Parenting

The Biggest Mistakes Parents Must Avoid to Raise Happy Adults

How the Things We Do In Order To Help Our Kids Actually HURT Them In the Long-Term
6 Experts Reveal Powerful Parenting Secrets You Can Start Implementing Today

If you’re reading this, you’re already a good parent. You want to do what’s best for your kids.

You do and say things to help them be happy, well-rounded, responsible and self-assured.

Adorable little girl with dessert

The problem is that some of the things we do as parents to help our kids and accomplish what we want in the short-term, may actually work against what we really want for our kids in the long-term.

Here’s what that means…

If your kids are doing something you don’t want them to do, you may tell them to stop it.

Or put them in a time-out.

Or threaten to take away privileges and then follow through if they persist in misbehaving.

Or yell at them to get their attention.

Or tell them they’re okay and to stop overreacting.

In the short-term, these tactics may work to get your kids to stop whining, do their homework, get in the car, share their toy with their sibling, or brush their teeth before bed.

In the long-term, however, these parenting approaches may actually be harming them.

Here’s how…

The Common Parenting Approaches That Actually Harm Children In the Long-Run

Let’s say your daughter has been sneaking cookies before dinner and lies to you about it when you confront her. You don’t want your child to be disobedient or think it’s okay to lie, so you tell her she did a bad thing and you punish her.

You tell her to go to her room and think about what she did. When she refuses, you threaten that she won’t get to watch videos after dinner unless she does what you’re telling her to do right now.

She finally goes to her room, but when she gets there, she isn’t thinking about what she did or feeling remorseful.

Instead, she’s stewing. She feels ashamed at being caught doing something she wasn’t supposed to do and then being called out for lying about it. She is angry at you for what she perceives to be unfair treatment.

She tells herself that next time, she won’t get in trouble because she’ll make sure not to get caught!

And so later, when you ask her to, she apologizes and agrees not to do it again. Her time-out ends and everything seems like it’s been resolved.

From your standpoint you got the result you wanted in the short-term. She’s “learned her lesson” and apologized.

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But what you don’t know is that in the long-term, like when she grows into her teen years, she will have learned that it pays to be sneakier so she doesn’t get caught doing something “wrong”.

She becomes secretive and rebellious because she thinks YOU are the problem, not her behavior.

Furthermore, she may also unconsciously interpret your words not as her doing something wrong, but as being a bad person. As an adult, she frequently fights a nagging feeling of shame—that she’s worthless and unlovable.

And Here’s Why “Fixing”, “Helping” and “Rescuing” Are Hurting Them in the Long-Term, Too

Here’s another example that you may relate to…

Your child forgets to bring their lunch to school.

You don’t want them to suffer with hunger all day so you take time out of your day to bring them their lunch.

You think you’re being loving and helpful. You believe you’re supposed to help your child when they’re in trouble or need something.

Father comfortig son

That’s what you think being a parent is all about!

And that’s why the next time they need help, you’re there for them. You drive them to school when they miss the bus. You play referee when they have a disagreement with their sibling. You chew out their teacher for giving them an unfair grade. You immediately replace their favorite toy when they accidentally break it.

You do this because you can’t stand to see your child struggle or suffer. You want to make him or her feel better and to “fix” the problem.

In the short-term, you accomplish that.

They don’t go hungry, they get to retake a test, they turn in their school project on time, and they don’t have to go without their favorite toy (or cell phone or video game, etc) for too long.

But what you’re actually teaching your child in the long-term is NOT that you’re a loving, caring, supportive parent.

You’re training them to not take responsibility for themselves, and you’re sending them the unconscious message that love means having someone do things for you.

You’re training them to feel incapable.

As adults they are entitled, narcissistic and unable to set goals and achieve them without a great deal of struggle or resistance.

Or they will struggle with anxiety, unable to cope with everyday adult challenges and responsibilities.

When You Give In or Distract, What Are You REALLY Teaching Them?

