Parenthood - Teenagers and Treating Kids the Same

We are told we need to treat everyone the same.

Even our own children. But what do we do when different children have different needs?

The fact is each child is different. They act, think and learn differently, and in turn, they need different approaches.

A one size fits all approach across all of your children may work when they are younger, but as they become teenagers, everything changes, and it needs too.

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Transcript:

Andrew Hackett: Well, I wanted to make sure that I was leading by example, that as they are searching for, what is it like to be a man? What is a man? How does a man treat a woman? How does a man treat other men? All these sorts of things. I suddenly started to pay attention to the fact that they were watching me, possibly unconsciously but watching me intensely though, nonetheless, as to how does a man behaves. 

Good day, and welcome to Illimitable Living. I'm Andrew Hackett, and I'm here to talk about living a life free from fears, restrictive boundaries so that you can not only live a limitless life but so that you can become truly illimitable. I'm here in sunny Australia talking with my remarkable co-host, Patricia Morris, as we take you on a journey, delving deep into the mysteries of the universe and how we live within it. Join me on a journey towards living a truly limitless life on the Illimitable Living podcast. Good day everyone, and welcome to Illimitable Living. I'm here talking with the remarkable Patricia Morris. Good day, Patricia. How are you today? 

Patricia Morris: I'm doing wonderful. Thank you so much, Andrew. It's great to join you all again this week. 

Andrew Hackett: Fabulous. And great to have you all here too. Today I'm going to step out of convention and everything and I'm actually going to introduce the topic myself this week because it's something that's very near and dear to my heart and something I've had a number of inquiries on, lately. And ultimately it's about Parenthood. I want to talk to you about being a parent and particularly about to call it subtopics that are under Parenthood. 

I wanna talk about the transition from dealing with children as they move from being children to teenagers. Something that I've had a lot of experience at lately. But also I want to talk to you about why it's important to treat each of your kids differently. A lot of us have sort of told when we make rules in the house and anything like that, that we need to in fact enforce those rules evenly across all kids and all kids should be treated the same. 

And I just want to break it a little bit from that convention because I think it's actually important that we don't, and I'll explain to you why. So, children to teenagers. As you will know, I've got three teenagers. At the moment they're 13, 14, 15 years of age. Three boys. And ultimately speaking, over the years I've noticed that my parenting model had to change.

Many years ago, when I was struggling with my Wolf Pack Leader Approach. So I'm the boss of the house. You guys just need to do as you're told. That's just the way it is. It kind of can work. And I'm not saying that it doesn't involve lots of love because I am an affectionate father. I love spending time with my kids. I love hanging out and being a bit silly and all that sort of stuff. That's just who I am. And my kids really relate to that, which is great.

But what I noticed is as teenagers started to become teenagers, the boys start to become teenagers is their ego kicks in. Of course, the ego starts to develop then in full swing. And of course, they start to know everything. And what are the points despite the fact that people around the world do like to listen to my message and these podcasts, read the books that I write, my kids aren't interested in that. And look, that's not an uncommon thing. I know why Wayne Dyer also used to talk a bit about that as well. 

But what I realized though is I had to change my fatherhood approach. I had to change my approach from the Pack Leader Approach to the collaborative approach.
And I had to change it to a collaborative approach because ultimately speaking, as teenagers start to become boys, become men, and I'm sure it's very similar with a teenage girls, although I don't have any experience with teenage girls because I didn't have any, they start to think that they're adults. And we know the not.

Patricia Morris: The girls do that too. Trust me they do.

Andrew Hackett: I'm sure they do. Absolutely. And look, to be quite honest with you, I didn't figure this out on my own. I actually sought help with this from a remarkable man, but actually out of, I believe San Francisco, and he sat down and I had a whole bunch of online Skype chats with him to sort of say, all of these are some of the challenges we're having. It was kind of when Michelle and I got together, I know six years ago, seven years ago, and we started to think about a kind of blending a family. 

And when we started blending this family, which is my two boys and Michelle's boy, we started to realize a number of things. One that my approach really needed to change. Mostly that was driven by my eldest because he was the first cab of the rank hitting teenage years. And he matured quite young as well. He's a very, very mature lad, very, very intelligent, also very social in his own way. Quite a beautiful young man that he's growing into. 

