Expert Parenting Advice
Practical parenting tips and advice from experts around the world

The most important mindset shift parents need to make

Why you need to focus on developing a relationship of trust with your child instead of focusing on getting them to comply.

A few weeks ago, I had a wonderful conversation with mother-daughter parenting team Sandi and Melissa Schwartz.

They are the co-authors of the book Authentic Parenting Power and also both run thriving parenting coaching practices.

Sandi is an ex-teacher, with over 50 years of experience in education, and Melissa specialises in working with families with "intense emotions" - so either the children or the adults are highly sensitive.

In our interview, Melissa shared what children need to be able to cooperate and listen, and how parents can make it easier for children to want to cooperate.

Then Sandi shared the "One Minute Miracle" technique to get kids to cooperate without fighting, using the example of getting kids to stop what they are doing and come to dinner.

They also spoke about something that I have found to be very important, and something that many of the parenting experts I have spoken to have shared:

I think the biggest thing parents need to change is the attitude of "I'm the parent, therefore the child must listen."

Sandi Schwartz

Sandi explained that instead of expecting compliance from your child because you are the parent and they are they child, it is much better to think long term.

Because the thing is, you only have about 15 years to really build the relationship with your child. That is not a long time. So instead of focusing your energy on getting your children to comply, rather focus it on building a relationship of trust and safety with them.

That is the basic thing to change: "I'm the parent and I'm responsible, but I also want to, through the 15 years I have them, develop a relationship of trust and that the child believes I'm there for their best interest and that I really, really care about them and that I'm a safe place for them. I'm not just their boss. And that's a 15-year development and it gets developed every day throughout all of our interactions."

Sandi Schwartz

This is such an important thing to keep in mind - your time to build the foundation of your relationship with your children is very short, and it is critical to keep in mind how you want that relationship to be when they are grown up.