by Mark Timm, CEO Ziglar Family
I’ve noticed that when a first-time mom- or dad-to-be gets around other parents, it’s like a geyser of advice erupts, and everyone starts sharing their best “do this” and “don’t do that” tips.
If they’re wise, the new parents will soak up as much of that practical wisdom as they can, because there’s most definitely something to be said for listening to the voice of experience.
Of course, some parents might disagree, insisting on figuring out what’s best for them and doing it their own way.
I’d like to share with you some insight I picked up a couple of weeks ago from Ryan Levesque, a marketing expert who also taught neuroscience at the university level. He contends that one of the biggest mistakes people make when they're doing something new — both in business and at home — is they try to innovate instead of emulate.
Oftentimes, we have plenty of good people around us whose ideas and behaviors we can emulate — people in our lives who have experienced success in some area(s) of life. Another option is to read the books or follow the work of an expert we admire. There are plenty of ways to seek out examples of success, no matter what the topic.
When it comes to raising a family, one place we could start might be with our own parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles.
It's funny that sometimes as young parents, the first thing we want to do is everything different than our parents did. We need to be different. We need to do things differently. We need to do it our own way.
Then, as we get older, we often realize that there was plenty from our own upbringing that we can emulate and build on.
The truth is, as Solomon declares in Ecclesiastes 1:9, There is nothing new under the sun.
What we really should do is look to those who have successfully gone before us, done essentially what we are trying to do, and we need to emulate them.
We need to make sure we understand and follow their proven best practices and procedures.
We need to first emulate before we innovate.
A few days ago, I was talking with a couple who are part of our Ziglar Family community. They have seven kids, all under age 11, so they definitely have their hands full. At the end of the conversation, I asked these parents, "Is there one piece of advice that you would offer other families based on your own parenting experiences?"
Jason, the father, said, "If there's anything that I've learned over the last decade, it's that if someone else can do it, I can do it too. If a guy I admire can be a good dad, I can too. If my own dad was a good dad, I can be too.”
He was talking about studying them, really looking at them, and then emulating them.
There are times when we, as parents, get overwhelmed, and we're not sure what to do next. Part of it's because we're trying too hard to innovate, or find new solutions to deal with the issues at hand, when the truth is that we have lots of great examples all around us to draw from.
We just have to be open to learning from them.
Way back in the mid-1980s, Zig Ziglar wrote a program called Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World, and for the most part, his wisdom and advice is relevant still today, more than 30 years later. He’s absolutely one of the admired mentors I emulate as a father!
If you’d like a free eBook with excerpts from Mr. Ziglar’s Raising Positive Kids program, just visit the ZiglarFamily.com home page and click the red “FREE EBOOK” button to download your copy. You’ll appreciate the timeless wisdom he shares!
What is one piece of wisdom or advice that you can share from your own parenting journey that might help others coming behind you? Share your thoughts here — we can all benefit from each other’s experience!