But I needed to change my approach and stop being so rigid and firm and all that sort of stuff. And don't get me wrong every now and then, and I'm far from the perfect parent. Every now and then I go back to my old ways, but also catch myself and remind myself of the fact that that's not helping, that's not actually moving things forward. And I just wanted to put that out there. I just wanted to get it out there to people because a lot of people I know that have teenagers are really struggling with why their parenting techniques aren't working anymore. 

And the reason being is because teenagers are different creatures. They have different habitual patterns. They have different behavioral patterns, they have different needs, different desires. They have this desire to become the person that they seeking to become. And ultimately speaking, particularly with three teenage boys in the house. And this has led to a lot of decisions in my life. I wanted to make sure that I was leading by example, but as they are searching for what is it like to be a man? What is a man? How does a man treat a woman? How does a man treat other men? all these sorts of things. 

I suddenly started to pay attention to the fact that they were watching me, possibly unconsciously, but watching me intensely though nonetheless as to how does a man behave. And I suddenly have to catch myself and go right into, you need to make some better choices here. Look, even one choice still to this day and I love driving cars. I'm a bit of a car man. I enjoy a very nice car. I particularly enjoy fast cars.

But now I'm starting to realize that my boys are paying attention because they've started to realize one of them will get these learner's license within six months and he'll be driving on his own within 18 months. And then my behavior on the road in the way that I drive and all that sort of stuff. Not that I'm an aggressive driver per se, but I don't like to hang around. I don't like being stuck in traffic. I mean, really who does? and more of the points, I like to just get to where I'm going because I don't ... Sometimes I drive for the pleasure of driving, but most of the time I drive to go and do something elsewhere. 

And so I had to realize that any impatience that I was experiencing as a result of the traffic, I needed to learn how to deal and manage that because otherwise I might start creating three teenage boys who were also impatient drivers. And I know that impatient driving is not a good virtue to have. So I started to look quite deeply at my own behaviors and started to see how they would be reflected in my sons in regards to the going forward. And it's no different with parenting. Patricia, look, it won't surprise you that's actually one of the key leading factors that led me to learn how to skydive. 

Patricia Morris: Really? How so? 

Andrew Hackett: Honestly the reason why I did the skydiving was predominantly so I could examine the fear process again because I hadn't felt fear for many years. And I wanted to put myself into a really terrifying situation as I spoke about in a previous podcast. 

Patricia Morris: Right.

Andrew Hackett: But one of the driving factors is, I wanted to show my boys that even as a 40 something-year-old, slightly overweight, a disk jockey, there's no reason why I can't try something new and exciting. There's no reason why I can't put myself out there and do something that's really kind of extreme. There's no reason why I can't live life on my terms and the way I want to live life. And ultimately that was the message I wanted to get across to them. That they are the creators of their life. If they want their life to map out a certain way, down a certain path, they need to start thinking about some of those decisions now, rather than waiting until they were into their mid to late thirties before they started making those decisions. Because effectively, I lost 20 years of really good opportunity there and an opportunity that they most certainly have. 

Patricia Morris: Okay. Makes sense. There a couple of thoughts I want to ask you Andrew on that is, one that's not really related at all, but if you hear me giggling for no apparent reason, it's just because you Australians crack me up.

Andrew Hackett: Surely do.

Patricia Morris: If you have some of the neatest sayings and I just start laughing over here, and your listeners are probably thinking, what is she laughing at? She's [inaudible 00:09:54]. Why is she laughing?

Andrew Hackett: I totally get it. I'll deal with that. Because living around actually, 80% of my clientele are actually around the world and aren't Australian at all. 

Patricia Morris: Okay.

Andrew Hackett: Yes. So, in the US I have a lot of clients in the US. I also have a lot of clients throughout Europe and into the UK as well. And recently a few more starting to pipe up in South Africa of all places. But Australians are a little bit different, with cynical mob with the best of times.

Patricia Morris: I love that.

