• INTENTIONAL PARENTING 2

    INTENTIONAL PARENTING 2

    There are only two lasting things in the legacy that we should aim to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings– Hodding


    We are living in a time when the rate of change of things is faster than the rate at which institutions are developing. The rate at which the families are evolving is slower than the rate at which changes are happening some of which are coming against the family institution. The responsibility of parenting is now more confusing than ever before and many do not actually know how to parent and respond to the challenges. Entertainment and technology is having a strong impact on the development of children, so how should parents respond? Some people are taking deliberate actions towards designing systems that will shape your children to think, believe and act in a certain way and yet when we parent we just do it absent-mindedly. There is need to generate a new way of parenting that will counter efforts of the system of darkness that is aiming at destroying the destinies of our children. This is why we are talking of Intentional Parenting.

    Before we talk about what Intentional Parenting is, we will talk a bit about the popular form of parenting that most people use that is opposed to intentional parenting which I have called Instinctive Parenting. Instinctive parenting from a look at the word ‘instinctive’ is when our approach to parenting is prompted by impulse, a spontaneous approach to everything and sometimes it will be a reactive approach. It is when we just do what we think is needed for that time. When people find themselves with children they just take the responsibility and do what they think is the way. There is usually no expected outcomes or awareness of what they want out of their children. There is little awareness of how the parenting approach will affect the development and destinies of children. This has not worked and a lot of parents are frustrated as they see their children become what they would never have wanted them to be or do. Since this has not worked for most of the parents or guardians there is need for Intentional Parenting.

    My theme for this year is “Intentional Living” which has been defined as any lifestyle based of an individual or a group’s conscious attempt to live according to their values or beliefs towards specific goals, outcomes and objectives. Taking this definition to parenting we come up with what we are calling Intentional Parenting and we are going to break it into 5 parts that we will use to describe the phenomenon.

    Intentional parenting is firstly a lifestyle. This implies that it is not only limited to specific actions that one is supposed to perform but a lifestyle that is supposed to be developed. Parenting starts with modelling the behavior and outcomes that one would want to see. This cannot be achieved through living a life of double or multi standards. Children learn mainly by observation of what parents demonstrate.

    The lifestyle can be of an individual or a group. Single parenting is becoming a common phenomenon and if not well handled, children raised by a single parent have greater chances of having unstable marriages according to research. This means that an individual has to choose to adopt the lifestyle that will have positive impact to the children. The recommended approach would be combined efforts of the whole family in parenting whereby families sit and come up with clear goals, objectives and collaborative efforts towards agreed missions and visions.

    Intentional Parenting according to the above definition happens through conscious effort. It is planned and deliberate. Scientific research says that most of our actions are a product of internal conversations that happen in our subconscious mind. 80 % of these conversations involve one’s childhood, and in particular, the issues around one’s relationship with their parents. Sometimes it’s the thing that should have been said by the father ... but wasn’t. Or worst yet, the thing that was said that shouldn’t have been said. When they understand this, parents will make conscious effort on what they are supposed to be saying and when they are supposed to be saying it. The traditional African approach was poor in expressing love. The majority of the people over the age of 25 will agree with me that their parents never told them that they loved them. Intentional parenting will mean that the parents will chose actions and consciously begin to apply new approaches and actions.

    Intentional Parenting is built around specific values and beliefs. God by original design wanted the kingdom values and beliefs to be passed on through parenting. In the original plan of creation there was no church concept and the family was the standard institution of societal development. The kingdom values and beliefs if passed on would then preserve the human race and the universe that was under the management of mankind. This attribute of Intentional parenting is one of the major reasons why God chose to start a new nation with the man Abraham. He was trusted to parent based on Kingdom values and this is what God intended from the start.

    Abraham is going to become a large and strong nation; all the nations of the world are going to find themselves blessed through him. Yes, I've settled on him as the one to train his children and future family to observe God's way of life, live kindly and generously and fairly, so that God can complete in Abraham what he promised him." [Gen 18:18-19: THE MESSAGE Bible]

    Parents should sit down and ask themselves what beliefs and values they would want their children to have about major things like God, marriage, finances, relationships, success, education and then be deliberate on how these values and beliefs can be instilled in their children.

    Finally Intentional Parenting should always be towards specific goals, objectives or outcomes. In his audio book, The Psychology of Success, Brian Tracy says the first principle of success is ‘knowing what you want’. The second is ‘being willing to pay the price’. Parents or guardians should have clarity in terms of what they want out of their parenting and be ready to pay the price required to get those outcomes. One of the most common scriptures about raising kids says,
    Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. [Prov 22: 6]

    This shows that the parent need in some way to know the way that their child should go. This is having values, beliefs goals and objectives in mind when it comes to parenting. We see intentional Parenting when we look at how royal families raise their children. They train their children so that they will have royalty in their beliefs, attitudes, words and actions. This is illustrated even in Old Hebraic understanding as attested by one first century writer who said,

    Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. [Galatians 4:1-2]

    This shows us that the owner of the estate understands what he wants out of the heir and puts him under specific tutors and guardians who will train the child in the way that he wants them to go. This should be our approach in Parenting. If we are to raise children that will be successful and be able to cope with this fast changing world then we need to raise them in ways that will develop some of the skills that are very important in the 21st century like Communication, Collaboration, Curiosity, Critical thinking, Creative thinking, Quality Questioning, Adaptability and the Ability to fail. Importantly these skills should be developed on a sure foundation of strong spiritual formation and character development. This cannot be achieved unless they are developed into lifestyles and plans of actions followed by conscious efforts that develop these skills. It takes intentional parenting.

    Get in touch with a passionate and bible based family and success coach to help you or your church, group or organization deal with parenting issues.  The quality of our future societies, politicians, business people, captains of industry, leaders, educationists, economists, spiritual leaders and parents is in the quality of our parenting today.

    Coach Tarie-Pastor|Life -Executive-Entrepreneuship Coach|Consultant|LeadershipTrainer |Speaker|Blogger|www.coachtarie.com|coachtarie@ gmail.com|facebook/twitter/linkedin @ Coach Tarie| +263773 301 267/ +263 712 106 415





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