Posted by Tommy Runfola | July 23, 2016
Just a few years ago I sold a chain of highly successful early education private schools that my wife and I founded 15 years before and had grown to be among the most highly regarded schools of their type in the country. During that time we had the opportunity to observe thousands of parents, their parenting styles, and saw first-hand the results of both good and bad parenting. This week’s blog will address this most important topic of parenting.
It is one of the worst maladies of our time. This insidious disease starts early and the effects often last a lifetime. This malaise can overtake our lives, affect our brain, ruin marriages and families, cause us to spend years on the psychiatrist’s couch, even limit our income. When this infirmity takes hold it can make us insecure, fearful, rob our ambition, destroy our outlook, cripple us in the workplace, and make us unproductive and negative. In fact, there is not a part of our lives that is untouched in serious cases of this illness, and there is no known cure in modern medicine. It is so bad, in fact, that most people don’t even realize they are suffering its effects, while it slowly debilitates them throughout their lives.
So what is this horrible plague: In laymen’s terms it’s commonly called Crappy Parent Syndrome. That’s right, I said it, the people who reared you and brought you to adulthood, that you have just naturally loved, honored and respected may have “done a real job on you.”
The following is my 10 question diagnostic test to determine if you have been victimized by crappy parents:
1. Do you have low self-esteem, think you are worthless?
2. Do you think the world “owes you?”
3. Do you think that you are helpless and hopeless?
4. Do you believe that America is no longer a place of opportunity?
5. On the job, do you think your employer should be concerned about your feelings?
6. Do you believe the goal of your work should be to get by, have a few luxuries, retire, and enjoy the little time you have left?
7. Do you have little ambition and feel that hard work is for suckers?
8. Do you believe in the workplace you should start at the top and work your way down?
9. Do you think you were born to be in poverty and live in a world of scarcity?
10. Do you think you should have all that the world has to offer without fiercely competing for it?
If you have answered YES to even one of these questions, you may be suffering from Crappy Parent Syndrome. You may have a worldview that makes you incompatible with successful living. The causes of this condition are many and variable: You may have been deprived as a child or over-indulged. You may have had both parents in the home, grown up in a single parent home, or been the victim of divorce or in a home of revolving parents. Your parents may have abused alcohol or drugs or been straight as an arrow. Surprisingly, your parents may have loved you very much, given you everything your little heart desired, and shielded you from adversity and pain during your entire youth. The range of symptoms and causes of this disease is as diverse as the people who call themselves parents.
Parenting is a noble and lofty occupation, and few are truly prepared for it. There is no handbook, and there is as much misinformation as there is healthy information on how the job should be done. Many enter into parenthood without a thought about the gargantuan responsibility they are taking on. Most parents tend to repeat the type of parenting they experienced as children, so sometimes this syndrome gets perpetuated for generations. While most “do their best,” we often find out as adults that we were completely unprepared for the world that greets us. After all, preparation for the real world is what parenting is all about.
I don’t like to point out problems without viable solutions, so listen up. Maybe you didn’t have the greatest parents in the world. So what! Put on your big boy and big girl pants and create a new paradigm for yourself – in effect, re-parent yourself if you had less than ideal parents. Take a good look at yourself and see what you need to be successful at work, in relationships, as a citizen of the world.
If you sense you have fallen victim to Crappy Parent Syndrome, try these 5 small remedies and strategies:
1. Act as if…Act as if you are smart, talented, educated. Act as if you can be and have anything you want. Act as if you believe to the core of your being that you are a great, talented person living in the greatest time in history with the greatest opportunities for success.
2. Just believe…Belief is the most powerful force in the world. You would be surprised what a powerful belief system can achieve. It will move every mountain and obstacle in your way.
3. Dream Big…All achievers are big dreamers. Don’t allow low livers and low thinkers of your past to limit your dreams for your future.
4. Be an overcomer…Learn to work hard, be a thinker, and be a persistent doer and you will overcome every roadblock that life puts in front of you.…
5. Speak it into existence…The power of life and death is in the tongue. Speak your dreams into existence. Rehearse over and over in your mind and through your speech what you want to achieve in life, and then watch it come to pass.
Although some of this blog was tongue-in-cheek, many of us continue to live lower, have less, and be less than we were created to be solely because of those who shaped us as young people. If that’s you, it’s totally within your power to change it. Simply discard those beliefs of the past that were foisted on you when you were too young and vulnerable to intellectually oppose them and realize the world is truly yours for the taking, and then go get it!
Hear these and more ideas for successful living every week on my weekly radio show: Makin It! (www.makinitnow.com)