Andrew Hackett: And one thing I have to be careful of, and I really should be more aware of it during the podcast as well as, us Australians, we have a lot of sayings that are very, very Australian and we're often accused of speaking our own version of the English language that the rest of the world just can understand.

Patricia Morris: And the Americans do that too. So ...

Andrew Hackett: I'm sure you do. Yes. I'm sure you do absolutely. So, I get it. I think your laughter is definitely well-priced and certainly appreciated. So, look, don't worry about that.

Patricia Morris: Good. I just wanted to put that out there so that people wouldn't get the wrong idea ...

Andrew Hackett: Sure.

Patricia Morris: ... because I love it. 

Andrew Hackett: They're probably laughing too. 

Patricia Morris: Yes. Our equivalent here in the United States is the Southerners. The Southerners have the most ingenious sayings that they come up with. It will just have you rolling with laughter. And so that's about when you hear me laughing for no apparent reason. But one thing I did want to question you about too is, I believe most of us, and maybe you can disagree, I don't know how it is in Australia, but at least here in the United States, there's this old paradigm of parenting that still exists. It's slowly changing. But in the old days, it was more of, you do what the parents say. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. You don't have a right to talk back. You don't have a right to speak up for yourself. 

When your dad tells you to do something, you do it right then and there. There is no questioning. Know it was a whole different world back in that day. And I think generations of being raised that way have kind of put even parents today in that same mindset.

Andrew Hackett: Sure.

Patricia Morris: I'm not a mother. Well, I am, but I don't have any children here. So I'm not raising children. So I kind of observe a lot, the different parenting styles that are out there, and I can see a good mix of what you're talking about, Andrew, of there's still a lot of the old parenting systems out there where it's, one-size-fits-all parenting if that makes sense they apply.

Andrew Hackett: Yes.

Patricia Morris: So you apply the same rules to all the children in the house, they apply everything out there to the children without taking into consideration their different personalities, their different needs, their different everything. And then you have other parents like yourself who I resonate more with, who are raising their children to be more mindful and to be, actually to apply different rules to each one because each child responds differently to those rules. 

I personally came from that old parenting paradigm and even if I were able to have children years ago, I would have started to raise my children from that which I was raised from. So I wanted to just say if there are parents out there who are still in that old paradigm, that they do have a choice in changing that, because it's no longer working anymore. It really isn't. In today's day and age and as much as children have evolved, the children that are being born into the world now are much different than the ones that even in our day, and the old styles of parenting just don't work anymore. That's what I've observed anyway. Would you agree with that, Andrew? 

Andrew Hackett: Look, I would certainly agree with that. I mean, the younger generations that are coming through are very much more mindful of their own individuality. And this is a real key thing because I was brought up in that old school parenting paradigm as well and although I am very strong on respect in the household, that the children need to respect each other, they need to respect adults ...

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: I don't appreciate backchat or I don't appreciate all that stuff, that's more about lack of manners. That's more about being rude, disrespectful, and that sort of stuff.

Patricia Morris: Yes, exactly.

Andrew Hackett: I say to them all the time, they've all got an opinion, and we're all happy to help the opinion. But the adults in this house as well also make the decisions because the adults are the ones that have to take into account, particularly in my house, we have to take into account five people with those decisions, whereas the teenager is often the one taking into account the one child or the one teenager and thinking of themselves, and that sort of just part of that developmental process as well. 

And look, don't get me wrong. I would like to think that I listen to the kids and we change our approach and we think about new ideas and we see what we can do and try to fit because each child does have different requirements. And in fact, look, even once upon a time when they were all younger, there was a set of rules and that set of rules was applied evenly. But I've got one boy who is really fussy about food and has very, very good reason to be. 

I have another boy that's kind of fussy about food and I've got another boy who's dead saying he going to be a chef or something like that when he gets old because he just loves trying new foods. If he's not trying something new and exciting, he gets a little bit bored in fact. And food's just one example, but each child needs different sleep requirements. So, the older child now, he goes to bed a little bit later than the others. And then look, some people will think, what's the big deal about that? 

