• INTENTIONAL PARENTING 3

    INTENTIONAL PARENTING 3



    Parenting has become complicated in the 21st century. In the old times parents where the ones in control of the knowledge that was passed on to their children but nowadays with globalization, the internet has made so much information available to our children in ways that are difficult to regulate. This is because some people with their own agendas that are generally commercial are selling their ideas and intending to create a culture that will create markets for their values and products. This is echoed in the words of Gordon Pennington that I usually quote who said, “If you take me into your child’s bedroom and show me the clothes they wear, the cartoons and movies they watch, the music they listen to, the posters and pictures on their walls, I will tell you the top 5 Madison Avenue agencies that are discipling your child”.

    Who is shaping the identities of our children and the way they see themselves? According to scientific research, by the time an average girl reaches the age of 15 she would have had some 13000 hours of comparison forced upon her in media telling her what she ought to look like and be like in order to be cool. Culture, when under the influence of the devil is designed to rob you of your uniqueness and make you feel by comparison to an unreal standard, that you do not measure up. With this in mind we need to be deliberate and knowledgeable in our approach to parenting. I am not here speaking just to parents and guardians of children in homes but also to all institutions that work with children from churches, sports academies, kindergartens or preschools and early childhood development centers.

    If these families and institutions will continue with an instinctive, passive approach to raising children then the destinies or our children and societies are in serious jeopardy. This is why I am bringing this issue of intentional parenting. The three major goals or focus areas of intentional parenting that we will look at in this blog are, Grooming, Nurturing and Harnessing. Intentional Parenting is Grooming. Intentional Parenting is Nurturing and Intentional Parenting is Harnessing.

    INTENTIONAL PARENTING AS GROOMING.
    Parenting serves to GROOM the offspring in the God –Life, God- Mind, God- Nature & God- Abilities. This is because our children like any other human beings are created in the image of God and are there to have dominion over their environments and find meaning in their lives. It therefore means you as the parent are supposed to be acquainted and skilled in these otherwise you have nothing to pass on to your offspring. “The extent to which we as parents know ourselves is the extent to which our children will know themselves”.  

    You will have motivation to develop yourself and to know who you truly are by original design if you are aware that you are unique and created for a specific purpose in the kingdom of God. So is our offspring, they are children of the King of kings and we are to groom them as such. We have to be very sure of the kind of children we want to have, the values, beliefs, skills and perceptions we intend them to have about life and be intentional to expose them to environments that groom them to be such. It is in this context that the word of God says, 

    Train up a child in the way that they should go so that when they are old they will not depart from it.

    The extent to which we as parents know ourselves is the extent to which our children will know themselves. The bible shows the story of one of the most intentional parents that I have seen. He groomed his child to be a wise leader. Many know the story of Solomon and how when asked what he would want from God, asked for Wisdom and Understanding. Many think that it was of his own choice that he chose wisdom above everything else. The same bible shows that his upbringing groomed him to make that choice as we listen to the words of Solomon saying,

    When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother, he taught me and said, "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live.  Get wisdom, get understanding; …. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. [Prov 4:3-7]

     He was groomed by his father in terms of his values, priorities and choices and he did not depart from this as we see him exercising what he had been groomed to do.           

    INTENTIONAL PARENTING AS NURTURING.
    Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord. [Ephesians 6: 4]

    Nurturing of children has to be on all aspects of growth and development of the child. Providing the physical needs of the child like food, shelter, clothing is somehow clear. The challenge is that most parents focus on this aspect and are not intentional on the emotional and spiritual aspect. It is the emotional and spiritual aspect that are critical in the development of the image and esteem of the child. If you reflect on your upbringing what memories do you have of your parents of guardians. Think of the kind of memories you would want your children to have of you and be intentional in creating them.

    What happens inside of you when you hear of stories of child molestation. If you see an adult who sexually abuse a 3-year-old, how do you feel? I know the feeling is terrible because you know that the child is defenseless and innocent. Such are the souls of our children and you should be very conscious that our actions and the environments we raise our children in will have a direct impact on the innocent and fragile souls of the children we have in our trust. Violent scenes and harsh words especially between parents have a sizable impact on the emotional development of children.

