Stop Family Fights #5: Managing Expectations

Stop Family Fights #5: Managing Expectations


Hello and welcome to our video that covers the 5th and final tip of ways to help stop the fighting and disagreements within your family.

Here, we cover the way we help manage expectations in our family. Because really, deep down inside, children want to please Mom and Dad. They really do. They want to grow and become productive. They want to have success and it just depends on expectations.

Watch on to learn about the tool we use called 360 Delegation. It may sound a little strange, but the 3 steps within this tool can really help set the expectation that your child needs.

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MARGIE – Hello, there! We’re here with tip number 5, how to stop the fight in your family and especially, how to stop it before it ever escalates and even starts.

JOSHUA – Right, which really begs the question, why do children yell and scream and fight anyway? Especially when it comes to their parents. Why do they get so frustrated with parents? And why is there so much contention and irritation going on there? We’re going to tell you all about that in just a minute. But for now, remember, we’ve got a free gift for you.

MARGIE – A free gift, yep.

JOSHUA – We’ve got something that we’ve prepared for you that’s going to help you immensely in creating more joy and happiness inside your family, so stick around and we’ll give you all the details on that free gift. Let’s go back to this question. Why is it, dream girl? Why is this that they get so frustrated? When you see our children get frustrated at us, what’s going on there?

MARGIE – A lot of times, it’s because their expectations are not being met.

JOSHUA – Right.

MARGIE – They expect certain things to happen and it’s not happening that way, and so it’s frustrating to them, and they start yelling and fighting and complaining and whining and fussing and pretty soon…

JOSHUA – And especially there is conflict between parents and children. Now I saw this roll out beautifully, this concept of how expectation causes us to be grumpy, in this little experience I saw in a king bed versus a queen bed. Recently, we spoke at a conference and it was this great big resort, so I’m in the line, and there’s a big line standing there. I finally get up to the counter, and I look to the side of me here, and this other gal checking in is there standing there by herself, there’s no attendant helping her. A few minutes later, the attendant comes back and she’s got the manager with her. And as soon as the manager walks up, this gal explodes. She just unloads on this manager, and here was the problem. She had reserved a king sized bed in a certain location in the hotel. And they had overbooked or something had happened there, and they weren’t able to accommodate her original reservation. And so the manager was great. He was like, “Ma’am, here’s what we’re going to do. We have this other suite on the other side of the hotel. It does have a queen size bed in it, but it’s got twice as many amenities. It’s much bigger. It’s in a nicer place. It’s newly remodeled. And we’re going to let you have that for no additional cost, plus we’re going to pay for your parking. Plus we’ll pay for your resort fee and give you some credits at, you know, the restaurant, etc, etc.” I mean he bent over backwards. Was she happy?

MARGIE – She wouldn’t have it.

JOSHUA – Was she satisfied? No, she was still totally frustrated. Now, any other given day, she would have been ecstatic about the opportunity to have this really nice luxury room, but what was the problem? The problem was, she couldn’t see past her expectations. She was still just wired up and frustrated about this. Now, we see this all the time. And in my business, I have a coach, a guy that helps me with lots of different stuff named Tim Francis. And Tim taught me this concept called 360 delegation. Thanks, Tim. This was a great idea. And it’s something that Margie and I have been doing for years and years…

MARGIE – He put a label on it.

JOSHUA – Yeah, he put a label on it, and he put steps to it. So we’re going to teach you about this next thing under the banner of this 360 delegation, and let you see how you can apply it inside of your business.

MARGIE – Because so much of parenting is delegation, right? That’s what we do in parenting. We delegate. We’re teaching our children what to do. How to do it. How we expect them to perform or to fulfill certain things so they can become wonderful responsible adults.

JOSHUA – Exactly. I mean there’s zillions that you’ve got to delegate, and just as Margie said, it’s the process that we use to help children actually become wonderful and amazing individuals. And as I was thinking about this whole delegation process, I thought of Ben Carson. And some of you maybe know the story of Ben Carson. There was a movie done about him called Gifted Hands. And if you remember how the story rolls out, his mother was illiterate, they lived in the ghettos of Detroit, they basically were… you know, poor single mother…

MARGIE – Failing schools.

