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#3 Parents, Pause For A Self-Awareness Check

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

Let's put some of the responsibility for the decision and choice making in our young adult children’s hands. I believe it starts with knowing yourself.

How do we get to know ourselves a little better? There is therapy, a support group, our friends, and family. These people may observe when we are acting out of character and comment on why we may be overreacting, underreacting, or stuck and not reacting at all to situations.

There is another option. I propose, we notice and make observations about our behaviors, on our own. Not so easy, right? Right! So, try this...

When we are trying to stay in our lane with our young adult children and teens and we find ourselves at a point where we want to allow our children to make a decision for themselves or if we feel like we need to make the decision... PAUSE! Just take a deep breath and pause for a self-awareness check before you do anything.

A pause and a self-awareness check gives us a chance to think before we react.

When you pause, think about your own habits, behaviors, abilities, energy level and strengths before you continue the interaction with your young adult child. Just take a breath!

The self-awareness check helps you have a broad view of any situation and helps you stay in your lane because you may discover the next step of the interaction you have with your child is really about your history, your fears, your anxiety and not really about your child at all. What if you help your child make their own decisions without putting yourself in the middle - in other words, help them make a decision that was just about them?

To raise your own self-awareness, I am going to suggest an idea. It may be a shortcut for some, a reminder for others, and brand-new information for lots of you. Some of you know these personal attributes or personalities points about yourself already from your work, volunteering, college or some other activity.

Remember the Myers Briggs, DiSC, Strengths Finder or other assessments you took at work, for volunteer activities or any situation? I am asking you to simply and specifically apply those results to how you act or react with your young adult children. All the information you have from those assessments are a parent goldmine and they can get you started into what pushes your buttons, or why you feel compelled to strategically plan your teen's entire high school experience.

Dig up the results if you have them hidden somewhere. And if you haven’t taken one, that's not a problem. I am going to suggest several. I am talking about the ones that tell you if you are an Introvert or Extrovert. If you are an Achiever, Relator, Strategic or an Includer. Some of you may have taken the Myers Briggs, Strengths Assessment, DiSC, Kolbe or Colors inventory. There are so many.

Those results are the quick and easy way to learn how you can be your best self with your teens and young adult child, as well. As a matter of fact, there other resources available to you such as -- "Parent based Parenting" from the Gallup folks and one of my favorites, "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain. If the information provided from these assessments works well for our work situations or with our employees, I believe the information can be transferred and work well with people we truly love, our young adult children.

This is a "no therapy required" route. For some of you, maybe therapy or some other more professionally guided work is what you need. And guess what, that is absolutely okay! No stigma here, no judging, and do what you need to do. I have gone through years of therapy work and it has made me a better person, a better partner and a better parent. All I am saying is, do what you need to do so you can be at your best, so you can Stay in Your Lane and let your children learn to navigate their own lives. And, this is just the beginning; the "knowing yourself" part.

For people who have not taken one of these assessments or have no idea what I am talking about, you can go to one of the resources listed below to learn more about yourself – your preferences, behavior traits, what you use to make decisions, and where you might get stuck or frustrated. Some charge a fee and some are free.

For now, find those reports or take a few. Most of them are online in some form and are free. No joke, gaining these insights can all be done online! No therapy, or expensive coaching programs. Save your money for other important things.

Next time, I will share how you can use these insights about yourself to help you Stay in Your Lane.

Please share this blog. Tell me what assessments you use and if I don’t know them, I will do a little research so I can speak intelligently about them and the types of information they provide.

Assessments you can take at home can tell you about your behavior and preferences. (None of these assessments measure your intelligence, aptitude, mental health or values.)

CliftonStrengths Assessment measures your talents and how you behave at your best in the world. The assessment measures your greatest talents in 4 areas: how you do your work, how you influence others, how your build relationships and how you think through problems. The price of this assessment varies. I can offer the assessment for $10. To learn more go to

16 Personalities is a Myers Briggs Type Assessment where you can learn about your preferences for making decisions, where you get your energy, how you gather information, and whether you like structure or prefer to be more spontaneous. This assessment is free.

The DiSC Personality Assessment will tell you about your personality and behavioral style. DiSC profiles describe human behavior in various situations, for example how you respond to challenges, how you influence others, your preferred pace and how you respond to rules and procedures. This assessment is free.

The Kolbe Index Personality Assessment will tell you about your instincts. It measures the instinctive ways you take action when you strive. This assessment is $55.

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