And here’s another example that so many parents can probably relate to:

Your child screams “no!” because she doesn’t want to leave the playground, so you keep giving her 5 more minutes, and then another 5, and another.

When you insist that it’s time to go, she cries and screams. Her being upset is upsetting to you, so you tell her, “If we leave now, we can go get ice cream! How does that sound?”

Mother playing with daughter

She stops crying and gladly gets in the car because she loves ice cream.

Once again, in the short-term, you’ve avoided a full-blown meltdown by giving in to your child’s demands or by distracting her from her big feelings of upset by promising to go get ice cream.

However, in the long-term, she’s failed to develop her “disappointment muscles”.

The minute she felt anything other than pleasure or contentment, you stepped in and “fixed” it for her.

She never has to deal with her discomfort at not getting what she wants all the time and right away. She learns that whining, pouting, complaining are all valid forms of manipulating people to give her what she wants.

Therefore, she grows up and can’t handle setbacks or blames others when things go wrong instead of taking responsibility for her life.

As an adult she has trouble regulating her emotions when things don’t go her way.

It’s Not Your Fault…We Simply Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

Perhaps after reading this, you’re aghast!

Here you thought you were being a “good” parent, by disciplining or punishing them, by preventing their disappointment and suffering, or by fixing things for them.

You had no idea you were actually making some pretty serious MISTAKES in the way you were parenting your child.

It’s not your fault.

We weren’t taught about parenting in any class in high school or college.

We don’t necessarily discuss these deeper parenting concepts with our friends or neighbors.

We simply don’t know what we don’t know.

We just do what we think is correct and loving. We either repeat what WE saw growing up and the way WE were raised. Or, we do the exact OPPOSITE of what our parents did if we didn’t like the way our parents raised us.

The Very Good Reason Why We Don’t See Our Parenting Approach As a “Mistake”

And let’s face it…

We don’t see these types of parenting approaches as “mistakes”. We consider them as normal, reasonable ways to get our kids to step up or behave.

When our kids don’t cooperate with us, or if they struggle, we think our kids are just being unruly, lazy or stubborn. Or we think we’re being inconsistent, so we double-down on the punishments or we step in and help them out even more.

It’s the only thing we think works with our kids—most of the time.

The reason we think what we’re doing works is because much of the time we get the intended result:

  • Our kids clean up their mess
  • They stop hitting their siblings
  • They get good grades
  • They say “please” and “thank you”
  • They stop talking back
  • They cheer up or stop crying
  • They don’t make us late
  • They are our best friend
  • They don’t misbehave
  • All our friends and neighbors are impressed
  • And so on…

But what we don’t realize is that in the long-term NONE of the above things predict a child’s future happiness.

That’s why it’s critical to learn how to avoid the common parenting traps we ALL fall into at times so we can get the results we want NOW while also raising children who will grow up to be happy, capable adults.

And that’s why we’ve developed a program that compiles the very best advice we could find from the world’s top experts to help you understand and address this very important topic.

Introducing Parenting Traps, A Program That Will Show You How to Be a More Effective Parent Now AND Raise Confident, Capable Adults

We did a lot of research to find the best information and wisdom on parenting we could find.

Our intent was to discover as much as we could about how parents could make their job easier now AND raise kids that grow up to be kind, capable, and confident adults.

We read the top parenting books. We interviewed psychologists, parenting experts, educators, authors and yes, actual parents.

We selected the experts we thought were the most qualified and most experienced to talk about the biggest mistakes parents make and how to remedy them.

These were experts that were highly-respected in their field and had decades of experience counseling parents. Some had best-selling books on parenting.

Next, we put together the top questions YOU might ask if you had the opportunity to sit down with each of these experts yourself.

We aimed to get real, solid takeaways from every expert. Actionable tips. Word-for-word scripts on what to say to your kids during those tough situations that challenge every parent.

