been a successful mom I just might lose my mind! I like immediate results that prove my success and keep me motivated to keep doing what I’m doing, or that I might need to change things up if something isn’t working.

So I look for evidence indicators. Yes, evidence indicators that what I’m doing works. I don’t like to spend a lot of time focusing on the negative or what isn’t working in my life because, quite frankly, it brings me down :( When I’m most frustrated with parenting and feeling like nothing is going right for me I simply focus on what is working. At night before I go to bed I meditate on the evidence indicators I had through out the day that I am a parenting success. Guess what, yesterday my daughter cleaned her room without even being reminded that it was “Clean your room day”! That is an evidence indicator that she has learned to clean her room, and respect her space and belongings. It is an evidence indicator that I have successfully passed on a value and skill to my daughter and she is assimilating it into her own life. In my book this was clearly a successful moment in my parenting.

Sometimes it is harder to see the evidence indicators. Maybe it is simply noticing that my daughters had a beautiful interaction with each other, or that one of them gives me a hug, just be cause! We all have bad days when we feel like nothing went the way we planned or expected, but from my experience and practice of focusing on what is working in my life, I know that everyday we all have moments of parenting success.

To succeed you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to hold on to. ~Tony Dorsett

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