The Hell Yes Entrepreneur with Becca Pike | Parenting with Mark PikeI’ve had my husband on here a couple times, and every time I do, you guys love it. I get messages all the time about his advice and perspectives, and I’m sure today’s episode will be no exception. Mark Pike is back and we’re talking all about parenting.

I’ve always been impressed by how much intention my husband puts into parenting our children. So today, we’re discussing some of the biggest headaches we see in the parent-child dynamic, how we handle them, what they look like in our own house, and how they affect our business. Trust me, you don’t want to miss this.

Tune in this week to discover the parenting principles I’ve learned from my husband Mark, why he takes so much pride in his parenting, his parenting pillars, and the principles behind everything we think is vital as parents around discipline, reacting to emotions, and setting them up to leave the nest.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I’m genuinely impressed by Mark’s parenting style.
  • What it means to Mark to be a parent and why it’s important to him.
  • How Mark’s approach to parenting has changed over the years as he’s learned more and more.
  • The most damaging things we believe you can do as a parent.
  • A breakdown of the pillars of Mark’s parenting style.
  • The power of consistency in your parenting.
  • How we talk to our kids about reacting to their emotions.
  • 2 things that contribute to 99% of a child’s happiness.
  • How we got our kids excited about reading more.
  • What to consider if you’re thinking about making changes to how you parent your kids.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

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Hey guys. I have an awesome episode for you today. So I have had my husband on here a couple times, and every time I do you guys love it. I hear messages or I get messages on Instagram about how much advice you have taken from him being on the show. Today is going to be no exception. I am so excited to have him on, and we’re going to be talking about parenting.

My husband has always impressed me with how much intention he puts into parenting our children. I’m going to talk today about some of the biggest headaches that I see in the parent and child dynamic, how we handle it, what it looks like in our house, and how it affects our business. This is episode number 90. I am your host Becca Pike, and it is time for your weekly dose of Hell Yes Coaching. Let’s go.

Hey, guys. I’m Becca Pike and welcome to The Hell Yes Entrepreneur podcast, the number one show for entrepreneurs looking to create their first six-figure year. If you’ve got the drive and you know how to hustle but you’re not sure where to channel your energy, we’ve got the answers. Let’s dive into today’s show.

Becca: Hello, Mark Pike. How are you?

Mark: Hey, I’m doing good.

Becca: I’m so glad you can be here with me.

Mark: Thank you. I’m trying to get really close to this mic that we’re both sharing.

Becca: I know. Pavel, you are going to be so impressed with how close we are to the mic.

Mark: Yeah, we should definitely go ahead and invest in a second mic.

Becca: No, why would we do that good? We want to hover so close to one minute for the rest of time.

Mark: Yeah, we should just share a chair to this point.

Becca: It reminds me of – Our audience doesn’t know this, of course, but we have a rule about the size of our bed.

Mark: That’s true. Yeah, we don’t want it to be too big.

Becca: Yeah, we shook hands on it back when we were like dating that we would never have a bed bigger than a queen size so that it forces us to snuggle up.

Mark: That’s right. I think we even talked about at one point trying a twin, but I think our experience with twin is that it’s too small.

Becca: Too small. How do you feel about the queen though?

Mark: I think it’s good. Yeah. If we need to we can get like our own space.

Becca: Yeah.

Mark: But in general, it fosters more cuddling and touching.

Becca: Yeah, for sure.

Mark: Which is what I like. You like it. I think it’s good for any people to do.

Becca: Yeah, we should work on my sleep position. Because it must be really hard to cuddle me because I’m such a stomach sleeper. So I sleep on my stomach, and then I’ve just got my arms up above my head creating this huge barrier, like a triangle of elbows just sticking out.

Mark: No, I just throw a leg over you.

Becca: Yeah, it works out. Okay, so today, Mark Pike, I have you on here because I am truly impressed and always have been with how much effort and care you put into raising children. Since the moment I met you, you have talked about parenting in a way that I haven’t heard other people talk about it.

