Five of Best Practices of Intentional Parents
When the three of us speak across the country to groups of parents, Melissa speaks beautifully to parenting out of fear instead of parenting out of love. When we parent out of fear, our kids never get the best of us, the most of us, or even what they really need from us. Parenting out of fear is a reactive form of parenting.
We’d love to invite you into more proactive parenting—thoughtful, intentional, strategic, and wise parenting. Or more active parenting—responsive, engaged, invested, connected parenting. It’s difficult to parent out of love when we are simply reacting to everything going on around us. We are postured to react rather than respond.
We always have options. Sometimes we choose fear over love. Sometimes we choose love over fear. You will continue to hear us invite you to extend grace to yourself in the journey of parenting. You are going to make mistakes. God can redeem the mistakes we make in parenting. He extends grace to us so that we can then extend grace and mercy to our children. Receive the grace and mercy that is available to you. And then do that thing we teach our kids to do when they fall off their bikes while learning to ride: get back up, dust yourself off, and try again.
Being an intentional parent means I get back on the bike and learn from the mistake I made last time around. Maybe I rode to close to the curb; maybe I didn’t brake soon enough, or didn’t have a firm grip on the handlebars. Try doing it a little different next time around. If you need to take a break for a while, that’s OK. We all need breaks. A chance to stop, breathe, gain some perspective, and then we’re more ready to try again.
We want to give you a taste of our 75 years of collective counseling experiencing, meeting with and walking beside children and parents, with our five best suggestions for Intentional Parenting. (The other six you can read about in our new book.)