Parenting by Deposit is the solution for parents who want to raise confident, responsible, children…without having to be a perfect parent.
But I want to tell you something else: Although I have helped helped hundreds of families motivate positive behavior from kids who were once disrespectful, defiant, and unhappy, I was not born to be a parent. And I still struggle as a parent myself sometimes.
To be honest, many of the things that kids and teens do drive me nuts.
I don’t like loud noises. I don’t like chaos. I don’t like feeling out of control. I need my own space. And although “respecting others” is one of my deep-seeded values, sometimes I don’t act that way because I am a naturally reactive and impatient person.
Some days I have trouble parenting the way I teach others to parent, especially when my kids are being loud, whiny, or when they’re fighting with each other (when they’re being kids).
And at the same time, because I’ve been working with families for almost a decade, I know what kids need to thrive. And I can’t always give them those things in the moment.
So when I parent my own children, and when I teach my clients how to raise children who make healthy choices and feel good about themselves, I need to use strategies that ensure that kids will meet their potential… but I also need strategies that work for tired, overwhelmed parents who absolutely won’t do everything right all the time.
That’s where Parenting by Deposit comes in. Because Parenting by Deposit is based on the idea of “depositing” into your kids “accounts” so that when you mess up, or when your kids have to face boundaries, and obstacles, they have the energy and the tools to face those challenges responsibly and respectfully.
And it is about depositing into your accounts so that you can handle life in the same way.
Parenting by Deposit is not about saying or doing everything the “right way.”
It’s about making regular “deposits” so that children build a reserve — of resilience, of confidence, of healthy self-esteem — that they can rely on when they have to do things they don’t want to do… or face obstacles they’re afraid to face.
This reserve provides the motivation and techniques they need to respond in a healthy way instead of resorting to disrespect, defiance, lack of cooperation, or risky behavior.
Think about it a day when you’ve parented in a way that wasn’t consistent with your values. My guess is that on those days, your kids’ demands, your responsibilities, and your life have probably withdrawn, withdrawn, and withdrawn from your energy reserve. You’re on empty.
What if you had more deposits that helped you face the tasks that had to get done?
What if your kids had deposits to help them get through their days that are full of challenges?
Depositing is about giving your children the tools to do the things they have to do.
It’s about motivating cooperation when you ask them to come to put on their shoes and get out the door… because you’ve “deposited” an age-appropriate sense of control in their lives… and they don’t have to use that situation as an opportunity to assert their control.
It’s about getting your children to listen when you tell them to do homework… because you’ve “deposited” an understanding of how to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from doing so.
It’s about your children saying no when their friends ask them to take a drink at a party…. because you’ve “deposited” by teaching them to respect themselves and handle discomfort, so they are willing to stand up for themselves and aren’t afraid of the repercussions of doing so.
When you Parent by Deposit, you giving your kids what they need — however and whenever you can.
Parenting by Deposit doesn’t take more time than what you’re doing now. It’s about adding “deposits” to the things that you’re already doing.. and make these deposits during times when you’re not feeling overwhelmed (so that you can stop feeling so much pressure when you are).
And it’s about learning how to make deposits for yourself so that you feel less overwhelmed to begin with.
The key to Parenting by Deposit is knowing that when YOU have experienced more withdrawals than deposits, that’s when you yell at your kids, shame them, and act in ways that you later regret. And knowing that when kids have experienced more withdrawals than deposits, that’s when they refuse to cooperate, talk to you with an attitude, or make choices that aren’t in their best interest.
And the key is knowing that when anyone has experienced more deposits than withdrawals, that person can handle doing the “right thing” — even when it’s uncomfortable or seems impossible.
Parenting by Deposit is not raising your children in a permissive way. In fact, it’s the opposite.
Some people think that”deposits,” “positive parenting” and “respect-based parenting” imply permissive parenting. Yeah, um… NO.
I’m one of the firmest parents I know. And when I went into people’s homes for a living, they always told me I was much more strict with their kids than they thought they could be.
I know that being firm and having high expectations for kids is required for them to become resilient and confident.
Parenting by Deposit is about giving children the foundation and the tools they need to be able to respond in a healthy way when they don’t get what they want or are facing something they don’t want to do.
When you deposit on a regular basis…
… your children believe that they matter.
… your children know that both they and YOU are worthy of respect.
… your children have proof that they can handle difficult situations.
… you children have the tools they need to resist the temptation to make unhealthy choices and are motivated to take healthy ones.
As a result, your children will:
… learn to handle the disappointment of not being able have your undivided attention all the time, or not being able to get the toy or piece of clothing that they want.
… have the discipline to stop playing video games when it’s time to come to dinner.
… stand up for themselves when others treat them with disrespect.
… say no when their friends ask them to take out the car before they have a license.
… have the confidence to to try out for the school play or varsity soccer team (because they’ll know they’ll survive if they don’t make it).
what to SAY and DO to apply the Parenting by Deposit Solution to the realistic situations you face on a daily basis.