    Parents should consider the kind of expectations that they put on their children. Several times parents have emotional inadequacies and pressures of their own as they battle for their own self-esteem and begin to have unbearable expectations on their children that maybe very stressful on children. As parents with a nurturing responsibility we should be aware of the amount of stress we expose our children to. Famous Psychologist Leo Vygotsky had a breakthrough when he first began to talk about the zone of proximal development. He said children learn best when tasks are not too easy and not too difficult. So we should take our time to study child development and know where our children uniquely are. We do not raise children with standard expectations but should nurture children differently according to their uniqueness.

    We are assigned to nurture the treasures in our offspring by God their creator.  Maybe for the sake of propagating the correct perspective let’s not call our children our children let’s call them our offspring.  After all God is the father of all.  I think that’s why Jesus said “Call no man father for you have only one Father God in heaven” With this consciousness we would not be possessive of our children and not force them to be what we want them to be, but with meekness we would then try to discover their uniqueness and nurture it.

    Conscious and intentional efforts’ pricelessness can be seen in the words of Shefali Tsabary in her Ted Talk on Conscious Parenting who said,

     “The extent to which we as parents can love deeply, laugh loudly, risk bravely and lose freely is the extent to which our children will know joy and freedom. The extent to which we as parents will run out in the rain without fear of getting wet is the extent to which our children will live their lives with courage.

    INTENTIONAL PARENTING AS HARNESSING.
    Humility, temperament, meekness and self-control are valuable virtues for success because they reflect an ability to harness ourselves; the only power that we can use is only the power that we have managed to harness- Coach Tarie: The Wisdom Garden 

    The final aspect that we will look at in terms of intentional parenting is the aspect of harnessing. Children come with different temperaments, gifts, talents and abilities. I remember listening to Mike Murdock preaching one day when he was talking of his upbringing. He was born naturally being talkative which seemed opposite to his father. So in his development he was always being taught by his parents to speak less and try to be the silent type. He would quote and declare scriptures that talked about taming the tounge and speaking less. He then talks of one day when his mother said to him, “maybe God has called you to speak”. From this day his mother taught him to pray and make effort to make sure that he would have something important and valuable to say. Now Mike is a man of great wisdom and whenever he opens his mouth to speak out of his mouth oozes great wisdom. This story shows that the parents identified what their child was gifted in and harnessed it for good.

    It is the parent’s responsibility to identify what their children are uniquely gifted in and help in development of such for productive use. This means that when you have children under your care it’s your responsibility to take each one as a unique individual and find ways of harnessing their uniqueness for productive use. When we take a close look at most parents in bible times we see that most of them were priviledged to know the prophetic destiny of their children and identify gifts that had to be developed. I believe our maker is ready to reveal prophetic destinies of our children and the gifts that they are endowed with. There is so much grace that is available to parents when it comes to prophetic destinies of children. We have to maximize on this and ask for God to reveal that which we can’t see about our children so that we can be intentional in our parenting to harness what our children are loaded with and groom it for their future success and productivity.

     Every child comes with a script that is written by their maker that they are supposed to live out but many never realize such scripts because parents, teachers and guardians are not there to help them grow along the lines of their unique scripts.  This is revealed by the psalmist when he wrote saying,

    For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! [Ps 139:13-17]

    It is our responsibility as parents to get to understand what our children are uniquely designed to do and gifted with. Having discovered that we need to be deliberate in giving our children the right values that will protect the destinies of the children. It’s our responsibility to harness and help our children to grow to become what they were created to be and do. If this is hidden from us we should seek after it, for the world tells us that,

    It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. [Prov 25:2]

    In conclusion, having looked at the three major aspects of Intentional Parenting in grooming, nurturing and harnessing, it is important to note that the first and most important step is how much we know ourselves and understand our expectations as parents. Intentional Parents need to have a strong relationship with the true parent of the offspring we are entrusted with as stewards and managers who is God the real father. The next most important thing that follows that is the skill of emotional intelligence especially two of its attributes of Self Awareness and Social Awareness. Parents should be aware of their temperaments, emotions, attitude, perceptions and actions and how these affect their association and contribution in shaping destinies of children entrusted to their care. To Learn more and get help in these aspects, Coach Tarie Coaching and Consultancy (COTACC) is there to assist. The destiny of this generation and our continent is in our parenting approaches.

    Coach Tarie-Pastor|Life -Entrepreneuship- Family Coach|Consultant| Leadership Trainer| |Speaker|Blogger|Author|Development Practitioner|www.coachtarie.com|coachtarie@ gmail.com|facebook/twitter/ linkedin @ Coach Tarie| +263773 301 267/ +263 712 106 415






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