#109 A Thriving Family Starts with a Thriving YOU!

#109 A Thriving Family Starts with a Thriving YOU!

If you want to help your family thrive, you need to be thriving!

The Biggest Mistake

I get it!

Everyone wants a happy thriving family.

But, most parents make the mistake of focusing on everyone else in their family before they even think about themselves.

The problem is, when you focus on others, you lose power in your own life.

The biggest impact on your family will be to transform your own life.

Stop trying to fix everyone around you and go to work on your own personal growth.

If you want to go from being frustrated and fighting with your teens over screen time, chores, and how you should be more like their friends’ parents, focus on these 3 simple things:

  1. Identity and who YOU want to BE.
  2. Connection and YOUR relationships with self and others.
  3. Growth and YOUR personal practice and development.

If you shift your focus to these 3 things, you will find that you have a more clearly defined purpose, deeper relationships with others, and a drive and determination to grow into the person you’ve always wanted to be.


Who do YOU Want To BE?

Most parents have never really taken the time to think about this.

However, if you are like most parent, you can probably think back to a time when you had a clear idea of who you wanted to be as a parent.

For me, there was a time when I was in trouble with my parents.

If felt unlistened to, unheard, and I felt they were treating my unfairly.

I distinctly remember thinking, “When I’m a dad, I’m going to be fair. And, I’m going to listen. And, I’m going to be nice.”

Most parents have lost sight of any vision that they might have had for themselves and have reverted to simply parenting in reaction/survival mode.

I want to invite you to take some time to DEFINE your vision for yourself.

Who do YOU want to BE?

Explore that.

If you look back at my first 5 episodes, you’ll notice that the first 2 challenges were all about identity.

If you want to go from struggling as a family, take some time to define YOUR identity.


How is YOUR Relationship with yourself and others?

What most people don’t understand about relationships is that your relationships with others are simply reflections of your own relationship with yourself.

Want to improve your relationship with others, maybe a teen, spouse, or parent?

You’ve got to first improve your connection and relationship with yourself.

The problem is, if you’re like most people, you’ve learned to treat others with kindness, but that it’s okay to treat yourself like garbage.

If you’ve ever berated yourself in your head, or even out loud, or if you constantly think mean thoughts about yourself, these are indicators that your individual connection and relationship with yourself are struggling.

There is immense power in connecting to yourself and embracing that connection rather than trying to fight it or silence it with self-doubt and self-loathing.

YOU are powerful. YOU are amazing. And, YOU are exactly where and how you are “supposed” to be.

You can’t get to where you want to be without first BEing right where you are!

Take some time to appreciate where you are and what it’s taken to get there.

Acknowledge and appreciate your strengths and gifts.

There are special things about you that no one else has.

Start believing in yourself.

Start loving yourself.

Start BEing the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.

You cannot give to others what you do not have for yourself.

Want a better connection and relationship with others?

Develop a better connection and relationship with yourself first!


Where can YOU (and want to) practice and develop.

Sure, I could get better at ballroom dance and country swing, but I don’t really want to. Sorry Deb.

I do want to get better at disc golf, basketball, public speaking, entrepreneurship, and being the best husband and father that I can be.

There’s power in being willing to grow and develop.

It takes a certain humility and vulnerability, but it also takes courage and determination.

If you want to thrive as a parent, grow!

Look at plants; when they are growing, they are thriving.

Look at children. One of the things that doctors look for to know if children are thriving is growth patterns.

If you want a thriving family, . . .

If you want individual members of your family to thrive, . . .

. . . You need to grow!

It’s okay to be imperfect.

It’s okay to have room for improvement.

That’s the purpose of life.

Commit to BEing your best by practicing and developing.

When life and parenting is tough, just realize that you are doing some serious growing, and that’s okay.

Sometimes when life gets tough, that’s just life’s way of showing you areas where there’s room for improvement.

That’s okay.

Putting It All Together: Identity, Connection, AND Growth

One mistake that I see is when people focus on just one or two of these steps.

They understand who they want to be (identity) and they have good relationships with themselves and others (connection), but they aren’t growing (growth), and they feel stuck and stagnant.

I’ve seen people with great relationships (connections), and they’re working hard to grow and be the best they can be, but without an identity they feel lost and confused.

Maybe you’re growing, and you know exactly who you want to be (identity) but without a relationship with yourself it’s hard to connect with others.

And without some self-love, it’s hard to go through the discomfort of growth, and it’s hard to be someone you don’t like.

Come Connect with Us LIVE and In Person!

Our Summer Slam is Saturday, July 30th from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

It will include powerful lessons, fun activities, and an awesome evening filled with board games and connection.

See you there!


