Intentional Parenting

Children thrive when they are functioning within a routine.  Cooperation is enhanced because there are no surprises.  Children’s sense of anticipation allows them to predict when and how things will occur.  Routines also help children develop their own sense of identity.  Humor and fun inserted into each segment of the daily routine strengthen the parent child relationship – doing this is intentional parenting.

When your children look back on their childhoods, what will their memories be?  Routines lay the foundation for being able to build in fun family rituals, traditions, and adventures.  Parenting with intentionality means that you get to incorporate experiences into their lives that lead to the lifetime of positive memories you are creating.

Intentional parenting keeps the long-term vision you have for your family in mind every day, which takes effort.  Intentional parenting is as much about creating traditions as it is about making daily experiences memorable, with the goal being filling our children with warm feelings about their childhood memories.

Adding intention to everyday living, where routines can thrive and continue, is difficult.  Taking time to make the daily experience of making dinner something meaningful that you do together, can feel overwhelming.  Yet, routines can create lifelong memories.  This affects self-esteem.  This helps our children learn to participate.  This helps us put our parent-child relationship first.  Remember that what is intentional becomes habit.  And habits become automatic.

Intentional parenting within family celebrations, traditions, and rituals can be fun, meaningful, and even silly.  They also provide a sense of security and a feeling of belonging for our children.  They become important markers in family lifecycles.  Family traditions and rituals are also important because they:

  1. Create a sense of family identity.  Each family will make a celebration unique through their individual traditions.
  2. Provide predictability and stability in a rapidly changing world.  To know that every Sunday is pizza night and we always eat together can give families a chance to reconnect and relax.
  3. Provide a time when different generations can be together.  Structuring time for young and old helps preserve family history and traditions.
  4. Encourage a blend of familiarity and creativity.  Each new addition to the family enhances the richness of traditions by adding new elements.

Whatever celebrations and rituals you create, your child will have special memories and traditions to pass on to the next generation.  Family celebrations, traditions, and rituals should create a positive feeling, occur at predictable intervals, and have more significance than our daily routine and activities.  They should be a time of family togetherness not family stressfulness.

Free!  Connect with a Licensed Parent Educator for ideas to become more intentional.

Here are research-based resources, links, and books on Parenting.

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