For the large part of 10 years, maybe even 12 years, we had separate times and for large amount of that it was APM. And that was for two reasons. One, and when they were younger, obviously it was like 6.30 or seven or whatever. But, I also was raised in a house where the children going to be, because they need more sleep and then the adults then have a little bit of adult time, whether that's to watch a show, whether that's to just spend time as a couple, read a book. It doesn't matter what it is. But then the adults then have an opportunity to unwind at the end of the day. 

And from a perspective of a couple, I really cherish that time with Michelle. Although Michelle and I, we get a lot of time together, we obviously, we work together, even though sometimes we have different clients and stuff like that, depending on what we do. We do an enormous amount of work from home. In fact, probably 80% of our work is done from home. So we literally have desks side by side and it's like we're working in our own little mini-office.

So we get a lot of time together, but we still cherish that genuine, quiet, intimate, one-on-one time that we have without being bothered by a household full of children. And I think that is really, really important in any relationship. But getting back to that earlier statement as well, different children they have different requirements, they have different personalities, they have different opinions, they have different opportunities that they need and anything like that to grow into, develop into their own individual people. 

To me that's really, really important. And I think anybody, when you start getting into the teenage years, it's okay to have some rules that are applied across the board, but you also need to have another set of rules that are a little bit more flexible because some kids, for instance, need more sleep or they need different food or they need ... Some of them are more sporty than others. Some relate to the world in a digital sort of format, whereas others are more social and traditionally social stuff, let's say.

So I think it's really important for us to think long and hard about the rules that we have within the house and how some flexibility can in fact benefit the house. And look, I'll give you a couple examples. I had a discussion with our middle son that was all about wanting to stay up later and all that sort of stuff. And this particular boy, he burns his energy pretty hard and fast, which means, come bedtime, he's pretty ready for bed. Now pretty ready to crash. Whereas the oldest boy, he burns his energy a little bit slower. He's like me. He has a lot of energy. So he's always got energy in reserve. 

I myself, five, six hours sleep a night max, and I'm raring to go the next day. Now that's a really good sleep for me. It's not because I don't sleep very well. I sleep incredibly well. It's just, I'm happy to work 16 to 20 hour days sometimes, even if some of that time has got downtime enough for myself to go for walks or do some yoga or do something else. I still don't need, whereas for instance, Michelle really ideally needs anywhere between six and eight hours sleep every single night.

Everybody has slightly different requirements and kids are no different. So we were having this discussion about him saying, I want to stay up as late as the oldest brother does. And I said to him, I said, "That's fine." I said, but you have different sleep requirements. The argument was, well, no I don't. I said, well, right at the moment it's your bedtime and you're tired and that tiredness is coming out in your behavior and you're feeling frustrated and various other things. I'm just explaining it back to them.

And then I pointed out, did you really want me to treat you all the same? Because that was kind of what the argument he was trying to make. And when I explained to him how I treat him differently from the others and that works in his favor, he suddenly started to realize the importance of having different rules for different kids.

Patricia Morris: I like that.

Andrew Hackett: And looking for what it's worth, it took me a while to get my head around this because I was brought up with one rule for everybody.

Patricia Morris: That's right.

Andrew Hackett: But then when I started to mature and stuff like that, I started to realize actually no, that's not the way it was to go. As we get older, there were different rules and in fact, being the youngest of three boys in my own home when I grew up, I was very thankful for being the youngest because my brother was the allowed to go to parties when he was 15 but I was quite keen and parents were quite happy to get me out the door by the time I was 15 to go to parties and have a great time. So, we all do that. We all, what do they say? We do the damage to the firstborn child so that the rest can actually live the good life. 

Patricia Morris: Not so true.

Andrew Hackett: My parents did exactly the same, and they were remarkable people that loved us very, very much. It's just that things change over time. You become a little bit more relaxed. You start to realize that maybe going out to a party can't really do all that much harm, whereas, of course there's enough evidence to suggest that sometimes it can. But again, we need to have different rules for different children in the same way we cook different meals in this house for different children sometimes.

Fortunately, my youngest, he really enjoys his food like I do. So that kind of makes life a lot easier as well. But even from a lot of aspects, the oldest now needs more social opportunity and needs to be driven to more places for that social opportunity whereas, my youngest prefers to hang out with dad and still do some more stuff which is very beautiful. I love the fact because I know it's not going to last forever. 

