Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Intentional Parenting

Have you ever felt inundated with information as a parent? Ever had too many people telling you the "right" way to address a parenting challenge? With so many sources of information, it is easy to become overwhelmed. It can be difficult to know where to turn. 


As parents we often imagine that because of all the "experts" available to help us, others know best and we are incompetent. In my years of mothering perhaps the most valuable lesson I have learned is that when it comes to my own kids, I am the expert. It is my fundamental right and parental inheritance to be the one who knows my kids best, understands what they need more than anyone else. This does not mean I will never have questions. It is not to say that I can never look to others for help; family, friends, pediatricians, books on parenting, current research, the list of resources goes on and on. But that's just it. These are resources, not absolutes. As parents we must wade through all the opinions and advice and find some way of measuring what is right, what is best, for our kids. 

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For example, how many approaches to potty training have you heard? For some families, a timer is the only way. For others, the ping of that alarm is akin to the bell of a boxing ring- it's go time. Some swear by pull-ups. I detest them. So who is right? What is THE BEST WAY to potty train. In my experience, that answer will be different for every parent, and perhaps more to the point, for every child. How do you decide?


What Are Your Goals?

I suggest an intentional parenting approach. I invite you to take some time to consider and formally articulate what is most important to you as a parent. What are your three most significant responsibilities? Establishing an intentional focus by which I can measure all decisions and advice has been an invaluable approach for me. To learn more about intentional parenting and hear my three fold focus, watch my presentation here. Then come back and share your three things so we can all learn from each other.

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