Being in quarantine with the children has been really fun. We printed 300 snapshots of our family over the years, as well as some photos that we were able to get from our parents and grandparents. We printed them all out, and then we literally pasted them to a wall in the basement, like wallpaper. I told the children that I could tell them a story for every single photo on the wall. And they’ve tested me. Ha ha. I love this family of mine. I am so grateful to the Lord for this beautiful family.

School starts tomorrow. I am not anxious to say goodbye to my children. But. There is one thing. Jono, being the youngest of the oldest three doesn’t feel any pressure to … ummmm … perform. He doesn’t exert himself much. He knows the two older children will do what he doesn’t want to do. But, as a student in a classroom, Jono does brilliantly well. He is helpful and involved, and raises his hand, and he volunteers. Really a lovely student. Interesting, right? This is what Jody has to say about this phenomenon:

“Kids are more well behaved for other adults than they are for their own parents. And they take advice often times better from other adults than they do from their own parents.

Now your kids’ behavior is of course your kids’ model. And so it’s coming from what they’re thinking and what they’re feeling. But I also think if I’m the CIRCUMSTANCE in their model, and I have some influence – the energy that I’m coming from matters. It’s going to trigger certain thoughts in them.

And I wonder if (our kids’ acting differently around us) has to do with this idea that, as a parent, we bring so much drama to a conversation, even if we think we’re hiding it. Our kids can sense that nervous energy or the worry. And then they respond differently to us than they would to another adult who’s much less nervous about it. Another adult will kind of come into the conversation like ‘whatever they choose is going to be fine’. Do you notice this with other people’s kids? They’ll tell you about their kid and they worry that he’s struggling. And your thought is, ‘He’s going to be fine, don’t worry.’ But when it’s your own kid, your brain just thinks it’s so much more important to worry. And then it’s hard to lose that nervous energy. And I sometimes wonder if that isn’t partly why our kids respond better to other adults than ourselves.

I think about this with sales too. I notice that, you could even have a script, but you still can go wrong, if what’s driving you is thoughts and feelings of scarcity, and desperation. All the subtleties of human behavior are going to be totally different than if you’re coming from a place of complete confidence, and abundance, and wanting to just serve your client. The same words even will come across differently.

So how I can be most effective when it comes to me influencing others is that I focus on getting my head and my heart in the right place. Whether I’m selling something, I’m parenting my child, I’m giving a talk in church – whatever it is I’m doing, my main focus has to be on my model. That is how I influence others for good.”

By working on me and my model, I will show up more of the way I want to in all situations. I will be more available and more authentic when my children need me, or when my husband needs me, or when a friend needs me. And that doesn’t mean I will be people-pleasing them. No. I will be sincerely loyal to them, and to myself.

“I get this question a lot: ‘What should I tell my child? Or what should I do with my child?’ And here’s what I think is fascinating. It’s the wrong question to be asking! Because if you cleaned up your own model, (you’d clean up) the feeling driving your conversation.”

So, in my conversations with others, can I be more in my own model? Can I be more honest, more authentic. Can I love me, the whole time, “even in all my mess”? And can I stop thinking about how other people should be – get out of their model. Can I let other people feel their emotions? Can I learn from other people, to become my best self?

“Most of the other people in your life are not doing thoughtwork. They are not running models – they don’t really care about the model and they don’t want to hear about it. And, really, they don’t need to, it’s perfectly fine, you’re still the circumstance in their model. And we don’t have to change them or fix them, we don’t need to teach them all about the model. We don’t need to point out to them that if they thought about us differently, they would feel differently about us. We really don’t have to do that.

Whenever I hear clients saying to me, ‘I’m trying to show my husband that this is just his thoughts.’ I’m like, ‘You’re missing the whole point of the model.'”

I’m using primarily Jody’s words today. This is a principle I am only starting to really understand and practice.

“When you do the work on your own head, in your own self, then this is what it looks like: 1) It looks like being loving toward others. It’s so much easier to be compassionate, and open, and again, I want to care when other people are suffering. I want to have emotions about that, because I’m coming from love. But I know I’m the C and there are times when I’m willing to adjust myself at their request. And there’s other times when I’m not. But I want to be open and available to all of it. Humility is required for me to expand myself, I have to be willing to be wrong. 2) It also looks like being really honest, telling people the truth with kindness. So I don’t have to share every thought that comes to my head, but am I operating in integrity? 3) It also looks like not operating from this fear based place, where we’re trying to control people and things outside of us in order to feel better. 4) It’s being my highest best self and trusting that that is going to benefit the people around me. 5) It looks like serving out of a desire to be the kind of person who serves others because that’s who you want to be and you love you the most when you’re being that kind of person. And you love God enough to want to serve others in this way, not because you’re trying to control others emotions or opinions, just because that’s who I want to be.”


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