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Parenting styles: What can unicorns tell us about parenting – A review of 7 Unicorn Drive

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We get it. This is a bit of a weird title to an article. Bear with us. You have all heard of parenting styles; from free range, to permissive or authoritative. We aren’t suggesting that you suddenly all become unicorn parents, but we do have a fresh approach to explore, thanks to a recent interview that we have done with Iza and Samo Login, following the release of their book, 7 Unicorn Drive. Iza and Samo Login are the founders of the hugely successful Talking Tom range of apps. They founded Outfit7 in 2009 and in a short 7 years, sold it for $1Billion.

You might wonder what a book about tech billionaires can teach anyone about parenting – and we were skeptical.

Then we read the book, and suddenly, the unicorns made a lot more sense to us….open your mind and read it too. It was an afternoon well spent. The concept of “owning your own s**t is a founding principle to their business.

We couldn’t call this article “owning your own s**t” parenting, because, well Google probably wouldn’t like the swearing. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate, though. If this has peaked your interest, read on.

Parenting styles: What can unicorns tell us about parenting

What is “owning your s**t” in parenting Styles?

Within 7 Unicorn Drive, one of the key concepts is taking responsibility for yourself, and how you work. In particular, what your differences are compared to others. How do you approach tasks and handle yourself in an organisation.

This concept was one of the driving forces of creating effective business teams in Outfit 7, and is a key reason why Iza and Samo work as a couple.

Chatting to Iza and Samo, they feel that it can just as easily be applied to all aspects of life. We all need to take responsibility for what we can control; from how we parent our children, to looking after our bodies, and even creating that all elusive harmony with work, life, and me time.

Recognising our parenting styles, what our beliefs are, what are differences are – help us to understand how we relate to others, and how to become more effective as parents. If we understand and “own” ourselves, we can work with what we know, and use it to help parent better.

“Kids are our biggest teachers, and they show us our differences.”

Iza Login
Parenting styles

It is easy when parenting to react based on our own life experiences, or feelings. When those feelings and experiences are owned, and we are aware of them, we are much more likely to react based on acknowledged differences in personalities and perspectives within a situation. This applies to dealing with screaming toddlers, or making sure you deliver a report on time!

For example, and here is where things become more personal, I recall often how upset I felt as a child being left out of games, and presume that this is how my kids will feel. However, those feelings of upset do not come from my children, but from me.

That feeling of isolation might not be how my children feel, and having it blocks me from understanding my kids and how they feel.

What should be explored is how my child is feeling about being left out – are they sad? Or are they OK with it, as they didn’t want to play anyway?!?

It was me that was sad when I was a kid, and that stops me from hearing my own child. Indeed, it might make me lead them without exploring how they feel more openly.

It is important to help kids to vocalise their feelings, teaching them to articulate what they feel from an early age. Naming emotions can be very powerful for children.

Parenting styles: What can unicorns tell us

Bringing the focus back to the child, can really help us to be more intentional when talking to our children. We think about what is said, and how we say it to insure the right message is given.

Taking the time to understand and own our emotions (and s**t 🤣 ) helps us to “pause” giving time for reflection.

How do you know what your s**t is though?

Being more self-aware is the only way to actually own your s**t because to own it, you have to know what it is!

Iza and Samo use visualisation to help them to achieve their goals, and to understand themselves better. Some might dismiss this as being unscientific, but they feel the act of visualisation and creating a belief that you can achieve something specific, brings to the fore the negative thoughts that are stopping the achievement.

It is a form of mindfulness, steeped in psychology, with a delicate hint of spirituality.

“Why are you doing what you are doing? What negative thoughts are blocking you in your subconscious? You decide your mindset.”

Iza

It isn’t enough to visualise and BELIEVE, it has to be followed by the act of taking personal responsibility for achieving that goal through personal growth.

What can unicorns tell us about parenting

According to Iza and Samo, visualising in this way will help you manifest your goals in time, if you set clear objectives, are passionate and listen to those blocks…

“The magic will happen.”

Iza

If we are aware of what makes us “tick,” we can focus on the tasks at hand, without drifting because we haven’t chosen a path we are comfortable with. For example, if we spend time playing with our kids, we are present as it is part of the overall harmony in our lives that helps us to feel fulfilled.

“Be with your kids with your heart.”

Samo

What helps us to own our own s**t as parents?

“Parenting is the most important, the biggest responsibility, and the most beautiful.”

Samo

Being self-aware is admirable, but what on earth do we do with that concept when we are confronted by a teen that refuses to go to bed, or a toddler that is screaming because they don’t want to put their shoes on?

Visualising it won’t mean the toddler will PUT their shoes on, will it?

That WOULD be unicorn parenting and something magical.

What can unicorns tell us about parenting

However, understanding that you react to that screaming in a particular way because of how you are feeling, e.g. tired, fed up, etc., will help you deal with it better, and *may* prevent you from getting cross and then creating a block to listening to your child.

Applying three simple parenting styles principles alongside this self-awareness can help us all:

  • Your children, no matter their age, are striving for independence,
  • Your children will fail. That is OK, and
  • Your gut feel about your kids is usually right. IF you are thinking truly about their feelings, and not projecting your own onto the situation. If you truly are, owning your own s**t.

“They need to know that can come back to you if they fail with no shame.”

Samo

Failure is definitely one of the most important lessons in life; it teaches you how to succeed.

We thoroughly enjoyed talking to Iza and Samo, and highly recommend their book – go and buy it from Amazon, or your nearest bookshop. Let us know what you thought of it too.

You can also check out the Login Foundation, which uses the principles that are core to the Logins lives to do good in the world, following the sale of their app business.

Here are a few more articles on the site related to parenting styles, do check them out.

General parenting tips from KiddyCharts

More tips from KiddyCharts that might help you to stay a bit saner as a parent.

Thanks for coming to see us.

Take care,

Helen
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