We are, what, 14 years in now. It is impressive the consistency that I’ve seen with you with parenting. Of course, throughout the time, I have adopted a lot of your parenting principles. I think that the way that we run our household and the dynamic that we’ve created with our kids is impressive.

Mark: Thank you. I would agree. I think it works pretty well.

Becca: It’s because of you. If it was up to me, it would be a shit show around here. Complete shit show.

Mark: Yeah.

Becca: So first and foremost, why is parenting important to you? Like what does it mean for you to even be a parent? Can you riff on that?

Mark: You know, my answer now why is parenting important to me is probably different than how it started. I’m sure it’ll change and evolve over time as I get older. I think of it as one of the greatest gifts that I can give to the world as far as contribution goes. I can do so much to impact the world and influence people, but if I can create these versions of myself and you and really impart them the best skills and emotional knowledge that I can then they’re going to go out into the world and have an even bigger impact and hopefully pass some of those things on to their children and so on.

We’ve talked about how I see myself as a grandfather. I really hope to play a big part in my grandchildren’s lives as well in that same way. But it really began with me not necessarily appreciating the way that I was parented as a child.

So I wanted to parent in a way that wasn’t exactly like my parents. I wanted to take all the best parts of my parents’ parenting styles, and get rid of all the stuff that wasn’t great and try to learn from those. So it really began with me trying to be different than my parents or to give my children an experience that was a little bit different and hopefully an experience that fostered more fulfillment in their long term growth in life.

Becca: Yeah. What’s interesting is we see people that are like, Well, my parents were this way so I’m like this way, or I’m destined to be this way because my parents were this way. It’s hereditary. Then there’s like the flip side of the coin that says, my parents were this way, so I’ll never be this way. It’s been interesting watching you navigate exactly what kind of parent you want to be because you definitely land on that flip side.

Mark: Yeah.

Becca: So what I want to do is I want to kind of take the main pillars that I see as an important piece of your parenting style and break it down. I want to break them down into pillars, and I want to kind of ask you and pick your brain on those pillars.

Mark: Okay.

Becca: So what’s interesting, guys, is Mark has been consistent for years. So I wouldn’t call him necessarily strict, but so consistent. Like, there’s not a ton of rules in our house, but the rules that we do have, you don’t cross those lines as a kid. With me and my parenting, I can get worn down and I let things slide. Mark is like so consistent that no matter if he’s having a rough day, if the kids have done it a million times, he still sends the same message. I think, to me, that is the foundation of why his parenting works so well. Would you agree with that?

Mark: Yeah, it’s absolutely a huge foundation in that my parenting style is I believe that consistency is a huge part of parenting. Even if the rules or the expectations that you’re setting, if you’re off track of what they should be for a fulfilling life, just the fact of being consistent in those rules and expectations will pay really big dividends to your children later on.

For our kids, the fact that we show that consistency, it lets them know if dad says no on this, or if I break this rule, I know exactly what’s going to happen every single time. It really makes the rest of the show run much, much smoother.

Becca: Yeah. Consistency breeds a lot of safety, right?

Mark: That’s right. Yeah, exactly. So that’s a huge part of the consistency piece is that children develop over time based on their experiences, their learning, and one of the most damaging things that a parent can do is be inconsistent. Because the children don’t learn if I do this, this will happen. They then are like if I do this action, I don’t really know what’s going to happen because my experience has been my parent could react in a number of different ways as opposed to my parent’s going to react in this consistent fashion every time.

Becca: Yeah, absolutely. So I want to start with the lowest hanging fruit, the one that I see as the lowest hanging fruit. There’s actually two. I would say that these two, to me, are the most obvious, most important, concise pieces of the puzzle that create a happy kid. Sleep and food.

Mark: Yeah, those are huge.

