The dream of every parent is to have good, disciplined, well-behaved children that will grow into responsible adults.
That’s my dream too. I see the future of my children and what I can see there is good. I don’t leave it as a dream though; I make plans and I take steps to make sure that my dream comes true.
A lot of parents leave the burden of parenting to others such as the school or the church. That is not God’s intention for our children though, God wants us to take primary responsibility for raising our kids. Others should only provide help to us in this huge responsibility.
How can we make sure that we do not fail in this task that we have been called to?
We can truly move from the level of Passive Parenting to Intentional Parenting by taking these five steps:
Parent With The Future In Mind
This is my personal creed in all my dealings and interactions with my children. I parent with the future in mind. I do not subscribe to taking shortcuts in my parenting. If we are to raise responsible adults, then we must have that as our end goal. For example, things like being able to say ‘No’ to the children, teaching them delayed gratification by making them wait for treats or getting things, are all parts of parenting with the future in mind.
Think about the character you want your child to have and then begin to guide them towards having those instilled in them. Intentionally reinforce those traits and help your child to start to see themselves in that way.
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment…” – Genesis 18:19
Pass on Your Values To Your Children
If you will be intentional about parenting, you need to show your children what your values are and teach them those values. While we know that there are no guarantees in life, we know that the Bible has stated that we should train up a child in the way he should go and when he’s old, he will not leave it. What this means is that children take our values from their parents.
Think about how much you do things the way you were brought up now. What does that tell you? We pick up values based on our daily interaction. That is why it is very important to model to your kids who you what them to be and they will never forget.
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. – Proverbs 22:6
Tell Them The Truth
What’s this truth? The truth of God’s word. Our children need to be taught what God’s word says and not just our opinions. With the amount of moral decadence that’s in the world now, we can only rely on the power of the truth of God’s word to keep our children from going astray. It is truly God’s word that can keep our children from falling into the trap of the enemy in these times that we live in.
This is why we need to keep telling them what God’s word says about various areas of life. These are the things they will remember as they grow older. It won’t be about not getting mum or dad angry, but about pleasing God with their lives.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. – John 17:17
Be Truly Present
When we talk about being present, this is not only about being physically present. It speaks of being truly available for our kids. In this era of digital devices, we are sometimes with the children, but busy doing other things. Sometimes, we even snap at their many questions, just to get them off our backs. If we are to impact our children positively and make sure that we are deliberate in our parenting, we need to be present in every regard.
There are certain things that only a truly present parent can catch in interacting with the children.
See Every Opportunity As a Learning Experience
An Intentional parent is one who knows that every opportunity can serve as a teaching opportunity. We do not wait for formal learning periods before we guide them or instill principles into them. Every time our children are with us should be a time when they can learn from us. We teach them through play, and they will never forget.
Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. – Deuteronomy 6:7
All The Best as you choose being Intentional in raising your children.