These 6 phrases might just make you a more confident and 'mentally stronger' parent, according to a leadership expert (plus family psychologist shares her insights too)

A parent psychologist shares their thoughts on the phrases and reveals how having 'mentally strong' parents can benefit kids

Dad with their child
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A leadership expert has revealed the six phrases that can make people 'mentally strong' parents - and a family psychologist believes they can massively benefit children as well as their parents. 

Talk about parenting so often focuses on the wellbeing of children that we largely ignore the impact it can have on parents too. Of course parents want to raise confident kids, kids who have good emotional regulation and are ready to take on the world as they grow up, but it's equally important to make sure their parents are also confident, happy and at peace in the world too - especially as cases of parental burnout continue to rise. 

But how can parents look after themselves in the hectic chaos of family life? Of course, we can learn how to explain the mental load to partners to ease burdens and schedule in time for self care, but a leadership expert has recommended a simpler approach. 

Scott Mautz, who has ran several multi-billion-dollar businesses and written the book The Mentally Strong Leader, believes that people can become mentally stronger by exercising their mental muscles, training them to be stronger with the things you believe and say about and to yourself. 

But what does it mean to be a mentally strong parent? For Anna Mathur, a psychotherapist, mother to three and author of upcoming book The Uncomfortable Truth, it's about 'recognising your own limits and weaknesses and not seeing them as failures.' 

She told us here at, "Strength is about taking ownership of where your limits and resources end, so that you can find, draw and gain strength in the act of learning, resting and leaning on others.

"In my own life, for so long, I considered that being a strong parent meant doing it ‘all’ in my own strength; finding the answers to my questions myself, trying harder when I felt lacking, digging deeper when I felt limited, pushing more when I felt exhausted. This understanding of ‘mental strength’ found me repeatedly burnt out and frazzled, and therefore not responding to stress and my children in a way that aligned with my values."

 And it's not just Anna who has struggled like this. She's seen many parents experience the same. "We unpick this narrative of strength, and I see people grow and flourish as they come to greater acceptance that truth strength is born from vulnerability and openness so that we can let others support us. It comes from recognising our limits and blind spots so others can fill our gaps with their strengths. It comes from not trying to do everything alone in order to build strong community. 

"And kids benefit from this in so many ways - learning that it’s okay and necessary to need others. And as we allow others to support us on this parenting journey, we are more able to respond to our children in a way that feels nurturing and supportive, rather than reactive and disconnecting."

With that in mind, writing for CNBC, Mautz recommended using these six phrases throughout your days to gain mental strength; 

1. I’m enough. "It’s all too easy to feel the opposite," Mautz admits. "It’s natural to get caught up in comparisons to others that make you feel like you’re not enough. The only comparison you can make that’s actually relevant is between who you are today and who you were yesterday. The only question that’s truly important is whether or not you’re growing."

2. What possibilities does this setback present? Mautz says that re-framing your thinking in times of trouble is a great way to train yourself into always finding solutions, rather than problems. "Mentally strong people focus on what they still have in the face of adversity, and what possibilities now present themselves," he said. 

3. Am I letting myself dream big? A great question to ask yourself, Mautz says, "If you want to develop a strong, toned boldness muscle, you have to let yourself go there. 

"You need to believe you’re allowed to dream big, that big things can happen to people like you — and that thinking big and being bold will help forge a better, more accomplished version of you."

4. What’s the cost of indecision? "Decisiveness is a hallmark of the mentally strong. They don’t get hung up over what happens if they make the wrong decision, or paralysed by their fear of making the wrong call," says Mautz. "They remind themselves and others to be cognisant of what happens the longer a decision is delayed."

5. Am I controlling the controllables? To check in with yourself and your goals, hopes and dreams, Mautz recommends not only asking yourself if you're 'controlling the controllables' but to also quickly write them down in an exercise he's devised. 

"Create a simple, two-column table. Label the left column 'setbacks' and the right column 'systems.' Under setbacks, list all the obstacles you’re worried about that could keep you from accomplishing your goal. Then, circle only the potential setbacks you can control.

"In the systems column, list all the processes, procedures and structures you can put in place that will help you overcome the challenges you circled that you can do something about."

6. I don’t have to do this; I get to do this. Simply, Mautz explains, "This one-word reframe unlocks gratitude, making you feel re-energised when the duties of your job are wearing you down."

In other family news, is this the key to raising secure children? Experts reveal importance of 'secure attachment' for kids and share 4 ways parents can create it. Plus, baby name ‘regret’ is on the rise - when is it too late to change the name? Expert shares her advice. And, 1 in 4 children want to go on a diet - expert reveals how parents can teach their kids to celebrate and love their bodies

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.