Becca: To me, sleep and food is 99% of all things when it comes to parenting. When my children are hungry or when they are tired or when they have eaten something very carby or sugary, it is very obvious to me. I can tell when my kids have had something that isn’t in our normal food pyramid in our house. In our house, meat and vegetables are on the bottom of the food pyramid. Eggs and nuts and fruit is right above that. Very little do we do any of the pastas and the noodles and the Pop Tarts, packaged food, none of that.

But we’re not so tight that we haven’t allowed them to have some of that stuff. It is so, so obvious when they do how they act. They’re like bouncing off the walls. They aren’t willing to listen as well. Can you talk a little bit about what type of culture we have created around food and sleep in our house, and why you think it’s important?

Mark: Yeah, so sleep and food are really important. We get to see this in ourselves all the time. We get hangry, or we didn’t get enough sleep the night before so it’s hard for us to think properly. We’re more easily irritated. So imagine taking a child whose emotional stability is way, way lower, and now insert those same things being hangry, being tired and fuzzy. Their ability to handle those situations is much, much harder.

So they’re going to actually have a lot more pain in their day to day lives if we remove that level of structured energy because now they are finding themselves in situations where they’re becoming extremely upset, and they also don’t have the tools to get out of that, right. So this is a big part of parenting, in my mind, which is how do you, like you said, take the lowest hanging fruit and set your kid up for success.

I think one of the challenges for a lot of parents when it comes to their children’s food is that they think, “Well, my kid won’t eat X, or I have a picky eater.” But I really believe that the majority of that is a learned skill. A great example is when I was a kid, we moved a lot, and we would move to other countries. When you went to another place, there wasn’t Honey Nut Cheerios anymore. You had to eat what was available.

So you learn very quickly that you may have preferences of what you want to eat as a child, but at the end of the day, you’re not going to let yourself starve if you’re only given certain options. Sort of like exercise. You’re taking a little bit of pain in that moment for a very much bigger benefit in the long term.

Becca: Yeah. As we talk about this, we’re just giving out information on what we do in our home. Obviously, this isn’t for you to go and think that we’re telling you that you need to do all this stuff for yourself and for your household. But if anything strikes a chord with you, and you decide that you want to make a change in your house, please know that what is so helpful for me.

I know that the first thing that I would think when I’m making a change is like I don’t want to make my kids uncomfortable. I don’t want to make them unhappy. I don’t want to take away things that bring them comfort. This is what I always remind myself. To me, parenting is solely preparing children to leave the nest.

Now, with that obviously comes we need them to be emotionally regulated. So we have to give lots of love. We have to give lots of encouragement. We have to give lots of support, physical touch, all of that stuff, right. But we’re doing it from a place of we are preparing them to leave the nest.

So there’s a part of me that just hates being strict and being consistent. I want to give in to my kids. I love them. They’re so cute with their chubby little faces and little fingers. They’re just all like little, teeny versions of me that just my biology is just hooting and hollering, wanting to love on him.

But I remind myself like allowing them to have this tantrum or allowing them to only eat X or allowing them to just completely not abide by manners or whatever I’m dealing with in the moment, I have to remind myself I am preparing this child to leave the nest. Is the message that I’m sending right now allowing them to become stronger and more capable people? If it’s not, it’s time to change course. Right?

So as we go through, and I’m going to talk a little bit about our bedtime routine and the kinds of things that we do eat and don’t eat and all that stuff because I do believe this is the biggest meat and potatoes, biggest lowest hanging fruit. We have to remind ourselves that the reason we’re doing this is to give them amazing sleep habits for the rest of their life, a foundation of proper eating, a foundation of a gut microbiome and bacteria that is going to last through their lifetime. Right?

Like these things are no joke. We are changing their lives by giving them these strong foundations. That’s the way I always think of it, and it makes it so much easier for me to not just let them do whatever they want, which is a lot of times what I want to do. Which is so funny being married to Mark Pike, you can imagine. So let’s talk a little bit just real quick about what we do for bedtime, or the way that we think about that time or the way that we think about sleep and circadian rhythms.

