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Leadership Starts at Home

Oct 01, 2021

In 2008, I overhear a conversation my son is having with his preschool classmate: “Why are you wearing Crocs with socks?” asked his friend. I giggle with anticipation of what my 4-year-old son will say next… he quickly replies, “umm my mom told me to!” The morning my son dressed himself for school he thought he picked a great outfit which included wearing white socks with his yellow Lego Crocs. He quickly threw me under the bus when his classmate did not agree with his fashion sense. I am okay with that because he was learning the consequences of a fashion faux pas at the tender age of 4 and the value of making choices. 

I am a recovering perfectionist, a lifelong high achiever, a corporate veteran, and a busy mother of 3 teens.  I believe leadership starts at home and overflows into a successful career. To be intentional about my career goals and parenting I sought out the wisdom of 3 professional coaches. With their feedback, I implemented and taught the parenting tools from Love and Logic and made my well-being a priority. 

I grew up in a home with a Drill Sergeant parent. My father was in the Army, and at times it felt like my siblings, and I were his soldiers. I decided to be the kind of parent who lets her kids make lots of choices and affordable mistakes so they can become independent and flourish. That meant when my kids were little, I let them make a lot of small choices. It sounded like this:

“Do you want to put on your shorts or your shirt first?”

“Do you want to take a bath or shower?” 

Drill Sergeant parents, who parent with fear tactics, and Helicopter parents, who do everything for their children, hinder their children’s personal growth. Consultant parents give advice when asked, let the child make decisions and affordable mistakes, set healthy boundaries, take good care of themselves, model good behavior, and build strong relationships with their children (not just their favorite ones).

With guidance from my mentors, I got better at being intentional with parenting and let go of trying to do it all perfectly.

From time to time, I make parenting mistakes like reverting to the Drill Sergeant tactics I learned from my childhood. It isn’t always easy for me to share control with my kids, but I know how to set healthy boundaries. As a consultant parent to 3 teenagers, my boundaries sound like this: 

"All kids who do their chores by Saturday at 2:00 pm get to have a social life.”

“Are you walking the dogs before or after dinner?”

“You may wear shorts as long as I can’t see your butt cheeks hanging out.” 

Becoming a leader at home and no longer feeling hijacked by the frenzy of parenting, allowed me to focus on my career goals. As a top sales executive earning a 6-figure income while working part-time I learned how to increase productivity at work and make time for what matters most. 

Having healthy boundaries for children to grow and flourish creates a happy home environment and gives busy working parents the mindset to be effective leaders. Successful parents who avoid power struggles have the time and energy for key relationships and their career goals. 

The next time your kids leave you speechless try one of these 3 rules: 

  • Remove yourself - Walk away so you can calm down. Talk to your kids when you have had time to choose the proper words and tone.  
  • Remove the child - What a bummer looks like it's bedroom time
  • Remove the offending object - I’ll be happy to give you back the toy when you learn how to share. Kids who turn in devices by 9:00 pm get to keep them.

Parents who know how to share control with their kids have the mental space to focus on what matters. What areas in your life need a healthy dose of boundaries? What are you tolerating that is zapping your energy? Schedule a 90-minute strategic planning  session for $149.00 to work on building healthy boundaries with a Positive Intelligence and certified Leadership Coach. 

Thank you for being part of the High Achievers tribe!  


All the best,  

Ivette Flower, The High Achievers Leadership Coach