Parenting is leadership. And yesterday we focused on a more male – traditional definition of leadership. Today we’re going to take a female’s (Maya Angelou’s) view of it. Spoiler alert – it’s not really male or female – both of these episodes have universal truths about being a father, or mother, and raising boys or girls.
Check the website for the credit of this article: Credit to Mark C. Crowley.
He says: Late poet, Maya Angelou famously observed that 'people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.' Her great kernel of truth here is that human beings are far more influenced by feelings than by facts – Contrary to what we may have been thinking all along.
So the question is obviously ‘How do you make people feel’? It’s kind of that simple.
And the answer is a tough one. Most of us really have no idea how we make people feel. And that’s because people judge others on their actions, and we judge ourselves on our intent. Think of driving. If we get cut off, that guy is an asshole. If we cut someone off – we’re sorry – we had good reason to do it – or we just didn’t see it. We have different standards. My only real suggestion – and again, I’ve been wrong many times and this may be another where there’s a better answer out there – But my only real suggestion is to ask your partner. Ask your significant other, “Have I made “johnny” feel bad at any point today? Was I overbearing or belittling, or over sensitive at some point?”
This takes great courage. And you have to be prepared for some things to come back at you. But if you can get through it, the benefits can be threefold.
- You gain self-awareness about your parenting style.
- You gain communication between you and your partner – and they feel empowered because you came to them asking for help.
Your children will remember how you made them feel. And from a male perspective this is the whole thing behind that mom guilt many women hold onto – this desire to give your children the best experience – and the guilt if you don’t. It doesn’t matter the experience you give them – it matters how you made them feel before, during, or after.