Ideally, we need to think about this, and I'm sure you've probably noticed some examples in amongst your extended family as well, Patricia, in regards to other people that are friends, certainly that have children that, where they could certainly benefit from different rules for different children's type of approach. 

Patricia Morris: Yes. My sister is one of them. She has three children, and the first two children are very alike. So she's used to the same parenting approach with all three children actually. And it's worked with her two oldest children, but it's not working with the youngest children, and she's finally kind of learning now that you can't use that same approach, the same one-size-fits-all parenting. That's what I call it. 

Andrew Hackett: Yes.

Patricia Morris: Because what it's done to her youngest, and she's my niece that I'm really, really close to, has created a lot of tension with her mother. A lot of ill feelings towards her mother because she requires so much of a different parenting style than my sister knows how to give. Because my sister did worked fine for the first two children and so my sister is finally just learning how to adjust her parenting style to be a little bit different than it was with the first two children because this youngest child is not responding well at all to that parenting lifestyle or the parenting approach that she has. 

So I have noticed my own sister just struggling mightily with this, trying to let go of that old paradigm because that did work with her older children. She had that old paradigm of like, I'm the parent you do as I say and there are no ifs, ands, or buts about it and it's a one-size-fits-all. I mean a very old, the way I was raised pretty much just kind of.

Andrew Hackett: Yes. Me too.

Patricia Morris: And that's okay because that's really sometimes all parents know is what they were raised with. But the awareness I love that you're bringing to all of this, is that it doesn't have to be that way. Just because you were raised a certain way and only know a certain parenting style, doesn't mean that it has to be that way. Would you agree with that, Andrew? Would you agree that?

Andrew Hackett: Yes. It look very much so.

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: Very much so. And look, I've seen a number of examples of people that were raised in a certain way and in fact they made it clear that when they became parents, they would in those circumstances take the same approach. The challenge though is, when it comes down to difficult times, particularly when you're tired, stressed, or hungry, we tend to default to what we have learned in the past. And we'll of course, we learn how to be parents through our parents. 

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: So sometimes that's the time when we need to catch it the most. And look, it's like me, a lot of this is experiential stuff. As I say, parents are never given a handbook. We have to figure this stuff out on along the way. And I always say that I was really thankful that I never had teenage girls. Partly that was because I didn't have any sisters either. So I never grew up in a house with girls per se. 

So, I always used to joke 15 years ago when my wife at the time and myself we started having children, if we ended up with a girl that I'd need to keep the shotgun at the front door. And partly that's just because I just don't understand teenage girls.Even growing up as a teenager, I didn't understand teenage girls. And from what I understand as well, there were completely different psychological player.

Patricia Morris: Yes they are.

Andrew Hackett: [inaudible 00:25:15].

Patricia Morris: They sure are.

Andrew Hackett: We men with the [inaudible 00:25:18] best. You've heard me say that all the time. And we learn our Neanderthal-like behaviors as teenagers. We sort things out sometimes with our fists, which is not necessarily appropriate nowadays, but then we pat each other on the back. We kind of think, all right, we've got that out of our system, let's go and have a drink. So, with girls it's very, very different. Girls tend to perhaps hold onto grudges for a little bit longer than men, that boys tend to do.

Patricia Morris: We are more emotionally-based. We're more emotionally based, definitely.

Andrew Hackett: Very much so. And look, girls learn to manipulate in a lot more sophisticated way than men ever do as well. And I'm not talking about just using their bodies or anything like that, but just the way their mind operates and stuff like that. It's almost like they calculate things in a slightly different way. In the same way, I also say that women are inherently more connected than a lot of men are.

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: The way the woman body operates, the right they have to create a child and to give birth and all this stuff in itself it's a remarkable, beautiful gift. But what goes with that is a slightly stronger, as kind of more connected level of intuition. And it doesn't mean that men can't develop. Of course, they can. But I think women inevitably are kind of from a very, very young age, develop those types of skills as well. And look in the same way, I've also heard stories, and I think if I can mention it Patricia as well, we men, when daughters become teenagers, they then suddenly need to change their parenting style.

