#21 - A More Authentic View of the Qualities of Good Parents

NO matter what stage we’re in, we’re all somehow still pursuing what we’re going to be when we grow up.

We’re all pursuing what our next gig is, right?

You thought when you were a teen that your decision to figure out what you would do for the rest of your life is the most crucial decision ever.

But here’s the kicker – you can change your mind and find something new.

So how exactly do you help your children live THEIR best life and make their best decisions?

This exclusive interview with life coach Connie Atkisson can teach us just that!

As a mother to 5 teenagers and young adults, and a coach to many other parents, Connie tells us all about what the best qualities of “good” parents are.

As well as her best tip for running a business while raising a family: do  not ever entertain the idea that it’s not possible for you.

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what are qualities of a good mother?

So often with parents, because we’ve been teenagers, we think we SO CLEARLY see what it is that our children need to be doing.

Then we jump in and live their lives for them.

  1. And it’s been so good for me to have my own things to work on so I can live my life and let my children live theirs.
  2. And trust them that they can figure it out.

Dictating who they should be friends with, how they need to be behaving in a scenario, telling them who to be and what to do.

And it just gets harder as the kids get older.

I noticed as my kids were getting older that I was way too involved in living their lives.

I had my chance to be a teenager – I loved parts and hated parts – but this is their chance to figure it out.

They are completely competent girls.

So how does working or doing something for yourself affect your family?

I feel like having a successful business puts me in a better place to be a mother. I’m an example of what is possible.

I am an example that they don’t have to show up to a 9-5 job. Or they can. It’s up to them!

My first experience with this was with my quilting business. 

16 years ago I went to my husband and asked to buy a quilting machine ($16,000).

And after I pieced together my first quilt, I called a friend in tears because I had just invested that much money to make $2/hr.

Guess what she said to me?

“You just got paid to go to school.” 🙂

So you can choose to think:

  1. “this business/activity is taking away from my family” OR
  2. “this business/activity is helping me be an example of what is possible”.

But I love showing my girls what is possible.

It’s not so limited as we think it is!

It’s great if you want to go college, get a job, and climb the corporate ladder. But you don’t have to!

what makes the perfect parent?

Learn something and don’t undervalue the importance of what you have learned.

Even if it doesn’t specifically apply to what you do.

I have a math ed degree, but please don’t make me teach math.

But the skills I learned in college really really helped me.

And I continue learning in line with my passions.

 Get help when you need it.

One day I realized that I was yelling at my kids more than I wanted.

And I had taken a Love and Logic class, but didn’t get what I should have from it.

I clearly remember a time when I was screaming at my kids, saying, “you just taught me that screaming gets me what I want because when I scream you pick everything up.”

But what I was missing, that I clued into later one, was that I was destroying the relationships between myself and my kid.

Remember that the relationship is more important than the mess.

That relationship (between myself and my child) is far more important than what is on the floor.

What I want are healthy relationships where we can have honest communication.

A modern example: Instead of snooping through my kids phones (no criticism if you do), but I use a game instead.

A fun game I like to play in my home is this:

“if I told you I was going to take your phone right now and look through it, what would be the first thing you delete?”

It’s simply a fun game that opens up the conversation.  Instead of being stressful and increasing tension, it becomes a fun dinner conversation and it really keeps the honest communication open. 

Be present when your kids’ friends are there.

I always sign up for carpool. I LOVE carpool.

Because when you pick your kids up and their friends they are all talking and sharing/spilling so much.

This is prime information for you as a parent. You’ll start to learn who likes who, and who kissed who, and all the things that are important to them too.

Be aware of the home environment you are creating.

Create an environment where kids feel free. Where kids are welcome to come in.

The house looks lived in, not filthy, but not pristine either.

When I added the coaching business to quilting I felt like I opened my children’s eyes to what is possible and what opportunities are available to them.

Showing them how to live life and not just survive it.

Showing them how to actually enjoy the stages of your life. Did you know that you can actually enjoy every stage of your child’s life?

There will be stages where you will enjoy it more than others. You don’t have to wait until a future date to start a business, love being a mom, get along with your husband.

Why is NOW not the best time to do any of this?

so what makes a good parent?

Honestly, the parent who lives their life and lets their children live theirs as well.

Who is a guiding hand, but not overbearing.

Who is present, but not living life for their child.

Connie's top tips for parents running a business

Never entertain the thought that it won’t work.

There is no way this isn’t going to work.

Imagine what you would do if you truly believed it was possible?

1) There is no failure – sometimes we get diverted, but that helps us get on the “right” path faster. That was the fastest way to figure out the “right” way to do this.

2) There is absolutely nothing that I can’t figure out.

3) Focus on having fun! Just know that you are doing all you can and let the money come when it comes.

Just have fun!

What thought is going to create confidence?

How do you want to present yourself?

What can you lose from believing hard?

What thought can propel that?

Set a 30 day impossible goal. The big hairy scary goal – even if you have no idea how to do it, figure it out.

Break it up into little tiny goals and accomplish those.


The more value you create the more value comes to you. Create don’t consume and believe in yourself.

4) Write down 3 things every day they love about themselves. (can ask a friend for help).

ONLY write it down if you can believe it. Keep it close so when you have a moment of self-doubt, don’t keep going down the wrong road and get on the right path by focusing on thoughts that are going to create those feelings of confidence and success.

5) Write down your impossible goal – write it in present tense (NOT future). I am ________. And believe you are there NOW.

What thoughts and feelings are you thinking now? What actions are you taking.

Every successful person I know has a coach – who has a coach.

BECAUSE sometimes when it’s you you’re too close and emotions are too high and you can’t see clearly.

You’re an average of the top 5 people you spend time with. We love and are kind to everyone, but that doesn’t mean you need to let them into your top 5.

Form a good habit via baby steps over 30 days and keep that habit and then add another for 30 days.

When you can build up people around you and love yourself just as you are now you can love other people more.

So set 30-days goals and spend 30 days getting good at it. Over a short period of time you’ll find you

Just think: I’m a work in progress and I’m progressing.

Connect with Connie to learn more about her monthly group coaching with different topics every month.

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