How to Become More Intentional in your Parenting
In the world of parenting we are constantly being told to enjoy every moment because it flies by so quickly. There's this underlying pressure that we might miss out on something important in our child's life. At the very same time a certain dichotomy is happening, which is pulling us in the exact opposite direction. We are inadvertently being told to hurry up, rush, don't miss out on any opportunity, and God forbid, don't let you kids miss one single activity! Add to that all of the messages to be sure and make self-care a priority and things can just get downright confusing. How are we supposed to find balance in all of this?
My suggestion: become more intentional in your parenting approach. I know, it sounds like a big task but just keep reading. I'll break it down for you! What does intentional parenting look like, sound like, feel like?
Well, ﬁrst oﬀ it looks like taking time to breathe and reﬂect.. like purposely planning some time of solitude regularly throughout your week. I know, I know... easier said than done right? Planning ahead is key here (and so is asking for help from trusted friends & family).
Parenting with intention sounds like “I know I’m returning your call later than usual, but my child needed some quality time with me. Thank you for understanding.” Or “In our family we come together to solve problems. Let’s take some time to think this over and discuss it more when we all feel calm.”
Intentional parenting feels like peace in your heart at the end of the day because you know you did your best, and even if you didn’t, you have the space to reﬂect and do better the next day.
Lord knows we are not perfect, no parent is. Grace for yourself is imperative. It’s far too easy to fall into the parent-guilt trap and subconsciously sabotage all your best intentions. So please remember to extend yourself the patience and understanding you would for a close friend.
One activity I ask all my clients to do at the beginning of their work with me, is to establish family values. This requires intentional thought and planning from the whole family. It can be a fun activity! Basically, you sit down with your child, and/or spouse and write out a list of core values you want your family to live by. Some parents put them in a picture frame or plaque to hang on the wall. However you choose to display it is up to you! Just be sure it’s visible to the whole family daily. This way you can refer back to them as needed, keeping them in the forefront of your family member's minds.
I know this all sounds easier said than done, but the beauty in this approach is taking it one day at a time! As you move in the right direction it will become second nature. As humans, we crave balance and rhythm. Remember your tiny human is watching your every move and you have the awesome opportunity to make these principles foundational for their lives ahead. I hope you feel empowered to tackle each day with intention so you truly can enjoy the little moments that truly matter!