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: And partly it's because a lot of men, particularly affectionate fathers, they don't ever want to be conveyed or construed or wrongly accused of being in any way inappropriate because it's not what they are or who they are. So they change the way that they operate and behave around their daughters.

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: And then looking in a lot of circumstances it's important. I'm not talking about we shouldn't change certain aspects of, for instance, nudity around the house and all that sort of stuff when kids become teenagers. I think there is an inherent natural reaction to that [inaudible 00:27:29]. There were certainly some cultures, and some belief systems that say, look, nudity is nudity. The kids see us nude when they're little tots. We see them when they're nude when they're little tots [inaudible 00:27:39] and stuff. But I know when we start to develop into young adults then obviously the paradigm shifts and changes.

Patricia Morris: Different, yes.

Andrew Hackett: Correct. But what I'm also talking about is obviously, some fathers then become less affectionate and in fact they step away from their daughters at their teenage years.

Patricia Morris: That's how my father was.

Andrew Hackett: Right.

Patricia Morris: That's how my father was.

Andrew Hackett: Okay. And look again, I'm no expert in that field either because again, I haven't experienced it and I certainly didn't grow up in a house with girls. But my thought process would be, the more appropriate way to deal with it would be to talk to the daughter and just say, look, I just don't want to be in any way [inaudible 00:28:19]. I want to respect you and your body and all that sort of stuff. But I really miss the hugs that we had when you were younger. 

I miss the affection because that we might've had and stuff like that. And I think most fathers would probably find the daughters would find that very receptive, and a very respectful discussion and everything like that to have. In fact, they'd probably feel quite proud of their father for having that discussion. 

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: What are your thoughts with that?

Patricia Morris: Absolutely. If my father knew how to do that, and that's the thing I've had to realize is that, my father didn't have the proper tools to know some of this stuff. So for me, I was very angry and bitter towards my father for many years. And I finally came to the realization that he was only doing the best that he knew how and what he grew up with, and the background he came from, the culture he came from. 

So all of that anger and bitterness has gone. There's none of that there anymore. He's completely asked for forgiveness and all these things and I've healed from that as well. But if the father has that wisdom to actually tell their daughter that, or even tell their child why they're treating them differently than say the other child, that makes a huge difference. Because Andrew, you mentioned something earlier about your son when you were talking about the bedtimes and how each one has a different bedtime because the one child wanted them to be all treated the same as far as the bedtime goes. And you had the wisdom to tell your son, well, here is why, and this is why it's working out in your favor. 

Andrew Hackett: Yes.

Patricia Morris: If you'd have come at that from a different approach, let's say you had come at that from an approach of the typical traditional patriarchal approach. Well, I'm the father. You do as I say. You're the child. You don't question me. Your bedtime is 10 o'clock, so, therefore you're going to bed at 10 o'clock. What would you say that your son would have done in that situation? Do you think he would have had a meltdown? Do you think you would've had a lot of anger and bitterness towards you? You know your son more than I do, but, what would you say would have happened? 

Andrew Hackett: [inaudible 00:30:22] certainly wouldn't have been a positive effect from an absolutely.

Patricia Morris: Exactly.

Andrew Hackett: And looking inside, I think it would have been quite counterproductive to ultimately what we were trying to achieve. 

Patricia Morris: Exactly. And so the point I was trying to make is, that's why in my opinion, so many children do have behavioral issues is because, when the parenting is different than what the child needs, that's where children get their behavioral patterns from, or when they misbehave is because the parent isn't understanding them and in order to be able to help them understand why things are the way they are, if that makes sense.

Andrew Hackett: Yes. I completely agree. We forget that our children are extraordinarily intuitive creatures. They're born that way. Like we all are, as you said, as adults we get it kind of beaten out of us over time. And our children watch us, both consciously and unconsciously all the time because we are the example to them of what it's like to be a man or what it's like to be a woman. That's a simple fact of reality, which means that the choices that we're making have also been watched. 

