The #1 Factor To Be An Effective Parent In My Opinion Is…

I’m fascinated by energy. Think about it: the world revolves around it. Nothing happens without some sort of energy involved. 


I’ve found ENERGY to be the #1 factor in being a successful parent. 


Here’s what I realized as a parent…I only have so much energy to give to the world. It’s like a car gas tank. Once the fuel is gone, no more energy can be produced to move the vehicle. I can stretch the amount of energy I have through things like taking care of my soul and my body. Time with God, rest/Sabbath, proper diet, and exercise can produce more personal energy for me to expend. This might add a couple gallons of capacity to my personal gas tank. But my gas tank is not infinite in its output. It is still finite; there’s only so much energy to go around. And when the tank is empty, there are no more miles left to travel. 


Here are the 10 basic categories where you spend your energy. (not in any particular order)

  • Personal life
  • Parenting/Family
  • Work/Career/School
  • Marriage
  • Relationships
  • Spiritual life/God
  • Hobbies/leisure activities
  • Challenges/Problems
  • Maintaining my world (property, possessions, etc.)
  • Finances/Money management



I would encourage you to think about where your energy is being spent right now. Do an assessment of how much energy you expend on these categories. It’s important to think not about how much TIME you spend, but how much ENERGY. These are two different things. When assessing this, be honest with yourself. Don’t be unrealistic and tell yourself that certain things are higher in your energy list that you WANT to be that way, but rather WHAT is actually true about where your energy is being spent. 


Here’s what I’ve noticed in working with parents and students for 30 years…ENERGY is often the culprit of why things break down in families. Quite often, the parents are giving the last of their energy to their marriage/family/parenting, and as a result, things suffer. 


Imagine: you have a huge work week, and as you finish up a long few days with heavy demands from work, then you face a situation with one of your kids that demands your energy. We typically don’t make the best decisions when we are tired. 


As you think about this, let me offer one quick thought to you about your energy related to your parenting. Your financial commitments and priorities can often conflict with your inner desire to be an effective parent. I’ll give you an example. 


You want the best for your kids, so you buy an incredible house. But to pay for that house, you have to work a much more stressful and time-consuming job. This means less time and, more importantly, less ENERGY that you can spend with your kids as a parent. Ask yourself, is that house and the house payment worth it? 



Here’s what I know: what your kids need more from you than anything is your ENERGY. There are more intense periods of time when your kids need your energy, and those young, growing-up years are critical. 


Start where you are. If you feel you aren’t giving enough energy to your kids, don’t beat yourself up and stay in the guilt zone. Take an assessment and make the adjustments necessary to bring the right amount of energy you believe you need to give as a parent. 



Geoff Eckart
CEO & Founder
Never The Same