Archive for Secrets of Influential Parenting

Given that our culture is not a culture of grieving it seems only natural that we would learn to stuff our feelings only to reach a point where our hearts shut down because of unresolved issues with our parents, others or things outside our control which lead to the amount of pain we carry inside.

Pat was the one to first introduce me to the thought that stuffing traumatic or painful events in our lives is not healthy.  She helped me see that losing my Dad, my company and a youth organization my wife and I started deeply wounded me. Those around me had not allowed me to grieve.  She believed that we must begin to grieve painful events in a healthy way within three weeks of the event. Otherwise we will stuff the pain deep within our hearts to resolve it and it will become toxic for the rest of our lives.  It will seep into how we view ourselves and negatively affects us and those around us. Read More →

While looking within is often the hardest phase of healing, it is crucial. I am not talking about a cursory review of oneself at the mind level, but rather a process of opening the hatch to our hearts and becoming emotionally transparent with ourselves.  We must allow ourselves to feel and find the root causes of the hurt and negative beliefs we have so carefully sealed from our consciousness. As I help parents and kids reach this place, it is amazing to see how unaware they often are regarding the pools of pain they are carrying within as well as the negative beliefs they have adopted.

When I ask them on the surface if they are okay with themselves, the answer is normally yes, but as we dig through a long list of questions about their lives, unresolved hurts and deeply held negative beliefs begin to surface. Identifying the sealed off hurts within our hearts and the negative beliefs is essential to healing that brings with it internal contentment, peace and joy. Read More →

Healing within has made a huge difference in the relationships in our family.  So many of the sensitive spots that caused me to fear, react or get angry are gone.  When those things trigger within us, we often assess the full weight of the uncomfortable or angry feelings to the one thing our kid or spouse said. If we had healed the sensitive spots or pools of pain in our hearts, the impact of what they said or did would not have kicked off such strong feelings of pain, anger or hurt.  This is just one of the reasons healing within is so important. Removing the pool of pain and triggers makes it far easier to be the type of loving, listening and strategic parent we desire to be. Read More →

Trust is a tricky topic when it comes to families and especially the parent-child relationship. We have been programmed since childhood to believe trust is earned. The challenge with this view is that this means we basically need to be perfect in our relationships. Under this view when things go wrong in a relationship, we lose trust. When trust exits a relationship, communication becomes more difficult, suspicion increases and emotional distance grows. This is one of the reasons that friendships, marriage and business relationships often die when trust is lost.

I believe trust is the foundation of love. In the absence of trust it is virtually impossible for emotional connection and love to form. Apart from trust we will not take the risk of being open, transparent and of being hurt by someone we allow to get close to us. Read More →

This is a topic many parents and kids struggle with…how do we get our kids to help clean up around the house. Over the years of parenting four kids, here is what we found is better to make “clean up” fun and a team sport.

We found that chore charts and expectations supported by lectures or consequences lead to tension between the kids as some things were easier than others, as well as motivation issues with getting the tasks done. Read More →

One of the keys for family connection that builds a sense of togetherness is TALK, simple on its face, but complex in its execution. Our challenge as parents and grand parents is establishing a culture of communication that builds and encourages open communication and togetherness.  We desire to be together but pools of pain within, unsolved issues, and poor communication habits can rob us of what we truly desire.

The kids that helped coin the five “Ts” at our family camp wanted to talk deeply, transparently and on an emotional level with their parents which was something their parents neither believed nor understood coming into the week. Many adults did not have open and emotional conversation with their parents, which was the case with this family setting them up to miss having a deeper connection with their own kids. Read More →

The Vital Nature of Transparency

The family that came for Revive’s family camp could not have anticipated the change that would begin with just one week of time, fun and transparency.  The importance of transparency cannot be overstated when it comes to family connection and togetherness.

Transparency is a delicate topic and can strike fear into the hearts of adults. Yet it is vital and must be encouraged, guarded and protected within our homes.  For me becoming transparent required pursuing healing in my own heart because prior to this to there were just too many sensitive spots that led to pain that people could trigger in me without meaning anything. I had a strong sense that I needed to protect myself, which of course meant I could share little or nothing about my real life, thoughts or feelings. Unfortunately this is the position I find far too many kids in today with their parents and siblings.

