Phase Finder

Parents matter… just not that much! PART 1

parenting Feb 19, 2021

That’s the gist of what Dr. W. Keith Campbell says on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience. He’s a social psychologist and narcissism expert. We parents obviously don’t want to be raising entitled little jerks (as he puts it) so let’s explore what matters. Yes, it’s definitely time to check our egos if we’re going to look at this honestly and win big.

He shares why it’s true that as parents we have far less influence on our kids than we think, less than 10% says the research, when it comes to shaping who they grow up and become.

Keith said, 

What we say about parenting is it really doesn’t make much of a difference but it matters.” 

Later on he explains you can’t really shape or fine tune your kids personalities. He then goes on to share with his daughters, he doesn’t even try.

He wins me over with his example of asking how could he go about switching his daughters personalities using his parenting skills? It’s funny to think about what this might look like if I wanted to switch my son and daughter’s interests and passions. It’s just not possible and that’s exciting. I know I’m not trying to control their personalities. Clearly parenting is more their interpersonal development and less about my ego. I want them to grow up confident and excited in discovering who they are becoming. So in this respect, I get that I don’t matter that much. I’m just a loving guide.

Actually, if you’re anything like me, this takes the pressure off because this means they have a huge say in how this is going to go. Our children get to actively participate in this journey to adulthood. I love that and it’s a huge sense of relief.

So I start wondering what would Dr. Keith say really matters? At the top of his list is the example we set for our kids because we are the most influential role models in their lives.

So I ask myself if I want my kids to be living their best life, am I showing them how? Am I a positive parent? Do they see me taking chances, learning from disappointment and developing resilience from my failures? Am I showing them how to live in alignment with their passions and values and truly go for it in life? Do they understand how powerful it is to live a life of meaning and full self-expression? That’s what matters deeply to me. So much of my parenting journey has been learning how to get out of their way. Now I’m adding to stay with what’s meaningful and important. I believe my children need to a have strong, conscious parents, who are pursuing their passions and modeling how they are figuring things out.

What’s coming up for you? Are you getting clear on what really matters to you in your parenting?

Let’s talk about it,



Coming up next week:

In a follow up to this post, I’ll be going over Dr. Keith’s fabulous mnemonic: C.P.R. to help us focus our priorities beyond being the awesome role-model parents we are. Stay tuned, you're going to love it! YAY!



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