JOSHUA – Failing school, lot of anger, lot of frustration, and every day their expectation was they’ve got to come home from school, sti on the couch, and watch 5, 6, 7 hours of TV and then go to bed, go to school, sleep through school, come home, and watch TV. Well finally, she got a job cleaning houses. Nice houses. And she realized a lot of these really wealthy people had libraries, and they read a lot of books. And so she changed up the expectation. She came home, she turned the TV off, and she was like, “No more TV. From now on, you’re going to read two books a week before you watch TV, and you’re going to write a report and give me the report every single week on it.” She changed the expectation. And of course, Ben and his brother freaked out at first. Now when you change the expectations in your house, just be warned. Your children are going to resist it and be really frustrated. But notice what happened with Ben and his brother. After a while, when she didn’t relent, they honored the limit, the new expectation, and they started reading the books, and pretty soon they loved it.

MARGIE – Loved learning.

JOSHUA – They loved it. And consequently both of them became very successful. Ben became one of the most renowned brain surgeons in the world. And his brother went on to have a great career doing a bunch of other stuff. And the thing that changed was the mother’s expectation and her following up on that. So there’s a pattern here on how to do this. So let’s talk about that 360 delegation, right?

MARGIE – Number one, you’ve got to have a vision. What is the vision that you’re trying to attain here with your children?

JOSHUA – Yeah. What’s the thing that you want to accomplish? So in Ben Carson’s case, Mom wanted them to be able to pass school and be smart. In everyday mundane things, you’ve got things like cleaning the toilet, making food or running errands…

MARGIE – Making your bed…

JOSHUA – Cleaning up your bed. Whatever it is.

MARGIE – How you treat your siblings.

JOSHUA – You’ve got to be able to give them a clear picture of exactly what it is you expect from them. You’re establishing the expectation. Here’s exactly what I want to have done. Okay, now the next thing is…

MARGIE – Number two, resources. What resources do you need to be able to fulfill the expectation?

JOSHUA – Right. So if you’re telling them to keep the room clean, what kind of resources in terms of knowledge, physical resources, cleaning products, a vacuum…

MARGIE – Do they have a dresser, do they have a drawer for each of their clothes? Hangers? All that stuff. A vacuum?

JOSHUA – There’s a whole set of resources, from training to proper things that they need to have in order to be able to accomplish that. You’ve got to empower them to actually do it. So the next thing is you need to give them a definition of done. So this is a little different from the vision about what you want to have happen long term. This is, “I will know this is done and done right when…” And you fill in the blank. Whatever that looks like.

MARGIE – What does clean look like in this room, or in this bathroom or…

JOSHUA – Exactly. So what is the definition? Now, Tim uses these three steps. What is the vision? What are the resources needed? And what’s the definition of done? The definition of done is also going to include things like what’s the deadline. When does this need to get done by. Okay? Now, we have always added one additional thing to this and that is what are the rewards, or punishments, consequences, positive or negative, for either completing this or not completing it. Getting it done on time, not done on time. So again, they know exactly what the expectations are in terms of being able to accomplish and fulfill this project. Okay? Now, should we give them a couple of examples?

MARGIE – Yeah, give them an example.

JOSHUA –  So let’s start with cleaning the bathroom. So each of our children come up to the age when they’re assigned to clean the bathroom. The first thing that we do is I will walk through the bathroom, and look around, and say, “Okay, what looks out of place here?” And we’ll have a conversation about, “Well, you know, there’s soap all over the counter. There’s towels on the floor. The toilet still has funky yellow stuff going on on the bottom of it.” And when I point out all the different things, and say, “Okay. Here’s what I would like to see here. I would like to see this so that the bathroom’s all clean, so that if the President of the United States or one of our church leaders or Mother came in here, she would say, ah, this is clean, and smells good, and is fresh.” And we walk through a vision of what that is. Okay, to do that, what do we need? We’re going to need some toilet bowl cleaner. We’re going to need some disinfectant spray. You’re going to need some towels, you know, duh duh duh, all these things. You’ll need a place to put the towels and hang them up in. Going to need to refill the soaps, you’ll need extra soap.” So there’s all these different things that we say, okay, this is the list of resources. And then again, I know that this is done when in 30 minutes, I can walk back in here and inspect and say this is good for the Queen of England to come and use the bathroom at our house, right? That’s the definition of done. And if you get it done within half an hour, then we will have some ice cream or get to go to the park or you’ll get my praise and love… whatever it is, there’s a reward there. And if you don’t, then we’re going to work on it until it gets done, and then we’ll practice on all the other bathrooms, and if you complain about it, I’ve got a New Deal for you, and we’ll do a bunch of other stuff, right?