So every time we reached for a glass of wine at the end of the day they've seen it. Whether we exercise and look after ourselves, they see it. How we love each other and how we love ourselves. They have seen it. And for me, I realized one of the reasons why I sold the farm was because I realized that trying to maintain a full time career while running a farm, building a four and half acre garden on the farm, which was my passion, running a farm's day, raising a family, maintaining a relationship, all these sorts of stuff, that required more than 24 hours in every day, and something was going to give, somebody who was going to break if I wasn't careful. 

And I started to really feel that quite intuitively. And when I realized the relation, I didn't want the new relationship that I was in with Michelle, I didn't want that to break. I obviously didn't want my relationship with my children to break. My job could go, but I kind of needed that job to pay for everything. And therefore the farm and all that sort of aspect was the one thing that was ultimately, call it negotiable. The other things were not negotiable. 

So, what I started to realize is that I needed to move forward in a productive way, and I needed to cut ties with what was happening. Because as my children were coming into their early teenage years, 10, 11, 12, I started to realize that if I didn't get the next 10 years right in regards to how I raised them, and the opportunities [inaudible 00:33:08] give them or enable them to give themselves. If I didn't get that right, that is probably the one and only thing I would fundamentally regret for the rest of my life. 

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: And I didn't want to go onto my dead deathbed with that question hanging over me. 

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: So I had to make a choice. And so I sold the farm, which it's not something I regret for a number of reasons. One, because it brought me a lot closer to my kids. It gave me more time with my kids. It also gave me the time I needed to release my books, to write more books, to kick off this opportunity that I have to help people and to help people change and grow and develop within themselves. That is what my purpose in life is. And that's really clear to me now. And in fact, it's been clear to me for quite some time. 

Well, I could not have done that while I was also doing all those other things. So, the kids, we changed their schools. They're in a great school now with a beautiful energy. They're really happy, they're healthy, they're doing really, really well. We've got time for each other, we hang out, we do some really cool stuff. To me that's really, really important. And the reason why that's important, it's because I've got 10 years to get that right. If I get that right, I will hopefully have helped the boys turn into some respectful, well-adjusted, confident and capable young men. So when they're ready to leave the nest, they're ready to leave the nest. 

So I've got another 20, 30, 40 years to do my thing. For Michelle and I to do our thing. That's sort of right at the moment. Michelle and I, we still do our thing. But the priority for that 10 year period was all about getting it right with those kids, making sure they're confident and capable and ready to leave the nest. Because once they've less than this, there'll be off.

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: Jamie, he's already chomping at the bit. He's mature, he's really bright. He's just keen to get out there and explore the world and live in the city. And, actually we don't live in a city, we live in a rural place on the coastline. So he's really excited about all of that, and I can see that in him because that's exactly how I was As I was approaching my mid to late teens, despite my issues and despite my challenges that came from that period of time for me. So again, I had to change my approach fundamentally and I sought help to do that. There's nothing wrong with the parent putting your hand up and speaking to someone and say, look, I didn't come with a manual and this one, I kind of need a little bit of help here-

Patricia Morris: Exactly.

Andrew Hackett: ... because things are changing and I want to get it right. I say to people all the time, you can either take 10 years to figure something out or you can pay someone to help you figure it out in six months. That's the way successful people make so much extraordinary progress in their career, in their business, in their lives nowadays. They just find someone and they pay them to help them to do it. Now there're different ways you can do that and you can always self-learn. That's absolutely right.

You know I self-learned. I had to self-learn because I didn't think there was another model. Now I know there is another model because I also offer that same model, but when it comes to parenting, it's no different. We can speak to people who understand this stuff and work [inaudible 00:36:33]. We can read books, we can jump on YouTube and listen to this. Hundreds of thousands of videos out there to help with parenting and all that sort of stuff. You just got to search for them and see what you can find. 

Patricia Morris: Yes.

Andrew Hackett: This stuff's really, really important. These are our kids, and this is our life. I say to myself all the time, "Andrew, put your phone away, get away from the computer, the kids are home from school. Go and have some food with them. Go on and play a computer game with them. Go for a walk with them, get out, even slip them 10 bucks or something like that, or 20 bucks and say, jump on your scooters. Scoot down in all the shops. Go get yourself an ice cream or a milkshake or something like that. Come back or go into it with them."