Mark: From the beginning, bedtime is one of those areas that is more of a non-negotiable. So something I told my kids, and they’re very aware of it, is that bedtime is one of the times that you can get in the most trouble. So parents will put a lot of emphasis on certain things that their children can and can’t do. So maybe if you’ve got a five year old, you wouldn’t tolerate them cussing, right. There would be no wiggle room on that. We just to apply that same principle to areas that we think will give them the most benefit, and one of those is bedtime.

So in the beginning whenever they’re a little bit younger, we put more time into what our bedtime routine looks like, what the times are for bedtime, nap times for our younger ones. All of our kids nap until they go to school until they get to first grade because then they can’t nap anymore.

Becca: Kindergarten.

Mark: Kindergarten. But we just put a lot of emphasis into that. So for us, putting our kids to sleep at night is a really simple process because they know that it’s a non-negotiable. They’re not going to try to argue with us about going to bed or even the process that they go through, brushing their teeth, cleaning up, things like that that we do. It’s an extremely structured part of their life that there isn’t really any argument on. The main reason it’s that way is because we decided that it mattered. Then we put that same level of focus on it that aligned with how important we thought it was.

Becca: Our bedtime routine looks a little something like this, and it looks like this for all ages from the time they are capable of walking and talking. Okay. So they know that when we say it’s time to get ready for bed, it doesn’t require Mark and I to follow them around and do the things for them and remind them what to do. They all know exactly what it means.

It means get in your pajamas, brush your teeth, get a drink of water, go pee. Like those four things. For my youngest that has a hard time remembering, I drew pictures of these on a piece of paper, and I taped it to her bedroom wall. She runs back and forth between the paper looking at what she’s supposed to do next.

Like Mark said, the consistency of us having this as a kind of no wiggle room situation, like you have to do what you’re what we have laid out for you and then you have to get in your bed has provided so much more freedom for the entire family and so much more emotional regulation. We’re not doing the whole bedtime thing that’s taking two hours, and we’re having to like give up a lot of our time and the children giving up a lot of their time because they are trying to get themselves into bed. We don’t do that.

Mark: Yeah. I think whenever I’m thinking about what my parenting style is I think that I opt for a little bit of pain in the beginning for a very bright happy future. So someone might think well having a strict bedtime, for example, and a strict bedtime routine is going to be taking away happiness from a child or causing them some level of pain.

The reality is once you get it set in place, you actually are saving the children from a ton of pain because they’re no longer fighting with you as they go to bed. They’re not throwing tantrums because they already know that that’s not going to work. Like those things aren’t going to succeed. So they don’t try them. They go to bed happily. They just know that this is something that they do, and they don’t fight that anymore.

I think that we use that principle and a lot of our parenting, which is hey, I’m going to follow through on what I say now because as my kid gets older, they’re going to have so much more joy from that. If the kid wanders into the road and you discipline them, they’re not going to be sad that they can’t go into the road in the future. They already know hey, I can’t do that. This is what I can do. They’re a lot happier because it’s very clear to them what is acceptable and what’s not.

Becca: Yeah, it brings so much more freedom and so much less arguing. I think that because our rules are so set in stone, we don’t have to bring it up again. It’s not a battle every night. It’s not even something we talk about. We don’t even have to really remind our kids that much anymore about the rules. Like it’s just not spoken of because it was just so foundational and set in stone that it removes so much battling and arguing and all the things that I see so many other parents having to deal with. It just seems really hard.

Here’s another quick bedtime hack that we just started doing last year, and I’ve been very pleased with it is our kids have always gone to bed at eight. Last year, they’re starting to get older. One of them is almost five. We’ve got a nine year old. We got a seven year old, and they have schoolwork. They are testing and reading and doing all the school things. We decided instead of going to bed at eight, you can – like we gave the kids the choice. You can either go to sleep at eight, lights out at eight, or you can stay up till 8:30 if you are reading in your bed quietly.

