Parents: Time for a “System” Check-Up?

Systems are all around us.  We have stereo systems, navigation systems, computer systems; the human body is a system! Periodically they ALL require a check-up and maintenance.

A “system” is:

a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network

Broken System

If any one or more of the components making up a system is broken, things begin to go “haywire!”  It’s like a car, if a belt breaks or the radiator overheats your car doesn’t run correctly, or it simply will break down and stop running!

If you’re a parent, your parental system must always be in top-notch working order or the “set of things” that should be working together begin to deteriorate and eventually break down.

The Quest Project® takes a holistic approach.  If a family reaches out because their son is struggling or displaying bad behavior; we start by checking the system because the son is only one part of the “set of things.”

Parental System

Here are the 3 “things” within the parental system:

  1. Son(s)
  2. Parent(s)
  3. Parenting style

For this system to work well, all these components need to be communicating and functioning like a well-oiled machine.

  • The parent is responsible to provide food, shelter and clothing.  To teach accountability and responsibility, by being a responsible example and taking care of themselves.
  • The son has needs, those needs will change as he grows and matures; it’s the parents’ responsibility to recognize, understand and meet those needs.  This allows him to become a healthy independent adult someday!
  • The parenting style between mom and dad (biological or step) must be similar and cohesive; an effective team!  This is frequently where the system breaks down.

Many times a system breaks if mom and dad decide to divorce.  They no longer communicate and work together in the best interest of their child.

When a biological parent remarries or introduces a new partner into their existing system, the entire system needs an adjustment or overhaul!

Ninety-five percent of the male adolescents in The Quest Project®-A Modern Day Rite of Passage™ program are coming to terms with a step parent.  They are being parented by parents that have completely different styles which leads to chaos and confusion for the entire system.  Before you blame the kids for acting out or displaying bad behavior, perform a check-up and set up a system that works for both parents and meets the needs of your son!

Maintenance Check

A car requires maintenance and tune-ups; your parental system does too.  At times those will be simple fixes you can do yourself, other times you may need professional help.  Don’t underestimate the importance of your parental system, make sure it’s healthy and operational.

If you need tools for your toolbox, I have several helpful resources available:


Conflict Resolution Tool

Parent Journal

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