MARGIE – The New Deal card.

JOSHUA – Right. So there’s a whole list of things there. So that’s the example of what we would do in terms of cleaning the bathroom. Walk through with them. Show them what it looks like. Give them the resources. Give them a time frame and a reward. Okay? Now this is your specialty.

MARGIE – Here’s another one. Errands and shopping. A lot of times, we’ll send our older children. “Here, run to the store. Go pick this up. We’re going to have dinner soon, we need these three items or whatever.” And so I’ll give them a list. I’ll make sure they have money in their account, because we’re always transferring money to them when they’re doing shopping for us. I’ll explain what the list is. Do I need two heads of lettuce? Or do I want tomatoes that are soft, or hard or…you know, whatever. And then I give them a time limit. “I want you back here by this certain time.”

JOSHUA – So every one of the little things is all spelled out.

MARGIE – The reward is you get to eat! We’ll make a salad. Making meals.

JOSHUA – Making meals. So talk about that, because you’re so good at getting the children to do this.

MARGIE – Well, we take turns having different children prepare meals. And so the first week or two, I’m right there with them, working on things and teaching them about timeline and if we want to eat dinner at 6, these things need to happen in the right order for everything to be ready at the same time. I’m always teaching them about how… don’t burn the bottom of the pan… you know. Butter the toast when it’s warm instead of cold.

JOSHUA – So there’s just butter sitting on top of it. If it actually melts, that’s always a plus. So there’s all these little things, that she walks through, and there’s printed menus, and shopping lists, and she talks with them about, “Before we go shopping, what else is needed? You’re in charge of breakfast, do we need anything else? Are we out of eggs? Do we need some more milk? Do we need butter?” And so there’s this whole process of stuff that goes on there, so that their expectations… they know exactly what to do, when to do it, and what it looks like when it’s done, and done right. And then their expectations are set so that they’re not fussing and complaining. We do the same thing… every morning, we have a family council, and we walk through the schedule for the day. What needs to happen today? We establish the expectations, and if things need to get delegated, we use this process that we just talked about. So, our challenge to you is look at where there is frustration and contention and ask yourself if it’s not a by-product of mismanaged expectations, and can you manage expectations better by using some form of Tim’s brilliant 360 degree delegation process, and taking some time limits and rewards and consequences onto it.

MARGIE – I think you’ll be really surprised at the results of this one point that we’re teaching you today, because it’s made such a difference for us.

JOSHUA – Huge difference. Because really, deep down inside, children want to please Mom and Dad. They really do. They want to grow and become productive. They want to have success and it just depends on expectations. So just like Ben Carson, deep down inside, he really did want to be somebody great. He just didn’t have the framework to do it in, and so when Mom took away TV and compelled him to move into books, it gave him the framework. And your children will do the same thing. They’ll respond, and they’ll love you, and they’ll be super excited for what they are becoming in this process, as you help them to see what your expectations are and get them the tools to fulfill them. Alright. If you’ll stick around, we have a free gift for you. It’ll help you implement all this stuff and have a ton of fun doing it. We want to hear your story. Jump on the Facebook page and give us some comments, give us some feedback and some insights into how this is working for you. We’d love to hear from you. Until then, do everything you can every day to find great joy and connect with your family. Life’s really short. Make the most of it. Talk to you soon. Bye.

Stop Family Fights #4: Non-Negotiables

Stop Family Fights #4: Non-Negotiables


Hello and welcome to our video that covers tip #4 (in the 5-part series) of ways to help stop the fighting and disagreements within your family.

