Firmness or Flexibility: which is more important in parenting? (Podcast Episode 225)

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

Maybe you have said to yourself,

when you’re watching a parent fail miserably to bring a recalcitrant child under control, “that will NEVER be me. I pride myself on order and discipline in my house!”

Or, maybe you’ve heard snide comments from teachers or relatives about your child “ruling the roost,” and it’s frustrating because you don’t want to be a disciplinarian. That’s not why you had kids, to order them around!

So, which is it? Do you need to be firm? Or do you need to be flexible?

Listen to today’s episode to find out!

For notes on this episode including:

– The answer to this dilemma of flexibility vs. firmness
– The sign-up for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting FREE online class, which distills everything I’ve learned into 3 simple lessons for true enjoyment of this parenting life
– Key Links and every back episode of We Turned Out Okay

Go to

Thank you so much for listening!

So, which is it? Flexibility, or firmness?

The answer, which is both frustrating and freeing: it’s both.

Parents need to be flexible, and parents need to be firm; the trick is knowing exactly when to be which!

I recently read a book which I’m so thankful came into my life. It’s The Power of Healthy Tension, by Tim Arnold, a man who is dad to two and whose day job is helping run a homeless shelter.

This book explains exactly when parents need to be flexible, and when we need to be firm.

We parents must stop looking at this as an either/or situation; that’s the trap we can easily fall into, viewing something as a binary “it’s got to be one thing, or the other, there is no middle ground.”

Because when we do that – when we view firmness and flexibility as to opposite poles on a continuum, rather than thinking we must always adhere to one, or the other – really good things began to happen.

It can be frustrating as you are first learning to move between the firmness and flexibility poles… But you’ll soon see, if you try it and stick with it, that you can change up quickly; if one is not working, you can move toward the other.


The 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Class

In today’s episode I share about the live, free, online class I am teaching

If you want to change your child’s behavior from bad to good, feel happy inside, and start truly enjoying the time you spend with your young kids, you want to take this FREE class.

In it I teach the distillation of everything I have learned about:
– What holds parents up from happiness
– How to change a child’s bad behavior to good
– How to make the time you spend with your kids into happy family time

Click this button for details and to sign up for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Class!
Click Here for the 3 Secrets of Happy Parenting Class


A Story About Potty Training

In today’s episode I share a story about potty training (why are they always about potty training? : ) in which my youngest felt like I was always forcing him to “try” on the potty, and I wasn’t letting him choose for himself.

I was being too firm, and not flexible enough.

Previous potty training experience had taught me that you must be firm; I am eternally grateful to my youngest for helping me see that flexibility is important as well.

It definitely makes for a better parenting experience, not to mention happy home life, when we are open to learning lessons from the children who inhabit our home.

I am wishing you all the best as you figure out your own ever-changing place on the flexibility-firmness continuum!


What’s frustrating you right now in your parenting?

If you need help, come and join us in the Ninja Parenting Community, where work personally with parents to accomplish three things:
– Change your child’s bad behavior to good behavior
– Feel happy inside
– Truly enjoy family time in a way you never thought possible

If you need help feeling truly happy inside as you are raising your young children, come and join us in the private coaching community where I help parents like you change their mindset – and their child’s behavior – for the better every day.

NPC Parent Coaching Community Membership helps you through:
– Live, members-only calls where you get solutions to your toughest parenting challenges
– Courses on everything from stopping sibling rivalry to what to do instead of spanking
– Parent Coaching Calls that members call “the most helpful part of my Ninja Parenting Community membership”

With all that and more, we have got you covered!

Join the Ninja Parenting Community today and make the time you spend with your young children your favorite time!
Get Help in our Private Coaching Community Today


Important WTOO Links:

Click here for episode 220 of We Turned Out Okay, in which we explore the question “To bribe… or not to bribe?”

Today I talk about a book that has changed my life for the better, The Power of Healthy Tension: Overcome Chronic Issues and Conflicting Values, by Tim Arnold. Click here to check out the book in Amazon – and get ready for some life-changing revelations : )

If you need practical advice to deal with your child’s bad behavior, check out my book.
It’s called Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics, and I wrote it especially to help parents handle kids’ tough behavior, because parents need to eliminate the bad before they can be happy at home.
It’s available in Amazon, but since you’re here – since you took the time to come visit – I want to give you a better deal than Amazon.
Click here for details on Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics!


Join the private WTOO Facebook group… Click here!


Click here to check out We Turned Out Okay’s How-to Videos, to learn about how to help your kids eat more fruits and vegetables, how to help when they’re getting in trouble at daycare, and more!