Guys, we just implemented this last year, and we watched all of our kids testing scores on reading just completely skyrocket. Our kids have read numerous chapter books. I think my seven year old daughter like gobbled down like 20 something chapter books this past summer just because it was so exciting for them to think that they could stay up late that they, of course, chose to read. It’s just been really fun to watch on that front.

Mark: Let me do one more thing about sleep too. This is just a quick hack.  I think I learned it from Zig Ziglar. What he talked about was how at nighttime right before you put your kids to bed, you have their complete attention because they don’t want to go to sleep. So they will literally do anything not to sleep. That’s part of how the books came into play as well, right. They would rather read a book and go to bed, which is great.

But it’s also an opportunity to talk to them about things. It could be things that I’ve been learning that I could share with them that they’re not going to get taught at school or anywhere else. It can also be a great opportunity to connect with them in other ways. So sometimes I’ll let them just ask me questions about any topic that they want. It’s kind of a fun way to have an exchange and have a relationship with your child, especially for people that work late. The only opportunity to get really is that bedtime. So it’s a really cool little hack to get your child’s full attention.

Becca: Yeah, I completely agree. So let me ask you this. What do you think is like the main things that we should be teaching our kids? Or like do you think of these in categories or in pillars as what’s important?

Mark: Yeah, what are the main things that we should be teaching our kids. So I do think that one of the main roles I have as a parent is to be a teacher and a mentor. As I’ve learned more about the role of parenting, I also believe that a big part is to be a support system so if something does go wrong in their lives, they know that they can come to us. But being a teacher is the main role.

As far as what to teach them, I don’t really think that I focus too much on schoolwork or things of those nature. We want them to have good grades, but that’s more because of the discipline it takes to get good grades as opposed to having that specific knowledge. I talk to them. I think it’s important to teach them how their emotions work, try to help them understand that what they focus on is what they’re feeling, and that they can change their focus to feel differently.

Sometimes we’ll use those tools in the moment with them if they’re having a really hard time. So I think teaching them about their emotions. If you are into personal development, you should be sharing the things that you’re learning with your children because they’re not going to be learning those things at school.

Those are the things that will give them more of what most parents want. Most parents think of well, I want my kids to have money and success and these types of things. If you really want your children to have those, you want to lay a foundation where they can have them and be happy with them. So I think teaching them around that area is important.

They need to be able to learn how to take direction whenever they’re younger. Because one day they are going to have a job probably, and they’re going to need to know how to interact with other humans. Yeah, I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a big list of things, but, to me, one of the biggest ones is trying to teach them more about how their emotions and their brain work so that they will have some of those tools because they’re not going to learn them anywhere else typically.

Becca: Yeah. going back to what you said. You said if you listen to personal improvement audio or podcasts or whatever, and I would say 100% of the people listening to this podcast do. You were saying you should teach that to your kids. You should talk about it to them. What would you say to a parent who wants to do that, but they think either their kid is too old, or their kid wouldn’t be interested or they didn’t lay the foundation of being able to talk about that and they just feel silly bringing it up now. Would you give any advice for that?

Mark: Well, I think whenever your kids are younger, they’re absorbing much more than you think. So talk to them about it anyway. We’ve got a great example. Our 14 year old, we were talking to her about stuff that would be considered way above her head when she was younger. Then as time went on, as the years rolled forward, I would see examples where she would literally be saying verbatim something that I had told her to a friend. Right?

That’s where it was kind of an aha-moment of oh, she was absorbing it. Even though in the moment she was maybe bored out of her mind, or it didn’t seem like she really was getting it, it was soaking in there. Then as far as your kid being too old, I mean it’s really the same story. Still pass on that information. They are taking pieces of it in, even if they seem like they don’t want it. But that information is still seeping into them, and they can pull from it later in a different season of life.

