Passing the Test
“Training moments occur when both parents and children do their jobs. The parent’s job is to make the rule. The child’s job is to break the rule. The parent then corrects and disciplines. The child breaks the rule again, and the parent manages the consequences and empathy that then turn the rule into reality and internal structure for the child.” (Henry Cloud)
Ever feel like your kids are testing you? Or worse—deliberately doing the very thing you just told them not to do?
You are not crazy. This is an accurate perception. They are testing you, and me, and every other parent on the planet, because this is their job. It is each of our kids’ jobs to test us, push our buttons, and expand the boundaries around them. Why? Because it’s the only way they know how to ask us to become better leaders.
Ever been put into a new leadership position at work, and soon found that even the people who wanted your leadership started testing it, or even seemingly sabotaging it? Same principle at work. We all want to be led, but we want to be led well. This means we want people can who own their position, can choose their principles wisely, and can withstand insubordination without freaking out.
You’ve experienced this already. Remember the time you finally followed through on your promised consequence, endured your young son’s initial outburst, and then found him actually cuddly and in a good mood an hour later?
That’s the sign of you passing the test.