Have you ever heard of the 1 in 60 rule? In air navigation, the 1 in 60 rule is a rule of thumb which states that if a pilot has traveled sixty miles then an error in track of one mile is approximately a 1° error in heading, and proportionately more for larger errors. (Source Wikipedia)

This means if a pilot is flying from New Delhi to Bangalore, a one degree shift could put her, not in Bangalore but in Bidadi – 22 miles away. My nautical calculations may be completely off target, but you get the point.

As a coach I often find that the simplest of changes can make huge differences to people’s lives. The learning from the 1 in 60 rule is that tiny shifts, even just one degree, can lead to a very different outcome over time.

How can you apply this to parenting? Here are three things you can start doing today to be a better parent. Tiny, one degree shifts, one day at a time.

  1. Listen: No, really, listen! When your child approaches you to say something today, put down the phone. Look at their face. Listen, really listen to their words. Not just what they said, but perhaps what they didn’t. Feel their emotion – is it anger or nervousness or love or excitement. If we listened better to our kids, we would understand and empathize with them better.
  2. Ask: We sometimes assume that because we are older we are smarter than our kids. Asking them is a great way to know more about the situation, to know if your assumption of the solution is headed in the right direction. Ask them what they would like to do, ask them how they would feel after they did what they want to do. Help them think through things versus just telling.
  3. Show: Respect, love and kindness – three pillars which are so critical in parenting. Respect your child – just because you look after them doesn’t mean you don’t respect them as individuals. Love them – tell them, show them, remind them. Daily is great. Even if you had an argument with them, especially if you had an argument. You can always tell them that the fight doesn’t mean you don’t love them anymore. Be kind – because there is no reason not to be.

They watch us, they role model after us and they become us – Make sure you are grooming the best version of you! Be a #KinderLight in the world

Post by Lara Matthai | Image by Lara Matthai