Here, we cover the principle of non-negotiables. Non-negotiables is one of the most powerful things you can do inside of your home in order to stop the fighting, the yelling and the issues before they ever arise. So how does this non-negotiable thing work?

Watch on to see what we mean by a non-negotiable and the 4 things you need to do to ensure success of this principle in your family!

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Hello there! We’re here with tip number 4, how to stop the fight in our families. But more importantly, how to stop the fight before it even starts, right?

JOSHUA – Right. Before we get into that, just a reminder, if you stick around to the end, we’ve got a free gift for you. We’ve developed a number of resources that go far more in depth into parenting and how to run your household and how to bring greater joy and happiness into your family. We want to share those with you. We’ve got an entire parenting system for you that’s free. No costs. So stick around to the end and we’ll give you the details on how you get hold of that. Also at the end of this, we have a surprise for you.

MARGIE – Surprise ending! Yay!

JOSHUA – Meaning we’re going to share with you some ideas that’ll help you find techniques for stopping fighting and yelling and contention in the house before it happens, but there’s also a very powerful way to do this that you might not have thought of and so we’re going to share an idea with you at the end that will really surprise you that you will really enjoy. So stick around for that.

MARGIE – We have a story for you today. It’s about a little boy named Tommy.

JOSHUA – Tommy and the beans.

MARGIE – Tommy and the beans. He came to stay at our house for a few days. Six, seven years old? How old was he?

JOSHUA – Yeah, he was about seven.

MARGIE – Okay. And his mom was having a few struggles with him and things like that, and we were getting close to dinner time. And I pulled him aside, and said, “Okay, Tommy. One of the rules of our house is we eat, and we all eat the same food. And we don’t complain about it. We don’t whine. We don’t fuss about the meal. It’s there, whatever food is there, we eat it, and we happily eat it. Right?”

JOSHUA – Whatever you’re served is what you get, basically. And he seemed to understand.

MARGIE – I thought he understood.

JOSHUA – I just knew that in his world, that he was mostly served junk food, and so it was almost guaranteed that whatever we put on the table, he was not going to be overly excited about.

MARGIE – That’s true. So I think it was Mexican dinner that night… well, yeah. Beans.

JOSHUA – Beans.

MARGIE – So we set up to eat. We start serving everyone. I give him some rice, and he says, “Oh, I hate rice. This looks awful. Yuck. I don’t want to eat this. Give me something else.”

JOSHUA – You know the best part about that was when… as he’s saying this, I’m looking around at our children, because our children know what the rule is.

MARGIE – They know the rule. That’s right.

JOSHUA – And he start in about how he hates rice, and this and that, and don’t you have anything else and blah blah blah… and I look over at Esther, and she has this look on her face. And she would have been, oh about 10 or 11 at the time. And she’s got this look on her face like, “Oh this is not going to go well. Should not go down this road.”

MARGIE – So then we proceed and I serve him up… “Here’s some beans for you, to go with this rice.”

JOSHUA – And just to be clear, before we tell the rest of the story, we did give him fair warning. Because, he’s a newbie, right? So it’s like, Tommy, remember, we don’t complain about the food. So I understand you probably don’t like rice, that maybe you’ve never even tasted this kind of rice, but we don’t complain about the food. Just fair warning. So then the beans came.

MARGIE – So here come the beans.  And he just blew up. He said, “I hate beans, I’m not eating this, I’m so sick of trying to eat your food and all this…” So immediately, Joshua stands up. No warning.

JOSHUA – No warning. This is important.

MARGIE – No warning. Goes, picks him up, takes him into the couch, sets him on the couch and says, “You can stay here until we’re done eating, or until you apologize and want to come and eat with us.”

JOSHUA – Now I knew something about Tommy. He was a very very social child. He loved being around people. He loved attention. So I had already thought through, “Okay. What’s going to happen when he decides that he’s not going to eat any of this food?” So that was my response. Just immediately grabbed him, little shock factor, picked him up, not roughly, just picked him up and said, “Okay. You get to sit out here all by yourself, not eat any dinner, and just enjoy yourself.” And then I went back into the kitchen.