We also wanted the program to be foundational—meaning, it covers the most common issues and offers solutions that create the biggest positive impact on your children.

The result is our powerhouse 5+ hour video program, Parenting Traps: The Biggest Mistakes Parents Must Avoid to Raise Happy Adults.

This program will help you identify the 6 major “mistakes” that just about every parent makes that causes their children to grow up with negative, destructive beliefs about themselves.

You’ll learn what you may be doing that could be damaging to your child’s sense of self-worth and their ability to be successful in life—and how to reverse that right away.

You’ll learn why “helping” your kids may actually be training them to grow up to feel entitled or incapable of working through challenges, and how you can really help your kids develop a greater sense of self-responsibility by doing LESS, not more, for them.

You’ll hear what your most important job is as a parent and how it’s actually the easiest thing you’ll do all year. And yet, it’s the most impactful thing on your child’s sense of worthiness and future mental resilience.

You’ll learn all about the dangers of using punishment to get your kids to comply, and why it’s important to instead teach solutions and skills so they grow up to be functional, thriving adults.

You’ll find out why the things you’re telling your kids to make them feel better is actually invalidating them and making them distrust their feelings. You’ll change the way you comfort your kids when you hear how to do it in a way that uplifts them and makes them feel seen and heard.

You’ll get actionable tips on how to get your kids to cooperate with you and solve their own problems, so you can have more quality time to spend with them (versus wasting time yelling, punishing, or putting them in time-outs).

Impactful, Actionable “AHAs” With Key Take-Aways You Can Start Implementing With Your Kids TODAY

We know you’re a busy parent and you don’t have a lot of time to waste. We appreciate how stressful and exhausting parenting can be.

That’s why we designed the program to be as impactful and actionable as possible.

You will learn key take-aways from each interview that you can apply the same day and watch as your children learn, change, and blossom in wonderful ways. They’ll make positive shifts in how they see themselves and how they see YOU as their parent.

You’ll feel more effective each day you put the tips and learnings into practice and they’ll feel loved, acknowledged and supported.

Meet Our Experts for This Program

We interviewed each of the following six experts in-depth about a topic in which they specialize and/or have years (sometimes decades!) of experience in teaching to parents. Here’s who they are:


1 Jane Nelsen

Dr. Jane Nelsen is a California licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and author or co-author of 16 books, including the Positive Discipline Parenting Tools, with her daughter, Mary, and her son, Brad.

She earned her Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco, but her formal training has been secondary to her hands-on training as the mother of seven, grandmother of 22, and 16 great grandchildren. She now shares this wealth of knowledge and experience as a popular keynote speaker and workshop leader throughout the world.

Jane Nelsen

Mary Tamborski

2 Mary Tamborski

Mary Nelsen Tamborski, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego. She is also a Certified Positive Discipline Trainer and Parenting Coach, a wife and mother of three young boys.

Mary is co-author of the “Positive Discipline Tool Card Book,” and “Keeping the Joy in Marriage Tool Cards” and eBook of the same title, with her mother, Jane Nelsen. She is a popular keynote speaker, Positive Discipline Trainer, and workshop presenter, and offers many Positive Discipline training throughout the world.


3 Christina McGhee

Christina McGhee is an internationally-recognized divorce-parenting expert, speaker, coach and author. She’s the author of the highly acclaimed book, Parenting Apart: How separated and divorced parents can raise happy and secure kids.

Christina has gained worldwide attention for her work with three British families in the documentary, How to Divorce Without Screwing Up Your Kids. She’s been featured on television, radio and in print around the US and abroad, including The Times, Parents Magazine, BBC, The Guardian, LA Talk Radio, GMTV, Fox Family, The Dr. Laura Berman Radio Show/Oprah Network and NYU Doctor Radio.

Her program on co-parenting, Co-Parenting With Purpose, can be found in the “programs” tab of this website.

