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As moms, we try to have intentional parenting in our daily activities. Unfortunately, good intentions fall short of our goals due to schedules, family obligations, and exhaustion. Sadly, some days we are just trying to survive. We are doing the best we can, but it feels like it is not enough.
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What if your intentional parenting had more focus? Perhaps even a goal so you know where you are going to end up. However, before we talk about how to have intentional parenting, let’s talk about what it is.
What Is Intentional Parenting?
What is intentional parenting? I had to ask this question to myself often when my kids were growing up. Is it making sure my kids had the latest gadgets, popularity, and sport’s scholarship? Or is there more?
Perhaps intentional parenting is about character traits. It is about helping our kids to be men and women who follow Jesus all the days of their lives.
As parents, are we more concerned with the internal than the external? Take time to honestly assess your child’s character traits. Ask yourself where they are emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, and how you can take them to the next level in their spiritual walk.
9 Ways to Have More Intentional Parenting
1. Devotional at Meal Time
Read a devotion every day that focuses on character traits. Ask a few questions at the end so you can get feedback. Use this time to focus on the story and the choices that were made-good or bad. Let your kids talk freely.
10-15 minutes is plenty of time to get your points across.
2. Bible/Prayer Quiet Time
Focus on your teen or young children by creating a quiet time during the day or before bed. Have them do Bible/prayer reading. I used this scale as an idea for their spiritual time: Age=time. If your child is 15 years old, encourage a 15 minute Bible/prayer time.
This is inspirational parenting at its best.
Find a place to volunteer together. Most schools require a certain amount of volunteer hours. Use the summer or holidays to do it together. You will have something to talk about as a family.
There will be bonding over what you saw together, and how you made a difference.
4. Mission trip
For years we did a family mission trip in the summer. Both of my kids say this was the best thing we did as parents. It was life-changing for our whole family. If you can’t go, send your kids on a trip. Intentional parenting isn’t always easy, but it is worth it.
5. Teachable moments
Take time to talk about things like suicide, #metoo, or whatever is important to your family. Talk through all the aspects of it, and let your kids wrestle through the issues. You don’t have to have all the answers.
6. Character traits
Focus on your teen or young children by picking a godly character trait each week. Your kids can help pick it out so they have ownership of the choices. Weave that character trait into discussions all week long.
Have the kids work around the house or do a lemonade stand. Teach tithe and offerings with their earned money. Or have them help an older neighbor for free.
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8. Pray together
Pray together every day at meals and at night. Your kids are not too old to pray with them. I prayed on the phone with my 19-year old the other night.
Pick someone outside the family to pray for such as a missionary or friend. Someone that your teen/child cares about.
9. Eat together
I can’t tell you how important it is to eat with your family most days. Turn off the TV and talk to each other. You will find out a lot just by listening. Give time for each person in the family to talk.
It is a non-threatening environment that gives you a clear window into your teen or child’s heart. I suggest there never be any real punishment given while at the table. It will muddy your time with the family.
I pray you will make time to focus on your teen or young children so they realize there is more to life than a designer purse or the next best piece of sport’s equipment. Put your time in things that are eternal instead.
What God Says About Raising a Child
If you want to take your job as a parent seriously, then find out what God says about raising kids. I would start in Proverbs. There are 31 chapters full of wisdom. One chapter for each day. Start reading aloud to your kids in the morning before school, or at night before bed.
This will be a sure way to ground your child in the Word of God. This doesn’t mean your child will never stray, but it does give him the foundation he needs to know the truth.
I think this verse says it all.
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”(KJV).
What kind of intentional parenting are you doing with your kids?
Do You Have Family Problems? There is Help!
Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.
Creating Family Memories Book
Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.
Join Christian Family Living Facebook Group
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.