The Perfect System of Positive Change for Parents

The Origins of the Perfect System

It was 2009 and I was on an airplane, reflecting on my life. I was making more money than I had ever made in my life, yet I still seemed to be struggling with money. My friend Steve Chandler’s voice rang in my ears: “The results you get are perfect for the system you have created…”

I realized I was literally creating what I called, Rich Litvin’s Perfect System for a Constant Struggle Around Money (No Matter How Much You Earn). At that time, it was hardly a perfect system for positive change for anyone, much less for parents.

The title made me smile, though. The picture here is the very image I sketched.

Perfect system positive change parents

I realized that I was masterful at struggling with money—no matter how much I earned. As I began to share my Perfect System with my clients, I quickly discovered that I had inadvertently created one of the most powerful tools for change that I have ever used: a perfect system for positive change.

When I shared this system with Elaine, she asked if I would share it with the parents in her community, which I’m delighted to do. Elaine will take it from here exploring how you can use this system as a parent to make positive change for your family.

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5 Steps for Positive Change

Do you want to figure out your Perfect System for getting the opposite of what you really want? Like enabling your kids? Or inviting them to lie to you? Or keeping your kids from wanting to come to the dinner table?

You can actually change your Perfect System to get results you really want. Start with these 5 steps.

1. I always…

Think about an “I always” statement that makes sense for the challenge you want to shift. This is something that has been frustrating you for a long time, that usually begins with the words, I always…

Here are some examples: I always end up doing more than my fair share, no matter how much I explain that others should help … I always rescue my kids before they get a chance to try for themselves … I constantly complain about the fighting at the dinner table… I always get agreements from my child, and then they do the opposite…

2. Humor…

Tease yourself a bit. “OMG. I can see that. I could teach a masterclass on how to always end up doing everything and feeling resentful about it…”

Exaggerate the humor for effect. Could I run a class for all my friends?! Maybe for the entire school?

3. The Masterclass… 

Identify your top 3 tips to be a master at this habitual situation. Then, go deeper. Think about 3 tiny details or nuances that anyone who wasn’t already a master would miss.

Yes, it’s okay if you laugh out loud! Chances are you can spot another “rescuing” parent just like you across a crowded PTA meeting!

4. The Mind Map…

Sketch out your own mind map, like the one above. Take your time and get creative. You can even ask for input from family members if you’re feeling particularly open and transparent.

5. That’s it!

Awareness is everything. Once the mind map is complete, reflect on it for the next week or so. Keep it visible and allow your thoughts about it to unfold. You’ll be amazed at how many small things will change once you shed light on your perfect system.

Now, over the next 90 days, use ImpactParents’ online community to reflect on the unconscious habits and patterns mapped out on your piece of paper (or the Lifeline Community if you have access to it from a program). Over time, you will begin to see them loosen their hold on you.

Then, if you want to use your powerful system for positive change in your parenting, post your “perfect system” mind map on the forum. Watch what happens, over the weeks ahead, as you make the unconscious conscious…

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