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Kids emotions are even more confusing as they approach and enter the changes of the adolescent brain.  By age nine many of our kids will be in the midst of this. We as parents, thankfully, are able to help them navigate through this challenging change.
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Our daughter is amazing, that’s it, plane and simply amazing!  Most of her friends are mature like she is and the group of friends she has are good kids, with good values, and are keeping each other on track.  She’s responsible, planning her future. We don’t track her on GPS (yes, you read that right), we don’t snoop through her phone (not a spy sorry, well not sorry) and social media accounts, we don’t snoop through her room (if we did, she should be able to snoop through ours, or is that overboard). I know you’re thinking “what!”  you have to do those things to keep her safe and out of trouble.  No we don’t and she is safe and out of trouble.

We work with natural consequences now.  So if she does not go to practice she will likely sit on the bench for most of the game, if she does not turn in her homework she will get a bad grade, if she does not move the laundry she will have wet clothes etc… Read More →

Within my first couple of semesters in college I found that many college students my age or older were not prepared for living on their own. I had heard all these stories from my Dad’s(Jeff Schadt Revive Family) research, but never really realized how prevalent this issue is. There are many skills that I see college students struggle with, but the most important ones are decision making, time management, and money management. College students lacking in these skills tend to have a more difficult time living away from home.

Making Decisions

I have seen many college students struggle to make life and school related decisions from dating issues to dealing with class assignments. Most have to turn to their parents or friends to make a decision, but what worries me most is seeing parents tell their 19+ students what to do. This is why students hide what they’re doing from their parents even when far away at college.

Decisions are hard to make for teenagers as the part of the brain that aids with this skill is one of the last things to develop. Often parents are not helping helping guide their kids towards making good intelligent decisions of their own. It is easy for parents to fall into the habit of just telling their kids what to do. My parents didn’t do this, the approach they took was to ask us if what we were doing was a smart idea, then tell us what may go wrong and let us make the decision if we wanted to go through with it. This gave us the opportunity of coming to our own conclusions and allowing us to have a chance to try, fail, and learn from our mistakes. In the long run this created kids who were able to strategize and make responsible decisions in high school and who were ready to live on their own in college and not be distracted by the craziness going on around us.

Time Management

Time management is one of the main issues I see with a majority of college students on campus. Procrastination is apart of most college students routine. They face decisions to hangout with friends or write that five page paper? Fun normally comes first. It is hard to make the right decision in college if when they were in high school their parents made sure they got their work done every day. Sadly I have found that some parents are still telling their kids in college that they need to do homework or go to bed at a certain time via text messaging. I have seen parents call their students roommates to check up on them or even to try to resolve roommate conflict for their child. I think parents need to ask themselves if this is where they want to end up and if their goal is to raise children or to raise adults. As a result of this I have had friends two and even three years older ask for advice and to help them deal with roommate conflict.  

Allowing your kids to choose their own schedule and make time for the important things when they still live at home is vital. Giving them this responsibility while they are still in your house better prepares them for living on their own. Sure they will stay up late and miss a few assignments at first, but failure is one of the best teaching tools. Middle school is ideal for these lessons to be learned because their grades do not count until high school. My parents allowed me to make these mistakes and then asked me how I felt about them and if they were smart choices I really wanted to make. If i was exhausted in the morning they would simply ask me How late did you stay up? and Was that smart to do on a school night? It was these opportunities that taught me how to manage my time and be productive without my parents telling what to do and when.     

Money Management

College students don’t know how to manage their money. I have friends that are absolutely shocked when I tell them my parents have no say in how or when I spend my money. They have access to my account because it is a local bank but never look at it or my spending habits. Not only do other parents tell their kids how to spend money, most don’t have any money for themselves. Many of my college friends don’t have summer jobs, or have never had a full time job in their lives. By the age of eighteen I worked the front desk of a hotel by myself and had worked full time during the summer for a local daycare. It wasn’t until I got a job that I really understood the responsibility of being an adult, that I believe was much needed.

My parents showed me how to manage money before I even had any by putting me in charge of buying my own clothing and shoes from 7th grade through my senior year of high school. They gave me $60 per month to spend on clothing and other items. The first month I spent it all way to fast and didn’t have anything left for the last week. The next I decided to space it out and still didn’t make it through. After I while, I discovered that a lot of what I bought wasn’t necessary. I stopped buying what I wanted and just bought what I needed. Soon my parents realized I had a ton of money left over and it kept building up. Then they were encouraging me to spend money on things I needed because I had become a spendthrift. This program taught me how to use my money wisely along with self control while I’m shopping.


College students can be so much more prepared for living on their own and it all starts with the parents. Your “kids” in college are ADULTS!  Let them live as though they are. Allow them to hold the reins of their life and learn from their failure. Grant them with trust and space to help them grow at a younger age to prepare them for their future. If you want to learn more about parenting with influence go to to check out our free webinar and podcasts.