When people ask me; “What do you do for a living?” I always respond with “I’m a professional parent.”
The next question is consistently “What’s a professional parent?”
The technical definition by Professional Parent Associates is “a person committed to raising fully functioning, self-determining adults.”
“A fully functioning self-determining adult is a person who can have any conversation, with anyone, anywhere, anytime, about anything, anyhow, and stay in the conversation, and learn from all sides of the conversation.”
As my nine-year old daughter Kylie says,
“A Professional Parent is a person who can handle the five A’s without throwing a tantrum.”
Can you talk about anything?
Now that may sound easy, and some people quickly point out they can do it—at this I point to some of our United States politicians. I usually get a spontaneous “that’s true” smiling response. This instantly reveals that we are a planet led by people who are not “fully functioning” or “self-determining.”
This opens up the conversation beyond the correct technical answer, to the day-in and day-out examples of what a Professional Parent does. To get to the heart of being a professional parent, it’s useful to explore what conversations one can have or cannot have.
So I like to explore a little further into various topics of life, religion, sex, money, relationships and in particular raising children, though we are all operating in less than fully functioning environments with limited self-determining consciousness.
Even a person who claims they have the highest fully functioning and self-determining skills is still living with, and surrounded by, people who simply cannot have these conversations.
Notice how many people you cannot have open and free conversations with about many topics that are in your life and theirs. Or perhaps you may notice how many people cannot have open and free conversations with you.
Any authentic inquiry will reveal that we, you and I, are living in a silenced world. A world where we cannot authentically discuss, explore and perhaps learn newly about the most important issues, concerns and desires in our lives.
We are living in a limited conversational world, with limited views, hence limiting laws, created by too many “ authorized leaders” who are not fully functioning or self-determining. Ironically we are living in this limited conversational world during the current rise of a generation with unlimited access to education, possibilities, and opportunities.
With all the greatness we have achieved as a human race, to this day we have yet to unleash our united mind, body and soul for what’s possible in being a human being.
Can you have this conversation with your loved one?
I can assert that the only thing between our generation—being the generation that transforms humanity for the greater good versus our generation being the one that destroyed the planet—is our ability to have fully functioning, self-determining mature conversations with anyone, anywhere, anytime, anyhow, about anything.
Just choose the topics, issues and concerns that are important to you and your children’s future when we are long gone. But we cannot do that alone—we must open up to each other.
Our generation has the Internet; our generation has social media websites, social action websites, personal websites and blogs. We can create and express ourselves with the world individually and collectively.
We can take individual actions or united organized actions. We have the opportunity to unleash our human potential beyond the scope of any “authorized leader” who lives in a world of controlling rules and laws for the benefits and beliefs of the few.
We do not have to live in the systems based on others past truths anymore. We do not have to follow and repeat our failed histories that keep producing a stumbling future. We can choose what works about our past and empower that. We can choose to literally ignore, vote out, change with our actions any and every act-of-man that is not beneficial to us as individuals, our communities, and this planet.
It will take a day-to-day professional parent.
So what is a professional parent in the of day-to-day of the real world? A person who answers to life and never gives up in creating themselves and their children as “fully functioning, self-determining” people.
In my own life as a single, full-time father raising two young daughters I have had to get the job transforming our future done, no matter what. That’s what professional parents do—we get the job done that we choose for our own lives.
I choose to transform the world every day. You may be different, but we both want a better world for our children. Ideally, we do have that in common.
As I type, I have no idea where my next check is coming from. As I type, my house is a mess. As I type, I have a world of concerns. Concerns ranging from you getting value from this article, to “how the heck am I going to buy my girls Christmas presents, and pay bills—when I can’t even buy a Christmas tree?”
These are my “first world” concerns.
But I refuse to indulge in them, given that I have bigger “third world” concerns right here in America. How am I going to feed my daughters, how am I going to pay my rent, how can I be the example for my daughters to have it all, when I can’t take care of the basics?
How can I, one man, transform the world—when I have my life cemented in a financial system that is relentlessly demanding that I feed its hunger with my life. It’s a system designed to eat my daughters’ brains and turn them into consuming zombies. How can I overcome that?
I’m a professional parent, that’s how. A professional parent keeps expanding no matter what the circumstances. We get the job done no matter what. A professional parent never gives up on becoming a fully functioning, self-determining adult as they are raising fully functioning, self-determining children.
I’ve gone through hard times. Especially after my divorce and finding myself homeless with two little girls. I’m a college educated, highly trained business consultant, award winning writer filmmaker and author—yet there I was, homeless, with two little girls.
One in kindergarten, the other not yet in pre-school, and dealing with the healing pains of a wife and mother who left us for another man one day to the next. I’m still rebuilding my financial life, but my story is a dream come true compared to other parents’ pained stories.
But no matter what, we all have only one way to go—towards the future. Being a professional parent has nothing to do with money, it has everything to do with character.
Character does not discriminate. Character does not cost money. Character does not care if you’re black, white, brown, yellow, green, broke, poor, middle-class, rich, wealthy, male, female, gay, straight, religious, atheist, young or old.
Character will never abandon you. Character is always there waiting for you the moment you decide to put her on and get the job done that needs to be done as a Professional Parent.
