Parenting Power: Developing Caring Family Relationships


Parenting Power: Developing Caring Family Relationships

By Donovan Grant

Do you know one of the keys to your parenting success? It’s not how smart you are. It’s not how many people are in your network. And it’s not how much money you have. It’s something a lot more closer to home.

It’s your state and how you manage it.

Now you’re probably wondering “what has my state got to do with it?” And that’s a good question. To keep it nice and simple, your state is the way you are acting or being in any given moment.

If you take an everyday occurrence like drinking coffee; just imagine standing in the queue at your favourite Starbucks waiting to taste that first fresh aromatic coffee of the day. As the customers patiently get served one by one someone rushes into the store. They push right to the front of the queue and say “do you mind if I get served next, I’m in a bit of a hurry?”

What would your reaction be?

I would imagine that you and the others in the queue would be unhappy and maybe even angry at this person. So you could say that you’re in an angry state. You might be thinking that “anger is an emotion” and that is quite true. But, let’s go a little deeper here…

If all of the customers in the queue were angry, would you all be feeling the same way? Yes, because you were all feeling angry. However, would you all be acting in the same way? Most likely not. And the reason for this is you all have your own recipe for being angry.

We’ve all seen unhappy people doing crazy things. Some throw things around, some like to hit things and some people may just like to shout and scream. What about you? How do you act when you are angry? And what about your friends and family, do they all react in different ways too.

So have you wondered why we all have these different recipes for states? Let’s take a look at what we mean by recipe.

I’m sure you have favourite foods that you love to eat especially when your favourite chef makes it.  I’ve got a favourite cake… every Christmas; my mum makes a very special cake. Mum has got her own tried and tested recipe that she has been using for years. Every times she bakes a cake it is spot on! She even wrote the recipe down and passed it on to my wife Jen to try it.

Now Jen is a great chef and she has baked many cakes using mums recipe, but no matter what she does it never quite tastes the same as mums. Of course, the cake is edible but just not as great as mum’s. J  She has tried adjusting the quantity of each ingredient in so many ways, but still it’s not quite the same.

So if we relate this to your state, what are the ingredients that determine the state you are in? Well there are three basic ingredients; let’s call it your “TAL.”  #1 is the way you’re thinking, #2 is the way you’re acting and #3 is the language you’re using.

By thinking it’s simply the questions you ask yourself; the actions are what you are doing with your body & breathing and your language is the words and phrases that you use.

Not many people are aware of this.

For all parents, the development of the child is top priority, yet have you ever been angry with your child when you didn’t want to be? Me too!

The thing is- we all find ourselves in undesired states from time to time, but how often do we stop to consider “what is my current thinking, acting and language?” Probably very rarely. This TAL recipe stuff is not something that is taught in general knowledge school. However, just imagine if you could make a blueprint of the things you do when you’re in a great state, and then use this blueprint to readjust when you find yourself in an undesired state. This could be a breakthrough for many parenting relationships within your family home and beyond.

The proof of the cake of course is to test it!

So, the next step is up to you. As you go through the coming week ask a friend to keep an eye on you to see how you act and speak. Then get them to give you some feedback on the type of things you do with your body and your language when you’re in a good and bad state. You will have to be your own judge on the thoughts that you have.

Let’s enjoy peaceful and happy homes today!!

I believe in you and your dreams.


Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations.  He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. 


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  • Great article Donovan. My husband is a teacher and shared an interesting story last night. They were learning about Martin Luther and the 95 Theses he posted on the church.

    The students then had an assignment to write out 10 such things they had. They could choose the subject. One lady wrote 10 against her MOTHER (in capital letters my husband said).  I can’t recall them all but they were very interesting such as “just because I get a D or an F doesn’t mean I fail life”. 
    This list of 10 things was very enlightening into their family life and makes you think a bit more about what your child’s list might be.

  • Hi Donovan…Great article! You may wish to have a look at a book called “FunBook”…Discover How to Understand Yourself and Others…it explains our personality traits when we are “Under Control” and “Out of Control”; TAL is very similar…Thanks Donovan, Hughie 🙂