Becca: Okay, and what would you tell our audience if they’re listening to this, and they’re like yes, I do want to shift how I’m parenting. I want to change a few things, but my partner isn’t on board. Maybe they’re divorced with their partner, and they don’t raise their children together.

Mark: Well, I mean, at the end of the day whether you’re in a split relationship, you’re co-parenting, or your partner is on a totally different page, the best thing that you can do is be a consistent example. Because in life, we aren’t the same way with everyone.

If a child is with their principal at school versus their grandmother versus a basketball coach versus their brother and sister or their friends at school, they’re going to act a little bit differently in each place. So it’s important for us to show them that they can have a specific set of behaviors, if they choose to, and our consistent parenting is what’s going to show them that through the years.

Becca: How exactly would you show them? Like, you’re just saying just being consistent, or would you talk to them about this? Like, have a conversation with them, and what would that look like?

Mark: Yeah, I mean, I would have a conversation with them. So one of the things that I try to teach my kids consistently is context because context is something that we all use throughout life. Like I said, we might be cussing with our buddies, but we’re not going to probably cuss around our grandmother. Right? That’s a different context.

Becca: How would you speak with the kids about this? Would it be a direct conversation, or you’re saying like use your actions more?

Mark: Yeah, I think it’s both. It’s certainly a direct conversation, but more than anything it’s your actions. It’s giving them an example that they can use later in life to look back on, especially if they see two different parenting styles.

Over time, even if they prefer the parent that lets them eat a bunch of candy and plays Xbox all day. As time goes on, they are going to have that example against the example of the parent who talked to them about their emotions, was a steady connection point for them, that they knew they could always come to them if they had problems. A parent that was consistent.

They are going to see these different parenting styles. Once they grow up, they will have the option to choose and pick from those different parenting styles. I believe that most people, once they get old enough, it’s really easy to know which ones to choose from and which ones not to. We can probably see that throughout our lives. We might have had parents that we didn’t really love the way that they parented us, but we had a coach off to the side. We looked up to them and modeled some of ourselves after them or a friend or a teacher.

Becca: What do you think is the number one quality that we could instill in our kids that would have the most impact?

Mark: Perspective and meaning. Anytime a situation happens, it’s up to us to choose the perspective that we have, to choose the meaning that we give that situation. I believe that in every situation, there is an empowering meaning, an empowering perspective that can be had. There’s also an unempowering negative perspective and meaning. So we get to choose to find those.

So really teaching our kids how to look for gratitude in life, how to look for how this situation is going to help them grow and become better. I think that that is just seems to be one of the greatest skills that a person can develop in life. So teaching that to our children is an absolute game changer.

Becca: Yeah. I love that. We ask our kids so often what they’re grateful for. What are you grateful for today? Like, what are you grateful for about this meal? Or we just went on a trip. What were you most grateful for? Like, it’s just part of the conversation that we have in our house often, and it’s so fun to watch how quick they are now. They’re so well trained to look for the things that they enjoy and are thankful for that when we ask them, they can just spit off all of the in-depth things that they’re so grateful to have.

Mark: Yeah, absolutely. So maybe a simpler way to put it is teaching children about growth mindset versus fixed mindset. As long as a child has a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset, they’re gonna be destined to have a much more fulfilling life.

Becca: What do you think is the repercussions are the pros and cons of having a culture in your house where complaining is normalized, even for the child? Most people would say well, kids are kids. Of course, they complain. That’s normal. It’s a big part of it. I don’t agree. Our kids obviously tell us when they don’t like things, and they’re not little robot children. But as far as actual genuine straight up complaining or throwing tantrums because they don’t like something, that’s nonexistent.

Mark:  Yeah, that’s right. So like I think this is a tricky one to navigate. We’ve certainly had a lot of discussions about it. It’s okay to be disappointed, to be sad, to be frustrated, to feel these negative emotions. But the way that you respond to those emotions, all reactions are not equal.

