Human beings are herd animals. We like to think, feel, and act in accordance with our herd. Just look at politics, religion, and sports as evidence.
“To raise a child, it sometimes takes a village…but sometimes that village should shut up and mind their own business.”
~ Susan McLean
Human Beings are Herd Animals
This is not a bad thing. We have evolved this way. It has kept us alive as a species.
The problem is that most people aren’t’ aware of their herd mentality and the impact that it has on their lives and how they parent.
Some examples of herd thinking, feeling, and actions are religion, politics, and sports. There’s nothing wrong with any of them, but often time people don’t even realize that they are in a herd.
I’ve recently explored how being a herd animal is impacting how I live. From worrying about what people at church might be thinking, to wanting to fit in to my neighborhood, I have realized that I am constantly influenced my my various herds.
How Are You Being Impacted by Your Herd?
Again, being in a herd isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it might be impacting your life and your relationship with your teen in a negative way, especially if you are not aware of its impact.
Recently a mother got coaching on her teen’s screen time. She said, “All these studies say that if my teen is on a screen for more than X amount of hours, they will be depressed. I’m constantly worried about her depression.”
I asked, is your daughter depressed? To which the mother answered “No.”
She was sucked into herd thinking. Simply adopting the thoughts and beliefs of others as her own.
Another parent recently told me about a support group that she was in. “All of the other parents in the group say . . . ” Other parents were telling her things like, “Your teen should be getting better grades,” or “They should be more grateful/respectful/kind/so much B.S” or “You poor thing,” “It’s so unfair.”
This support group constantly left this parent feeling not good enough, victimized, and depressed.
How To Leave the Herd Mentality Behind.
- Awareness Is the First Step
- Understand how you are being impacted by herd mentality.
- What are some of the thoughts and believs that you have simply adopted from your herd?
- How does that impact your emotions?
- What actions are you taking to fit in with the herd?
- Be Intentional
- It’s okay to think like the herd, if you’re choosing to.
- It’s okay to think differently from the herd.
- Emotions are less unpleasant when we manage them.
- Our emotions don’t manage us when we manage them.
- Join a New Herd
- This one is SO powerful. You are the average of all the people you spend the most time with. If you don’t like a particular herd, leave it and join a new one.
- Facebook groups, book clubs, parenting groups can be powerful options.
- Join the Firmly Founded Parent.
- Meet others who think like you and who are learning new ways to think.
Call to ACTION!
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