MARGIE – We all just continue eating as though nothing had happened.

JOSHUA – A few minutes later, we hear Tommy in there, crying…

MARGIE – Whimpering.

JOSHUA – Whimpering and crying, and so I went back in there, and knelt down in front of him, like, “Alright, Tommy, here’s the deal. If you will apologize for fussing and whining about what food you’re being served, and come in and happily eat your dinner, then we’ll pretend nothing ever happened and go on with our dinner.” And he kind of sniffled, and dried his eyes, and said, “Okay.” Came walking back in, sat down, and tentatively took a little bite of the beans, and then he was like, “I love beans!”

MARGIE – “These are great!” And just proceeded to finish eating his dinner.

JOSHUA – He was all excited.

MARGIE – He finally realized we were serious about what we were saying. This wasn’t a threat. There was an exact consequence for what you’re doing.

JOSHUA – Now this is a principle. This is not necessarily a technique because it’s applicable in so many different categories but this is definitely a principle and we could call this principle non-negotiables. And Non-negotiables is one of the most powerful thing you can do inside of your home in order to stop the fighting and the yelling and the issues before they ever arise. Okay? So how does this non-negotiable thing work? Well, if you think back to this story that we just talked about, Tommy and the beans, you’ll find that there’s a pattern in a number of things. Do you want to tell them about the first one?

MARGIE – Yeah. The first one is we need to have clear rules. And our children need to know that. For example, one of the rules in our home is you don’t talk back to Mom.

JOSHUA – Let me get to that. Let’s tell them the other three rules so they can see the whole example here. So first one is you have to have clear rules. So remember we sat down with Tommy and Margie said, “Tommy, here’s the deal. You’re going to be served dinner, but there’s no fussing or complaining or whining about the food.” That was the clear rule.


JOSHUA – The second thing is you’ve got to have clear consequences. Now we had told him in advance that if he didn’t like the food and he whined and fussed about it, then he would be removed from the table and would be able to have dinner. I mean, it was a crystal clear consequence.

MARGIE – Yeah. And then number three, you’ve got to enforce it immediately. So that they know that this is a real rule, this is a real consequence. This is really going to happen instead of threat after threat after threat that we see so often in families sometimes.

JOSHUA – Far and away the worst thing you can do is just threaten and threaten and have rules that you never follow up on, because the child gets used to having no boundaries and then they become spoiled and a little reckless. Remember that old expression that says next to your love, your children need your rules. They need your limits. They need regulations. You know, I think about this inside of each of our own lives, we all need to know where the boundaries are. We need to know what the game rules are. Even people that are adrenaline junkies, and are like jumping out of airplanes and pulling parachutes… they still need to know, okay. What are the boundaries? What can be done? What can’t be done? And they want to know what the limitations are. When do I pull the cord if I’m jumping out of the airplane? So these kinds of things are really important. And then of course, immediate consequences. So are you going to tell them about… one of our non-negotiables is you don’t talk back to Margie in any way, shape, or form. Not verbally, not emotionally by rolling your eyes, not body language, and particularly no disrespecting Margie in the sense of completely ignoring her. So a while back… our family loves Rubix cubes and mind game kind of stuff, puzzles and whatnot. So one of our children was sitting on the couch playing this Rubix cube and messing around with it, and Margie walked in. Said their name, gave them a specific assignment and started to walk away. And the child completely and totally ignored Margie. And so Margie, being nice, turned around and gave the request one more time. And I’m on the other side of the room watching this roll out. And the child just continued to ignore Margie. Well that’s a violation of like rule number one in the house, of respecting Mother. So without any warning, without any discussion about it, I walked over, grabbed the Rubix cube, smashed it, picked up the pieces, and put it in the garbage. And I turned around to the children, and I said, “Alright, who else would like to disrespect and ignore Mother?” And then I turned to him and I said, “Your mother asked you to do something, and you’d better do it right now.” Now we later had a conversation, and talked it out, and I said, “Look, I’m sorry the Rubix cube got destroyed, but the fact is you violated a known non-negotiable in the house, and it’s just not acceptable. You had to suffer the consequences.” And so sometimes parents will be like, whoa, that’s really harsh. I can’t believe you did that, this that or the other, but you have to let them know that there are very specific predefined limits, and if you’re always negotiating those and being soft, and not implementing consequences that you said you were going to implement immediately, then the problem would just get worse and worse and worse and worse, and you’ll never get anywhere in terms of helping your children grow to their full potential.