So our kid, if we’re at a checkout lane in Kroger or at the grocery store, and our child asked if they can have a candy bar, we would say no to that. That’s how it would be at our house. It’s okay for them to be bummed out about that. What wouldn’t be okay for them to throw a tantrum on the floor in the middle of the grocery store. That would be an example of something that would have consequences to it. They know that. So they don’t do that type of behavior.

Becca: But they tried it when they were young before they found out the way of the culture.

Mark: That’s right. Yeah. So I really think when it comes to disciplining children, the majority of the correction happens by the time, what, they’re six, seven years old.

Becca: I’d say younger than that.

Mark: Yeah. Then by putting in the work while they’re young.

Becca: Unless they’re cedar.

Mark: Yeah, she’s only four. But by putting in the work while they’re young, it really pays off in the long run. Our 14 year old, I can’t remember the last time she got really corrected. Naturally, she still makes mistakes along the way. She isn’t going to be throwing big tantrum. She’s not going to be arguing with us on subjects that we say this is the way it is. It’s all very set out.

Because of this, she’s old enough for us to have really open back and forth conversations. Because of this she feels very secure. She feels like she knows what she’s going to get. There isn’t this absence of pleasure because we are restricting things in her life. It’s the opposite. Through discipline, she has more freedom, more fun, more excitement in life.

Becca: Yep. That’s what Jocko Willink would say.

Mark: That’s right. Shout out Jocko.

Becca: Discipline equals freedom.

Mark: That’s right.

Becca: It really does.

Mark: Yep. That can be a hard concept for parents to get around because we love our kids. We want them to be happy. But sometimes it’s hard for us to realize that in order for them to be happy, we have to correct their behavior in the moment. So there’s that little bit of pain of hey, you’re in trouble for this behavior. But in the future, that’s going to take away so much more crying, so much more pain in their lives because they aren’t going to be fighting every day.

So many kids are waking up like how am I going to fight today to get what I want because if I fight hard enough, I’m gonna get it. By letting them no. Like, no matter how hard you fight in this area, there’s still going to be the same result.

Becca: Yeah, I think it’s just do you want your kid happy in the moment or happy throughout the entirety of life.

Mark: In the long term, yeah.

Becca: Right? It’s like you can imagine a situation where the parent just wants them to be happy in the moment. So they say yes to everything. The child grows up to expect and to feel entitled to then their life is going to be much, much, much harder, right, because the parent chose happy now over happy long term. As opposed to structured behavior now so that in the long run, the children have so much more happiness.

Mark: Yeah. A lot of these ideas we’re talking about, they’re anecdotal. So if you just look at your own life, you can see where the same stuff applies. Whenever we have discipline in an area, let’s say going to the gym or exercising. It can be a little hard to do it, a little painful, but the benefits are exponential. Happier, healthier, proud of yourself for what you did, et cetera, et cetera. Same thing with sleep, and what we’re putting into our bodies, our relationships that we have.

So it’s really just looking at what’s working in life. Then how can we apply those same concepts to our children. I’m a big believer in putting time and energy into educating yourself in areas that are important to you. I would guess, if I interviewed most people, they would say parenting or raising healthy children is at the top of their list. If that’s the case, I do think reading, listening to podcasts, doing something to consume some new information that you can apply towards your children is really important.

Becca: It’s so obvious to me how much the way that we run our household impacts the business. People often ask me how do you run businesses or how do you do what you guys do because you all have four kids, and you have the businesses. But then you also seem like you’re always traveling and socializing. Like how do you have time for everything?

You guys like, again, the discipline brings so much freedom. Because Mark and I, a long time ago, created a structure for how we wanted to run the household. I’m so glad we did. Like we know every single day who is cooking dinner. I cook dinner on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Mark cooks dinner on Monday, Tuesday. It’s been that way for years. We know who’s driving the kids. I drive the kids to school on Tuesday, Wednesday. He does it on Monday, Thursday, Friday, right?

