It is always interesting to see what theme awareness will be emphasized for each month. For example, I was not aware that July is Purposeful Parenting Month. However, I interpret this theme as emphasizing what Lakeside refers to as intentional parenting. This means, rather, how parents will be “in charge” and parent their kids with clarity, confidence and purpose.
What is intentional or “purposeful” parenting?
Some recent articles I have posted have been about just this topic. Intentional parenting encompasses many facets that adjust and adapt as children grow and develop.
Take a look at the archive of posts I have been writing on discipline techniques and tools for parents. In fact, all of the tools and techniques presented recently presuppose that parents will have specific goals and intentions for their children guided by the principles of emotional and relational health.
In fact, purposeful parenting is not just about reading materials and practicing parenting.
Moreso, it is an intentional pursuit of helping your children grow through their developmental phases, moving them from a place of total dependence (infancy) to total independence (adulthood).
As parents struggle through these phases (and their adjustments), parents who are intentional and purposeful possess a set of core beliefs to guide them toward the goals they have for their children. The prominent research in parenting education uses new tools to encourage family and household values.
Purposeful parenting includes parents who are thinking seriously about a number of issues related to their children’s growth and development, including:
- Providing structure for their children
- Creating responsibility
- Teaching forgiveness
- Effective discipline
- Problem exploration and solving
- Becoming expert communicators
- Teaching your family values
- Building family traditions and memories
The means for all of the above to occur during the phases of your child’s development and growth, time is spent in relationship with your children. Also, over time, because of the time you invested in the relationship with your child, you will establish with them a sense of trust, unconditional love and acceptance.
Purposeful parents will:
- Spend time with their children
- Have fun with their children
- Help children determine their strengths and giftedness
- Affirm the things that are done right
- Create safe home environments
- Will build predictable family traditions
- Share wisdom in teachable moments
- Tell your children you love them unconditionally on a regular basis
It is a great thing for us to be intentional and purposeful about our parenting.
Maybe it will be a good idea to sit at your computer or write down on paper all the ways that you want to be purposeful about your parenting. I am sure you will come up with a number of ideas and concepts that you want to convey to your children deliberately.
In so doing you will become a more purposeful parent.
Gerry Vassar, President/CEO, Lakeside Educational Network