Christina McGhee

Dr. Pat Love

4 Dr. Pat Love

Dr. Pat Love has been a marriage and family therapist for more than 40 years. Her She has authored/co-authored eight books; four workbooks; several online/video courses. Her best-selling book on parenting, Emotional Incest: When a parent’s love rules your life is about how to create a healthy, functional family and raise children who grow up to have healthy adult relationships.

Dr. Love has been Featured on Oprah, The Today Show and CNN and served as President of the International Association for Marriage and Family Counseling.


5 Shelly Lefkoe

Shelly Lefkoe is co-founder and President of the Lefkoe Institute, which has enabled over 150,000 people to stop a wide variety of undesirable emotional and behavioral patterns. She’s the the author of Parenting the Lefkoe Way now Empowering The Next Generation, a seven-module guide to effective parenting, and co-author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul Guide to Effective Parenting. This book empowers parents—through their interactions with their children—to help those children form positive, rather than negative, beliefs about themselves, people and life.

Shelly is a frequent keynote speaker and leads workshops for parents and teachers, as well as workshops that train participants to use the Lefkoe Method. She has done numerous radio and TV shows and her work has been featured on the Today Show and numerous podcasts and docu series including the Broken Brain, Transcendence 2, and Little Humans.

Shelly Lefkoe

Gervase Kolmos

6 Gervase Kolmos

Gervase is a Certified Mindset Coach for Mothers and Creator/Host of the successful event series and (upcoming!) podcast The Champagne Society™. Her work revolves around normalizing the struggle of motherhood, while also empowering mothers to work on themselves so they can pour into their families—sustainably. Her coaching programs help mamas step into the mindset of “Motherhood, and” instead of “Motherhood, or” while reminding them they’re not alone.

She’s spoken at multiple conferences held by Center for Women, RebelleCon, Charleston Moms Blog, and more. She has been featured on Lowcountry Live and in Skirt! magazine. Her articles have been featured on the Huffington Post, Best Kept Self, Charleston Moms Blog and more.

Gervase has been happily married for 10 years and has three children.


Ongoing Support and Inspiration

Our EXPERT ADVICE NEWSLETTER will give you regular insights and practices to help you stay committed on your journey.

Included in this special bundle is our expert love and transformation advice newsletter. It contains much of our most impactful advice and strategies, and will help you build a strong foundation for living the best, most fulfilled life possible.

EXPERT ADVICE NEWSLETTER

Parenting Traps is a 5 hour video program that consists of 40+ minute interviews with each of these experts on what to do as a parent so that you get the results you need NOW from your kids, but ALSO how to ensure your children grow up to be confident, happy, capable adults who know they’re worthy of love and acceptance.

You can either watch the video version if you like—OR— switch to listening to the audio version on your favorite device when you’re on the go (smartphone, laptop, car audio MP3 player, etc). This way you can listen while you’re cooking, walking, exercising, driving, or just relaxing after a long day.

This is an incredible value for a very low price. Here’s why:

You get top-level insights from all 6 parenting experts, each with decades (sometimes 40+ years!) of clinical or professional experience and expertise in their field. You’ll get dozens of actionable tips and clear, concise advice that will help you feel more effective as a parent.

You won’t have to spend months researching each of these experts or reading their books. You’ll get the BEST and highest-value information in just a few short hours of watching this program. At the end of each interview you’ll get a reminder of several key “takeaways” so the advice is easy to learn and put into practice.

You’ll feel relieved knowing that how you’re approaching parenting is much more compassionate and effective with your kids and will be much more beneficial to them later in life.

The skills you’ll learn will help you be a calmer, more relaxed parent. You’ll get better at setting boundaries with your kids and creating a dynamic that allows your children to feel empowered to solve their own problems and feel capable to set goals and accomplish them.

You’ll be happier, they’ll be happier, and you can rest easy as a parent, knowing you’re doing what’s best for your kids—now and for the future.

