Are You a Quintessential Leader As a Parent?

Posted: April 5, 2018 in Quintessential Leader Basics, Quintessential Leadership
Tags: , , ,

Are we unquintessential leaders in the way we parent our children?The first relationship that children will – or should – experience leadership (both as a role and as a role model) is with their parents.

In our society, many parents have abdicated this leadership role – in spite of having experienced it, albeit imperfectly at times, themselves as children – in favor of being friends with their children. 

This is unquintessential leadership at a core level (it is also parental neglect) and it, just as quintessential leadership aims to grow quintessential leaders as its legacy, produces a new generation of unquintessential leadership that is even worse than the one before it.

Modern parenting, in many cases, includes letting kids raise themselves. This is unquintessential leadership parenting and it is tantamount to child neglect, because it’s the worst possible thing that parents can do to their children, because they are not equipping them for life.

The ironic part of this type of parenting is that the parents do everything except be a parent for their children: they clean up after them (including their rooms), do their laundry, and do the chores the children should be learning to do.

This often lasts well into adulthood, since many children have no reason to leave home and go to college or get jobs and make it on their own.

These kids are at least smart enough to know it won’t ever be as easy as they’ve got it at home out in the real world where real people live real lives and have real problems to solve and real issues to resolve on their own along the way.

And here’s the real downside to that particular aspect: their parents won’t live forever, and, at some point, these clueless children are going to be forced into the real world, where they have zero chance of making it a day, much less the rest of their lives.

With unquintessential leadership parenting, there are no rules. There are no boundaries. There is no coaching and teaching. There is no right or wrong. There is no authority. There is no respect.

This is the definition of chaos.

And it becomes normal and a normal way of life for both parents and children.

As a result, when these children become adults, they are a law unto themselves. They do what they want – and don’t do what they don’t want to do – when they want and how they want.

These children are lovers of themselves and themselves only. They never think of anyone or anything else except themselves. They are narcissists in every aspect of their lives.

Because their parents have not taught them basic life skills nor have they taught respect for other people, these children are slobs (both in appearance and in their physical surroundings, including shared spaces with other people), they are lazy, and they expect everything to be handed to them with little or no effort on their part.

I recently talked with two different parents about how messy some of these children were in shared spaces and wondered aloud how normal people could live like that.

Both parents, in separate conversations, immediately defended the kids, making excuses (“that’s normal” and “oh, I’ve seen much worse than that”).

They also seemed to think that my expectations that these children should have been taught to clean up after themselves and that that was an aspect of showing respect to other people were unrealistic and I needed to be more tolerant and understanding.

If you’re reading this and you’re a parent and you agree with these two parents, then you are a parent who’s an unquintessential leader.

I know that’s a tough thing to hear. But what parents who are unquintessential leaders to their children are doing to them is wrong. Period.

Chaos, with no expectations, no rules, no teaching, no boundaries, no right and wrong, and doing everything for your children, except your job as a parent, is not normal.

We live in a society that moves so fast because of technology (and I’m in the technology field, so I deal with this firsthand every day, but I have always and still do put limits on my interaction with it – in other words, I disconnect at the end of the day and at least 24, if not 48, hours on the weekend). 

It can be chaotic, if we allow it to be. And this underlying current of chaos has led many people to believe that chaos is normal and it’s okay.

This is unquintessential leadership because it means that not only have parents, in general, abandoned all self-control, but they also don’t teach their children any self-control.

Without the quintessential leadership quality of self-control, the world goes to hell in a handbasket, person by person, until it’s the last place any rational, reasonable, logical, and critically-thinking person wants to be.

If you’re a parent, today is the day to ask yourself whether you are a quintessential leader or an unquintessential leader in the manner in which you parent – or don’t – your children.

It’s never too late to change (and there will be backlash, especially as children get older, but you either be a parent and deal with it or completely abandon that role in your children’s lives – either way, you’re modeling parenting to them and whatever they learn from you is what they’ll do, if in).

How are we doing?

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