As parents, we want to protect our children from the current and pervasive atmosphere of uncertainty, and the disruption to their schooling, activities, and relationships.
We really cannot control these circumstances, but I believe that we can work to strengthen our relationships with our kids while building a strong foundation of life skills that will help them win in life.
Being “Intentional Parents” during these trying times works wonders not just in building relationships, but also in developing effective communication, diminishing negative behaviours, and establishing self-esteem and happiness in our children.
What is Intentional Parenting?
Intentional parenting, from the word intention, simply means being mindful of the guidance and discipline we give to our children. It is creating a plan and prioritizing where you inject your precious time and energy to guide you through your day-to-day decisions and commitments.
Being an intentional parent also means recognizing and realizing that the time with our kids is valuable and bounded. They grow too fast, time really flies, and there is a long-lasting impact on how we decide to use that time with them.
The heart of intentional parenting focuses on: How do we spend our time together? What do we intentionally teach and model our kids? Are we intentionally imparting wisdom and providing spiritual guidance towards our kids?
Admit it – uncertainty is frightening. As adults, it has really been a challenge to manage the stress and anxiety brought about by this New Normal. Finding ways to cope has been a test of character. It is even more difficult for our children.
Someone once told me that the best way to protect our children is to share the lessons gained during this difficult time. By recognizing our own feelings and intentionally managing it with an eye towards helping them build resilience, adapting to new ways, talking openly about their concerns, and providing hope despite uncertainty, we will be able to assist them amidst any societal disruptions.
Getting Started on Intentional Parenting
There is no formula for perfecting the art of parenting. Our children are all unique and gifted in different ways, and so we must adjust our parenting styles to each one.
There are a few things I learned that worked well with me in my journey to intentional parenting (especially during this season).
To be an intentional parent, we must be:
We live in a fast-paced world. We all get busy, and as our kids get older, we sometimes lose track of the important events and milestones in their lives. To be intentional, we must look for ways to stay connected even throughout the busy seasons, and find opportunities to have one-on-one time.
An hour or two to laugh, play, or talk with them will help them thrive because of the constant encouragement. Even a short and sweet note gives them an affirmation of our love and support regardless of any situation.
Building the foundation for emotional resilience in times of uncertainty involves tuning in to your children’s feelings, recognizing your own, and openly talking about it. Most of the time, what they really need is for us to listen. Not just pretend to listen, but really disconnect from all the distractions, sit with them, and hear them out. It helps to regularly remind them that all questions are welcome and that they are not alone.
One of the crucial components of intentional parenting is teaching. What we intentionally teach and model to our kids has a huge impact on their intellectual and emotional quotient.
As moms, we must inform and advise our children without making ourselves and everyone else more worried than they already are.
We can pay attention to what they need and how they feel, and look for teachable moments every day to reinforce life lessons. And aside from life skills, it is also very critical to impart values and spiritual guidance to keep our children grounded and rooted to the infinite source of wisdom.
These are just a few of the many things that we can do to become an intentional parent during this time of uncertainty. And it’s never too early nor too late to start.
We are not perfect parents. We all have our flaws areas for improvement, but we all have what it takes to be intentional parents.
Parents and children can take turns between drawing strength and being a source of strength for each other. This too shall pass, and I believe that we can all get through this when we come together.
About The Writer
Betchie Abrenica is a registered nurse by profession, an entrepreneur by heart, and a blogger and a freelance writer. She’s a mom to three adorable kids, and happily married to hier loving husband for 14 years. She is also a life and transformational coach and motivational speaker, an advocate of women empowerment, personal development, and self-care. She is an aﬃliate and active member of Soroptimist International and Toastmasters Club International. She lives in Batangas, Philippines. Follow her at Instagram @mommyqueenelizabeth. Visit her website at www.mommyqueenelizabeth.com.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.