One of the greatest tricks of parenting is to establish our dominance without being domineering. How can we ever achieve this? It really all starts with stepping into our confidence as a parent—owning our role and accepting the responsibility we bear to raise up our children in a loving, gentle, and positively-controlled environment. We can earn respect from our children without forcing them to give it to us (establishing rules, setting boundaries, and then following through with the things we say will helps us earn respect from our children—and this is why it is important to check everything that comes our of our mouth, otherwise we will be doing a lot of back-tracking). We can develop a trusting relationship with our children without making them be a certain way or do anything in particular or say exactly what we want them to say (this trusting relationship that we all seek to develop with our children is built upon our willingness to participate consistently in the efforts of listening to our children, being available, being emotionally present, and showing our care verbally (with encouraging and up-building words) and physically (with smiles and hugs and pats on the back and high-fives). We can grow something wonderful without doing anything other than simply being ourselves and championing our children as they are themselves. We are the parent, and this dominance can be felt and seen and heard in certain-yet-loving ways, in firm-yet-gentle ways. We don’t have to shout or force or roar or make any other kind of display of the fact that we hold all the power as the adult in this parent-child relationship we have found ourselves in (this power is truly ours until our children are legally adults at age 18). The great parent is the one who, through mercy and compassion because they understand that they hold all the power, loves their children through all the stages of growing up without giving up their responsibility as the parent to use their authority for the good, health, and happiness of our children individually and of our family as a whole.