#108 Why Is Change So Hard?

#108 Why Is Change So Hard?

Everyone want’s to change, but most people aren’t committed to changing!

You’re Not Committed

I’ll be honest with you. This topic is on the forefront of my mind lately.

I’m trying to make some changes in my own life, and it’s been a struggle.

I’m making some changes with my physical health, and at times it’s been physically difficult and emotionally difficult.

One of the things that I’ve noticed is that my commitment to change has it’s ups and downs.

Some days I’m all in, 100% committed.

I feel motivated and it feels kind of easy.

And then the very next day, all motivation is out the window, and I’m only committed if there are not major temptations.

Some of the questions I’ve been exploring lately are?

  • Why am I not committed to this?
  • What AM I committed to?
  • What do I WANT to be committed to?
  • Why DO I want to commit to this?

Have you ever heard the quote, “It’s easier to hold your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold them 98 percent of the time,.” by Clayton Christensen?

This is the principle of commitment. It’s easier to be 100% committed than 98% committed.

If you’re struggling to commit, to be committed, work on getting their mentally.

For me, it helps to explore WHY I want to be committed.

  • I’m committed to being healthy because I want to be a healthy example to my kids.
  • I want to be healthy because I want to live a long and quality life with my family.
  • I want to be healthy so I can whoop up on my kids in sports.

Find your why and commit to it!

You’re Not Making Daily Progress

It sounds simple, but momentum builds momentum.

If you’re anything like me, one of the things that holds you back from making the changes you want to make is a lack of momentum.

It’s hard starting from zero, or negative $50,000, or plus 65 lbs.

Building momentum is a daily process, and the best way to build momentum is to make daily progress.

If you’ve been struggling to make the change you want to make, do these 2 simple things:

  1. Start today and do something small.
  2. Make a small and simple plan to do it again tomorrow.

Momentum builds momentum!

Start building momentum.

Continue building momentum.

BE an unstoppable force, constantly moving ever closer to your desired change.

You Don’t Have The Support You Need

Most people try to create change all on their own.

I get it.

You might be ashamed that you’ve let yourself get where you are today.

You might be embarrassed and trying to hide.

You might not believe that you can make the change you want.

Whatever your reason for doing it alone, you DON’T have to do it alone.

Get the support you need.

Inside of our Firmly Founded Family membership, we’ve seen countless parents and teens who have tried everything on their own, but once they got the help they needed, change was easy.

When you build a community around you, you get some huge benefits, like:

  • Accountability
  • Support
  • Different Perspectives
  • Friends
  • Examples of New Possibilities

Get the support you need, and start creating real change in your life.

You’re Old Ways Are Benefiting You

We do what we think benefits us.

Your habits and patterns are designed to continue getting you the old benefit that the original action, the start of the habit, once got you.

If you’re having a hard time making a change, explore these questions:

  • How is this benefiting me?
  • What benefit do I get from this?
  • Why did I want this benefit?
  • How is this no longer benefiting me?
  • How would it benefit me to change?

One of the things that I like to do is to eat delicious food until I’m stuffed.

How does this benefit me?

It makes me feel good. It helps me relax.

Why did I want this benefit.

I learned to buffer with good food from a young age. It’s my family’s love language.

How is this no longer benefiting me?

It’s making me fat. It keeps me from being athletic and dominating my sons in basketball.

How would it benefit me to change?

I’d lose weight, be healthier, and dominate my kids in sports.

Now I can choose between two different benefits. Do I want to relax and feel good thanks to food and at the expense of my health, or do I want to lose weight, be healthy and dominate my kids in sports?

I want to choose the latter result.

It’s Part Of Your Identity

It’s really hard to go against your identity.

This is one of the reasons it’s so hard for smokers to quit. They identify as “Smokers”.

It’s easy to identify as your old self or your old habits, but it’s not helpful.

Just because you like food, or you’ve struggled to lose weight doesn’t mean you’re a “foodie” or an addict.

Just because you’ve yelled at your kids doesn’t make you a “yeller.”

Part of what holds you back from making the change you want to make is seeing yourself as you are, or as you used to be, but not being able to see yourself for who you are becoming.

Want to make a powerful change?

Than shift your identity.

Start BEing that dream version of yourself today.

See where you are right now, and create the story in your mind of how it connects to where you want to be.

You’re Making It Harder Than It Needs To Be

Sometimes we make change harder than it needs to be.

Explore how the change you want to make can actually be easy.

I’ve had clients that after exploring how their change could actually be easy found that it actually was easy.

One client wanting to quit eating certain foods realized that it is actually easier to not buy them than it is to buy them.

It cost less money, took less trips to the store, and made her life healthier and easier.