Professional parents do not run away from raising their children. Period.
Professional parents do not indulge in unmitigated desires at the expense of others.
Professional parents do not avoid the God given gift of being a parent. Rather,
Professional parents continuously reinvent themselves and become the examples they need to be to have their children be future leaders of the planet, making a difference.
How can we do that?
The following ten distinctions will give you access to being free to listen to and participate in any conversation, with anyone, about anything, anywhere, anytime, anyhow—and learn from those conversations.
We are all bigger than any man made situation. We simply have to expand our combination of language to obtain the capacities and capabilities to be fully functioning, self-determining adults under any circumstance.
The next time you are in a less than comfortable situation, hence the conversations with yourself or others are not working; explore these distinctions and see if you can unlock yourself from your own language locks that has you being and acting anything less than a professional parent.
10 Professional Parent Distinctions
We covered character above. Simply check yourself and develop your character. You can start by declaring; “I am a Professional Parent” and “I get the job done that needs to get done to raise fully functioning, self-determining adults.”
Step two: stop listening. Simply stop listening to yourself, and listen to the person you are having the conversations with. Read this document rather than listening to yourself reviewing this document.
Focus on getting the point, not making one. You will have plenty of opportunities to make a point with your actions in life.
2) Love Yourself:
There is no need to ever deny your love for yourself. No matter what the other person is saying or even did/does. You can always embrace the experience of love within you, for you. Take a deep breath, experience love and simply listen. For me personally, I know I’m experiencing love when I’m smiling.
Find your own smiling-like clues to love yourself and bring them to every conversation.
3) Different Integrity:
We all have different versions of integrity—this is a very simple, yet powerful distinction, which allows two or more people to operate powerfully in any activity, knowing that they have different versions of integrity.
Hence, it’s perfectly expected that they may not agree with you on every action they take and/or how they take it. It’s your choice whether or not to create with someone who has, or does not have the same version of integrity you have.
4) Different Education:
We have different versions of education. Given we have different integrities, it’s predictable that we all have different educations.
There is absolutely no way that you can come to the best, united conclusion unless all parties involved in a conversation can align on the same outcome. You don’t necessarily need the same education to obtain the same outcome. Focus on the outcome.
5) No God-Judging:
It’s not my job to “God” you. When you can separate judging and evaluating from God-like, opinion judging—you can release yourself from acting like the God almighty when judging another’s ways.
This does not mean avoid judging and evaluating in constructive ways, it simply means none of us are God; hence we can never claim to know what’s best for someone else in a God-judging way.
Sometimes we all need to learn the hard way, our own way, to truly get the value of a lesson another person may already have mastered. No matter what I write, you will learn your way. That will always be your best way.
6) Combinations of Language:
Always master and expand your combinations of language. This includes all the words, vocabulary, stories, clichés, meanings and all other forms of language.
Especially master the diverse range of combinations of language (what you say) that precede taking action. Expanding and mastering your combinations of language is an access to all that life has to offer.
7) Language Locks/Traps:
When we get stuck in a particular word pattern, cliché’ or vocabulary saying the same thing over and over, even if we are using different words; that’s a language lock/trap.
When having a conversation it’s wise to not stay stuck in our language locks/traps—which simply keep us hearing and repeating the same positions, no matter what anyone offers us, or says to you or me even if it actually proves to be valid.
It will take new combinations of language to release and open up old language locks/traps so we can learn and take new actions.
A very common language lock/trap is correcting people in their grammar, rather than focusing on the message being shared.
8) What Hooks You—is You:
What hooks me—is me, is quite possibility the most important distinction in life that can give us access to all we can be and experience.
It’s a distinction where a person takes on being responsible, accountable and transformational about any and all experiences, emotions, thoughts, feelings, meanings and activities of life in and around their life.
You are not a victim to anyone’s, actions; rather you are at choice for all your actions. (Disclaimer: This does not apply to unmitigated violence.)
9) Answer to Life:
We all have an opportunity to answer to life every moment of our lives. This is when we decide to take actions consistent with the future that is calling to us, a future that requires us to be bigger than living an ordinary future.
For me it was when I said, “Enough is enough; I’m taking on transforming the world no matter what” and the planet-generation idea was created.
10) I Never Get Left:
This is the ability to accept and live from one of life’s ultimate possible-truths, that:
no one ever left another person, short of physical harm, with any emotions, experiences or thoughts that the “receiving person” did not actually create for them-selves.
For example: My children do what they do and I respond to their actions however I create my response to their actions. They never do it to me. I do it to myself. Whatever it is.
This especially applies to anything someone says and how you “feel” about it.
Being able to practice these distinctions with yourself and others opens up the opportunity to have meaningful dialogues about any topic, issue or concern. You can open up and create a future you want for yourself and your life knowing that all it will require is you making requests, improving the quality of your requests, and being in action.
Declaring that you’re a professional parent simply reaffirms that you want that already. I assert you want to raise fully functioning, self-determining children; everything else we do in life: work, play, learn, win, fail and try again, is simply part of the requirements to reach our goals.
Ideally one of our mutual goals is to be fully functioning, self-determining parents— raising children who become fully functioning and self-determining themselves.
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Assistant Editor: Renée Claude/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photos: Courtesy the Author