We know who’s home for when the kids get off the bus. I’m home on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. He’s home on Monday, Tuesday. Like it is very specific. We know who’s cooking lunch, who’s packing lunch boxes. It’s not something we have to bring up or talk about anymore. We know who’s doing the dishes, right? We know who’s cleaning. We know all of that because we set it in stone so, so long ago.

There’s never a question who’s cooking dinner tonight. No, I cooked it last night. You cook it tonight. Will you just do the dishes? You never do the dishes. Like none of that even exists because of the discipline that we put in place and the structure that we put in place a long time ago. So what it does is it allows this just big breath of fresh air in our house because it’s been years. We haven’t had to discuss it. We never have to fight about it.

I think about this all the time too. I’m like what do couples do when one feels like they’re doing more of the chore than the other on the daily. You have to talk about it, and you have to get each other involved. We just don’t have to do that. It drastically affects how much time we have to socialize, to work on our businesses, and all of the above.

Mark: Yeah, absolutely.

Becca: All right. Well, let’s wind this down. Is there any advice, any last minute advice? I know that we went on a broad bunch of topics, but to any parents out there listening, anything last you want to say?

Mark: Yeah, I mean obviously we barely touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to parenting. There’s so much more to it. I would say going back to what you were just talking about with our daily routine as an example, it’s important to get your children, I believe, involved in work as early on as possible. Especially when it comes to the daily things that are required to live life. So washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning up your room.

There have been numerous studies done that show people who don’t do these at a young age are very unhappy whenever they grow up and are out on their own. The studies seem to show that the main reason is because they have an expectation that they shouldn’t be doing those things. But by introducing it early on, kids don’t have a problem doing dishes, doing their laundry, cleaning up after themselves because it’s something they learned so easily as a child. Then there is no pain around it whenever they get older.

I think, again, we can see that in our own lives, right? If you hate doing the dishes every day, you probably didn’t do them a lot whenever you were a kid. Then the other thing is really just thinking about your parenting in the long term. So whenever I think about how I’m parenting my kids, I’m not parenting them for basketball next year or how to score on their SATs. I’m parenting them for how can I create a super fulfilled, functional human that is in their 20s?

Becca: Yeah, I love that. I want to go back to the work thing just real quick because you’re giving out these awesome ideas, but I want to break it down and make it really tangible and offer what we do and at what age. So, London started doing the dishes every single night around the age of 11, I would say.

Mark: Yeah, 10, 10 to 11.

Becca: Yeah, loading the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. Our seven and nine year old have been unloading the dishes for about two years. Even our four year old can unload the silverware into the cabinets. My nine year old does the kitty litter every other day or something like that.

Mark: Yeah. However often it needs it.

Becca: They’re in charge of cleaning their rooms. They’re all in charge of putting their laundry away. Once it’s folded, it’s placed in their room, and then they have to put it on hangers, and they have to put it away. But one of the most consistent things that we do is we have cleanup time every single night. So every night before they get ready for bed, we have about 15 minutes of allotted time where the entire house has to be picked up. I mean kitchen, living room, front room, dining room, all of that. There can’t be any toys or art supplies, or anything laid out when we go to sleep at night.

Of course I love this because we’re in the routine and my house is clean every single night. But what I find to be so interesting is how much I can tell that my kids enjoy having a clean house, and the amount of impact that I feel like I’m having on them becoming adults who want to have a clean environment for themselves and for their kids as well.

Mark: Absolutely.

Becca: Yep. Thanks for being on here.

Mark: Yeah, no problem.

Becca: Oh, you’re so cute.

Mark: Oh, thanks.

Becca: All right guys, so once again, this is just mine and Marks take on parenting. There’s going to be parenting police out there that are gonna message me and tell me that my parenting advice is all wrong, and I should just take it off the internet. I’m going to politely ask you not to do that. So thank you again for listening to episode number 90. I’m your host Becca Pike and your co-host.

Mark: Mark Pike.

Becca: In the house. Goodbye.

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