Don’t fall into the trap of making your change harder than it has to be simply because it’s hard for others, or you thought it would be hard.

Come Connect with Us LIVE and In Person!

Our Summer Slam is Saturday, July 30th from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.

It will include powerful lessons, fun activities, and an awesome evening filled with board games and connection.

See you there!


#094 My Teen Won’t Change, Now What?

#094 My Teen Won’t Change, Now What?

Believe it or not, this is one of my ALL TIME favorite questions that I get from parents.

No Matter What I Do, My Teen Won’t Change

One of the things that I hear a lot is, “We’ve tried EVERYTHING, and nothing we do works.”

To which I usually ask, “How do you know nothing is working?”

And the parents typically replay, “My teen won’t change.”

If you’ve ever thought that “nothing is working” when it comes to your teens, it’s probably because you are focused on changing your teen.

My favorite question that I often get from parents is, “My teen won’t change, now what?”

The reason I like that question so much is because it typically means that they’ve tried changing their teen, they’ve realized that they can’t change their teen, and they want to know what they CAN do.

If this is you, and you’re starting to realize that you can’t change your teen, and you’re left wondering, “Now what!?!” this podcast is for you.

Where Is Your Attention?

One of the reasons that I like this question is because it reflects a shift in attention. It shows that the parents are willing to shift their attention from changing their teen to something else, “Now what?”

Most parents get stuck fixating their attention on the behavior of their teen. They catastrophize about all the things that are going “wrong” and the scary worst-case scenarios that are possible.

If you want to change your teen, you’re attention is on something that you can’t control, your teen.

But, when you ask “Now what?” you shift your attention to new possibilities.

“Now What?” has limitless possibilities.

Often, when parents come to me asking, “Now what?” there is a sense of desperation.

They feel like they’ve tried everything, that nothing works, and their desperation positions them to be willing to explore new options.

So, Now What?

First of all, don’t beat yourself up for not being able to change, fix, or control your teen.

It’s not your job. You don’t have the power to change, fix, or control your teen.

You haven’t done anything wrong, so please show yourself some compassion.

And second, take all of that energy that you were spending on your teen and spend it on you.

That’s right, let go of the things outside of your control and embrace the things that you can control yourself.

For some parents, this looks like letting your teen be grumpy, depressed, and unhappy, and shifting your focus from making them happy to being happy yourself.

For some parents it looks like exploring ways that you can be the change that you want for your teen.

For example, one of the things that parents ask all the time is, “How can I help my teen be more confident?”

My answer is usually, “How can you be the change you’re looking for? How can you be more confident? How can you be more confident in your teen?”

Bottom line is, there are countless things that you can do, EVEN if your teen isn’t willing to do anything different.

Simply ask yourself the question, “Now what?” and go with whatever you come up with.

Call to ACTION!

Come join me in the Firmly Founded Parent Membership! It’s better than ever!

#049 My Top 3 Parenting Mistakes

#049 My Top 3 Parenting Mistakes

We all make parenting mistakes, being able to identify them and be aware of them empowers us to learn from them.

“It’s not how we make mistakes, but how we correct them that defines us.”
~ Rachel Wolchin

#3 Catastrophizing!

This is one of my all-time favorites. Some people have accused me of making this word up, but it’s a real word with a real definition.


to imagine the worst possible outcome of an action or eventto think about a situation or event as being a catastrophe or having a potentially catastrophic outcome

This is one of the biggest mistakes that I make as a parent and that I see many of my clients making. They will see a circumstance, maybe their teen’s action, and they will start worrying about the worst possible outcome.

“They’ll die in a ditch somewhere,” or, “They’ll ruin their future,” or, “They’ll live in my basement FOREVER!”

I am guilty of doing this. When my sons want to blow off practice for their sport, my brain goes to, “They’ll probably never play, if they even make the team at all.”

This is a huge mistake because it completely changes how you parent. Catastrophizing is only a thought, or possibly many thoughts. As a thought, it creates your feelings, which drive your actions and create your results.

Catastrophizing makes you miserable. It causes you to feel worry, anxiousness, shame, fear, and a whole host of other uncomfortable feelings. Catastrophizing robs you of the joy and peace that you can experience as a parent. It triggers your amigdala and puts you into fight, flight, or freeze mode.

#2 Trying to Fix, Change, or Control Your Teen.

This one is HUGE! This one rivals number one on this list. Again, this is something that I am often guilty of as a parent. And, it is something that I see over and over with the parents that I work with. Whether it’s happening in my life, my clients lives, or your life, I can tell you this; you CANNOT fix, change, or control anyone else!

Not only is this something that you cannot do, but it will cause huge amounts of frustration and negative emotion in your life.