MARGIE – And you sacrificing that $8 toy is so worth what you’re getting out of it. The long term benefits of what you’re teaching your child. And the rest of the children that were standing there watching, right? It’s a long term lesson that needs to be learned as soon as possible in a child’s life so that it will have the benefit throughout their life.

JOSHUA – Now, these long term lessons are something that we call high leverage aspects. In other words, we don’t have non-negotiables for everything that goes on inside the house. We have non-negotiables for a handful of things that we consider high leverage. For example, think about the consequence of not disrespecting Mother. Now, when she asks for things to be done or she gives direction, they know that disrespecting her, not doing it, or ignoring her is a non-negotiable and so they immediately begin to act on it. Now if you think through that, think about how many hours of contention and fighting and arguing we have avoided in our house because of that one tiny little rule. Think about another example. The discussion about not fussing, the food right? How many mealtime arguments have we avoided by having one small non-negotiable rule that says, we just eat what we’re given. So having this high leverage environment, where you think carefully about what’s non-negotiable in your house, little tiny things that have huge long term consequences is really important. Now there’s one other thing that we do in terms of our activities for these non-negotiables and we talked about the consequences and what’s going to happen, and then we immediately apply them, but oftentimes, there’s also positive consequences, like… I just saw this this morning as we were at breakfast. Margie is amazing at giving a lot of praise and a lot of love when the non-negotiables are honored. And so Margie called everyone into breakfast. Everyone came in and sat down. And Margie was like, “Thank you guys so much. We really appreciate you responded immediately…” And so there’s this ongoing positive feedback loop happening inside the environment based on these non-negotiables. Now little surprise,  the sort of surprise ending here, is this high leverage plan. I want to tell you just a quick story about the New York subways. So a number of years ago there were major problems in New York City. Huge crime rate, all kinds of issues. They kept trying to increase the police force, have more and more cops, and more and more enforcement and brutality go on inside of that environment and they found that they just could not curb all of the problems. So they brought in an expert, and he looked and he realized that a lot of the problems were starting in the subway system. So people weren’t paying to get in, there was a lot of graffiti, there were crimes going on, there were drug deals going on… And so he said, “Instead of trying to focus on all the issues happening inside of New York, let’s just clean out the subways. Let’s just make sure there’s never graffiti. They’re all clean. Everybody pays their token or their toll getting in, and there’s no drug deals. Let’s focus on one little area, and that’s the subways.” They decided to focus on the small things. And the result was that New York radically transformed in terms of it’s crime rate, because they focused on one little thing, and it was not breeding and infesting and causing long term problems. And we see that inside of our families.

MARGIE – Exactly. Yeah.

JOSHUA – When we focus on the little things, it creates really big results. Unfortunately most parents wait until the issues start and they become big issues, and then they’ve got to manage the big issues.

MARGIE – The big problem, and it’s so hard to manage that big one, whereas if you had started way back at the seeds that germinated the problem, you’re never going to have the big problems, so…

JOSHUA – Yep. So our encouragement to you today, our challenge is to sit down and to think carefully about non-negotiables. So what is something that you can create a clearly defined rule on, a clearly defined consequence on, and that you are willing to enforce immediately, both on the positive and on the negative sides? You know, the good and the bad, with praise and with other kinds of negative effects if they violate the non-negotiable, and then decide how you’re going to implement this and think in terms of high leverage. What are some little things you can do to create really big results? Would love to hear about it. Jump on the Facebook page and tell us all about it. And of course, as always, if you stick around for a few minutes, we have details on a free gift that we’ve got for you that will really help you take this principle and take it up to the next level to really help you get a lot more joy and peace out of your family. Thanks for listening today.

MARGIE – Thank you.