Here’s What Else You’ll Discover In This Keystone Program:

  • 5 ways you can help your children get a sense of significance and belonging while also helping them make better choices instead of shaming them for doing something “wrong”
  • 3 ways that “helicopter” parenting damages your children’s confidence and sense of self, and how to help your children develop their own problem-solving skills instead
  • The parenting approach that helps children develop a strong sense of belonging and an ability to handle disappointments and remedy their mistakes later in life
  • Why it’s so hard to set limits and rules around “screen time” and real-life examples of how to use positive parenting in addressing this ubiquitous problem
  • The common style of parenting that can result in a child growing up to procrastinate, not stand up for themselves or have relationship issues—and how to recognize if you’re doing it right now
  • How to fix things between yourself and your child if you recognize that you’ve done things as a parent that wasn’t in their best interest in the long-run
  • What to say to teach your children how to not worry so much about what other people think
  • The single most important thing you need to say to your child today
  • The misperception of what it means to “validate” your child’s feelings (hint: it doesn’t mean talking like a therapist)
  • The very common ways we invalidate our children everyday while believing we are being supportive and understanding (and what to say instead)
  • What to do or say when your child comes to you and says that they feel “worthless” so that you don’t end up making them feel worse
  • Why it’s so critical for parents to have other adults to turn to for emotional support, and what healthy message that sends their children
  • “Good Enough” parenting: Why it’s okay to not be perfect 100% of the time, and the most important thing to get right
  • Why certain children throw tantrums, “run the family”, make demands, and why it’s important as a parent to address the underlying cause of this behavior, not just try to quelch it
  • Why some children act like adults and how that’s detrimental to their social structure and long-term happiness
  • How to let go of perfectionism and self-judgment and be a happier, more relaxed parent so that your kids can also be happier and more relaxed…around you.

You’ll also receive ongoing support and inspirations through our Free Flourish Newsletter. It’s packed with advice, insights and practical strategies from our curated community of experts.

Place your order and be watching Parenting Traps: The Biggest Mistakes Parents Must Avoid to Raise Happy Adults in a matter of minutes. Take a full 7 days to examine the program, watch the interviews, take notes and try out the action steps each expert recommends. You should feel better about your parenting approach AND see that your kids are developing valuable, life-long skills and positive beliefs that will serve them the rest of their life.

If, at the end of the 7 days, you decide this program isn’t going to help you identify or avoid all the common parenting traps, simply let us know and we’ll refund your investment in FULL, no questions, no hassle. This is our promise: You’ll find outstanding value from this program after putting it into practice for a full week or pay nothing!

Once you place your order, you’ll also begin receiving the Flourish newsletter—which means even more advice from our curated community of experts. We’ll send you articles with eye-opening insights and practical strategies you can put into practice right away. It’s completely free, and it’s our way of helping you flourish in every area of your life.

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The Key to Raising Happy, Thriving Kids Who Will Become Capable, Empowered Adults

Successful parenting takes a long view.

Rather than focusing on short-term “good behavior”, focus on raising capable, empowered kids who can successfully transition into adulthood.

Mother embracing daughter

What we model and teach, the beliefs we nurture, how we manage our emotions and validate theirs… these are some of the most precious, important gifts we give our kids—and ourselves.

Look, as parents, we’re going to make mistakes. That’s the bad news.

But the good news is that mistakes are not failures. They are a part of life.

Instead of beating ourselves up, we need to value mistakes as opportunities to learn, for ourselves and our kids. Instead of punishing our kids or doing the work for them, we need to teach our kids how to come up with effective solutions to make things right. Instead of telling them they’ll be okay, we need to show them how to persevere and feel strong even when things aren’t okay.

We can show them that we cherish and love them AND give them the tools and skills they need to successfully navigate the world.

That’s the most important job in the world, and the most difficult. But it’s rewarding beyond measure.

And together, we can learn the tools to make our job as parents, easier, more joyful, and more connected.

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