I just got to constantly remind myself that when I'm on my own and I'm focused on my work, I can be very focused on my work. And this is the reason why I schedule my calendars. So deliberately, is because when I'm at home with my kids, particularly on the weekends off, that we've got some really good time together. I want to focus on them. I want to focus on hanging out. Last weekend we played three games of Monopoly over the weekend. It was fabulous. 

Patricia Morris: Fun.

Andrew Hackett: Look, I love playing board games. We've got cupboards full of board games and we're always bringing them out. Last weekend was monopoly weekend, mostly because I actually bought a new edition of Monopoly, which is Game of Thrones Monopoly and it was a lot of fun because our other monopoly sets were getting really tattered and worn out. But the point being is, just sitting down and having a laugh and arguing and talking and being passionate about things. 

And, eventually when it comes out of it all as well, that we all have a really, really good time of it depending on what we're doing. And to me that's really important because that's the stuff that creates happy, healthy, young adults. Those happy and healthy young adults end up by entering life as a happy adult. And those happy adults end up by raising and creating happy children of their own. 

Patricia Morris: That's right. That's a huge ripple effect. And they are our future. So, yes. 

Andrew Hackett: That's right. And that's the reason why I do what I do. if I can influence 10, 20, 30 families a month and get them to change things just slightly or tweak things or people in their lives, once one person gets out of depression and into that happiness cycle, you watch everybody else around them change. And they come out of this kind of sort of inflicted depression cycle into a happiness cycle as well. And suddenly you start to see this, it's like a big pay forwards came. 

But a lot more deliberate, and you start watching this happen. It's like this wave builds up and it's beautiful to watch when it happens. It really, really is. And we can do that in our own homes. We can do that with our own children in the way that they were raising them and growing them as well. And that's really, really important for us to understand.

Patricia Morris: Yes, absolutely. Before we go, I want to say something really quickly and it is unrelated. I don't know if everybody's been listening to my little dog bark in the background. 

Andrew Hackett: I hadn't noticed. I didn't hear it. I'm sure everybody else did [inaudible 00:39:45].

Patricia Morris: Good. I'm so glad. I don't know if the listeners could, but I could and I've been cringing the whole time, but I'm like, well, it is what it is. You know how dare the neighbor mow the lawn because the dog is out there barking at the neighbor mowing the lawn. But I think everybody out there has their own, their own pets and they have their quirks. 

Andrew Hackett: Of course.

Patricia Morris: So it is what it is. 

Andrew Hackett: I completely agree. Now look, there's certainly [inaudible 00:40:08]. That is life expressing itself as life so beautifully and I think that's fabulous. 

Patricia Morris: Exactly. And because I don't have children, he is my baby. So ... Yes.

Andrew Hackett: Of course. Well, thank you so much Patricia. I really appreciated talking to you about this today and thank you for letting me introduce the topic as well. So I think that kind of worked. 

Patricia Morris: That was awesome. I kind of liked that. We might have to do that to every now and then because I think you always do.

Andrew Hackett: Every now and then?

Patricia Morris: [inaudible 00:40:37].

Andrew Hackett: You don't want to give me too much power [inaudible 00:40:41]. 

Patricia Morris: No, I don't want to do that. Are you kidding? We women are rising to power. I'm just kidding. No, I'm just kidding. You're not one of those men that we have to do that with. 

Andrew Hackett: Awesome. I'm glad to hear. 

Patricia Morris: All right Andrew.

Andrew Hackett: Thank you so much and thank you, everybody, for listening this week. It's been a real pleasure to have you here. 

Patricia Morris: Thank you so much for having me Andrew, and thank you so much to our listeners. Have a wonderful week. 

Andrew Hackett: Thank you for listening to Illimitable Living today. If you want to find out more about living a truly limitless life, then go to andrewhackett.com.au. If you want to connect with me, search for Andrew Hackett Australia on Facebook and like my page, or search for Andrew S. Hackett on Instagram and follow me for daily inspirations. I look forward to connecting with you so that we can start you on your own journey towards Illimitable Living.