Trying to fix, change, or control your teen is trying to get part of their model to fit into your result line in your model.

Also, trying to fix, change, or control your teen also sends the message that, “I don’t trust you,” or “I think you’re doing it all wrong,” or “There’s something wrong with you.”

Bonus – Honorable Mentions

  • Not knowing and/or defining your core values as a parent.
  • Not knowing and/or defining your role as a parent.
  • Trying to be perfect
  • Thinking you’re not good enough

#1 Focusing On Things OUTSIDE of Your Control

This is the #1 thing that I am seeing right now in my own life and in my experience working with parents that is a “mistake.” And, by mistake I mean that this is an action that they are taking that does not lead to the results that they want.

Recently I’ve worked with parents who are obsessed about the decisions that their teens are or are not making in regards to life choices, like school, grades, graduation, college, and marriage.

I’ve coached parents who are upset with their in-laws. They want them to behave differently when it comes to their grandkids and their roles as grandparents.

I recently coached a parent who found out about some of her teens actions from years in the past that could come with some pretty severe consequences. She is so worried about how others will take the news, whether her son will take responsibility, what will the family think, and so on.

In every circumstance, the answer is the same – identify what’s within your control and what’s outside of your control, let go of the things outside of your control, and double your focus on the things that are within your control.

Call to ACTION!

Stop beating yourself up for your parenting “mistakes”.

Stop worrying that you are doing it all wrong, and join the Firmly Founded Parent TODAY!

This is the first and most powerful step in developing confidence in yourself and your parenting.

#049 My Top 3 Parenting Mistakes

#034 Are YOU Driving Your Teen Away?

When we try to change or fix our teens, we only push them away!

“Quit fixing and start believing in others. [ . . .] You can give them the benefit of your experiences but you can’t give them experience. They need their own experiences and lessons to develop.”
~ Marcia Reynolds Psy.D.

Why Do We “Need” to Fix Others?

I want to start out by saying that human beings are fixers!

We love to fix things!

As parents, many of us have come to believe that it is our job to fix our teens. Coupled with our years of experience and all our time, love and resources invested on our kids, we think we have the duty and right to change and fix our teens.

When we try to fix or change our teens, what it really means is that we think there is something wrong with them and that they are not good enough.

Our teens often feel like there is something wrong with them and that they are not good enough.

As parents we often feel shame, embarrassment, frustration when we think that our teen “should be . . . “

How This Often Looks In The Model

Believe it or not, this is the #1 problem that parents come to me for help with. Their teen is “pulling away,” or “We’re not close anymore. We just don’t like each other,” or “I can’t watch them throw their life away!”

Here’s a recent model with one of my clients:
Circumstance- Son’s friends smoke weed.
Thought- My son needs better friends or he’ll ruin his life.
Feeling- Fear
Action- Ban his friends from our house.
Result- I push my son away.

Circumstance- Daughter gets a D in math
Thought- She should be getting A’s in math.
Feeling- Frustration
Action- Ground her for a week.
Result- I’m trying to fix my daughter.

When we try to fix them, we’re actually pushing them away

Often times our teen adopt our thoughts and beliefs into their own models.

Circumstance- Friends smoke weed.
Thought- I need better friends or I’ll ruin my life.
Feeling- Fear
Action- Worry that my friends will ruin my life.
Result- Struggle making friends.

Circumstance- I got a D in math
Thought- I should be getting A’s in math.
Feeling- shame
Action- Negative self talk like, “I’m stupid.”
Result- Don’t try in classes.

Trying to fix our teens often has the opposite affect. In fact, trying to fix or change them often supports their suspicion that they are not good enough.

Here’s 2 Things You Can Do Instead

#1 Connect With Your Teen Right Where They Are!

I know it’s hard. We want our teens to have the best possible life. And, sometimes it’s hard to see how things will work out in the end when their current circumstances seem so bleak.

BUT, I promise things WILL work out for the best! ALWAYS!!

Every circumstance that you experience with your teen is an opportunity for connection.

Your teen has friends that smoke weed . . .

. . . Find a way to connect with them right there!

Your teen is struggling in school . . .

. . . Find a way to connect with them right there!

Rather than trying to fix them, connect with them.

Sure, you can invite them to change, but I promise connecting with them will have a more powerful impact in their life!

#2 Shift Your Focus to YOU!

I say this all the time, but be the change you want to see!

You can’t change your teen, but you CAN, 100%, change you.

Rather than focusing on what you want THEM to do differently, focus on what you want YOU to do differently.

This will empower you. This will help you reconnect with your teen.

Call to ACTION!

Get on a FREE consultation call with me today to see how you can stop pushing your teen away and start connecting with them right where they are.