6 Ways to Parent Intentionally
As a parent, you know that you want to do the best you can to raise your child with solid values that they will take with them throughout their life. The challenge comes in the daily grind when you’re tired, had a bad day, are struggling with finances, and more. How can you parent in a way that will help shape the mind and heart of your child? In today’s post, we’ll take a look at six habits that you can create so that you parent in an intentional manner.
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1. Think about the words you use
Take a moment to think about how much power your words have. Can you remember something hurtful that was said to you when you were a young child? Can you remember the compliment your coworker gave you last week? If you were able to answer both of those questions, then you probably had a fresh reminder of just how much hurt can be caused by negative words. While positive words aren’t devoid of value, it takes approximately 10 positive statements to drown out every one negative statement — crazy, right?
With that in mind, make a promise to yourself that you will not call your child names when they do something wrong. You may not give a lot of thought to calling them naughty when they misbehave, but you need to realize that they will internalize the things that are said to them. A much better alternative is to refer to their choice or behavior as naughty.
2. Spend time with your child
You may lead a very busy life, but make sure that you intentionally carve out time to spend with your child. What you do with your child isn’t necessarily the most important thing. When you think back on your own childhood, you’ll probably remember the way that your parents made you feel, things they taught you, or experiences you had with them. Most of all, you’ll remember that they made it a priority to spend time with you.
While almost every child would love another new toy, it’s important to remember that what your child really needs is quality time with you. Even something as simple as sharing a bowl of popcorn as you watch their favorite movie on a Saturday morning can be very meaningful for them. No matter what you choose to do, do it intentionally.
3. Think about a parent you admire
The parent you think about doesn’t have to be your own — it could be a friend whose parenting you admire. Once you have a person in mind, consider what specific qualities you admire about their style of parenting. Do they have excellent organization skills to keep their house running smoothly with the variety of activities they participate in? Are they exceptionally skilled at rolling with the bumps and hiccups that life throws? Do they seem to know exactly what to say when their child is upset?
No matter what it is that you admire, think about how you can begin to emulate that quality in your own life as a parent. Perhaps you need to strengthen your communication skills, be willing to ask for help, or be easier on yourself. The goal with this step isn’t to try to be someone else, rather, it’s to try and add some more positive parenting skills into your own repertoire.
4. Consider the values you want your child to have
What are the values that you most want to pass on to your child? When you think about values, it’s important to remember that they don’t just happen to anyone. Your child will learn what you teach them, which means that you must be very intentional with the words you speak and the actions you choose. While your child will listen to you, they will also watch you more closely than you may realize. They will mimic what they see you doing, so it is critical that your actions match your words. If you teach your child that it is important to be honest yet they see you behaving in dishonest ways, then will probably model what they see rather than what they hear, as your words will seem to lack conviction.
5. Train your child
Training is much harder than it sounds. It’s not enough to tell your child what you want them to do or say, you must be willing to continually reinforce your teachings when they forget, mess up, or flat-out refuse to obey. Training your child is a commitment to refuse to give up on teaching them what is right. There may be days when you feel as though everything you have taught them has gone right out the window, but just remember that it hasn’t. Today may have been very discouraging, but as long as you are consistent with your words, actions, and expectations, you can trust that your child will continue to grow and mature in a wonderful person.
6. Be patient with yourself
The last step that we want to share with you is perhaps the most important — be patient with yourself. Parenting is an extremely hard job. There will be times you lose your temper or respond in a way that you wish you could change. Rather than aiming to be a perfect parent, aim to be the best parent you can be on a daily basis. Don’t compare yourself with things you see on social media — remember people really only put their best foot forward there. Find a parenting group filled with people at your stage of life to get the support and encouragement you need. Most important of all, forgive yourself when you mess up and apologize to your child. Your willingness to apologize to your child will teach them far more about humility and personal value than almost anything else you could do.
At Fruit Farm of the Spirit, we want to support you in your endeavors to raise your child with solid values. As you focus on parenting intentionally, be sure to look for ways to use our augmented reality products in your home. Not only will your child have fun playing with them, but they’ll also be learning in the midst of their engaging activity. Browse our site to see all that we have to offer and contact us for more information.