INTENTIONAL PARENTING

Time with our kids is short and valuable!

Birth = 932 weeks with our kids                or                            18 holidays/birthdays

6th grade = 312 weeks with our kids         or                            7 holidays/birthdays

9th grade = 208 weeks with our kids         or                            4 holidays/birthdays

12th grade =  40 marbles with our kids     or                            1 holidays/birthdays

Losing your marbles

I remember looking down at my newborn daughter and marveling at her beauty, and how fragile she was. It was a beautiful and scary thing to know that I helped bring this precious little life into the world. Instantly, I felt overwhelmed by both excitement and fear, at the prospect of her exploring and discovering all the possibilities in her world.  A world that would at times, include pain. I remember praying over her each night that I would not take our time for granted. Regardless of my efforts to revel in that moment forever, my eldest daughter is now in college.

TIME GOES BY TOO FAST!

My desire for my three daughters (now 18, 16, and 12) is that they become young women of high moral character. I desire them to choose like-minded friends, have high standards for marriage, avoid situations that would cause unnecessary suffering, and know how to choose the right path, I desire to see them be bold enough to seize unique opportunities that come their way, and always fight for justice. I know that it is impossible to ensure my children will always make the right decisions, or choose the right path to avoid painful lessons. The question is how can I make sure that my voice remains relevant and important in their lives?

HOW CAN I MAKE MY VOICE MATTER?

First, I must model the actions and behaviors I would like for them to have.  My girls are observing my behaviors by studying my actions, and reactions.  They pay attention to the friends I spend time with, and how I devote my time and money.  They notice what I read, view and listen to.  My behaviors and actions are helping them determine what is “normal” and, intentionally or not, to framing their perspective of the world.

When my girls were younger, I could tell them what to say and do. At times this proved to be very entertaining. Now their worldview and perspective (which is how they see life) has been determined by what I modeled in front of them when they were young. For my voice to remain influential when they are older, I must ask myself, “What am I modeling while they are young?”

To remain influential to my older kids, my words must match their inner voice, which was determined by what I modeled when they were little. 

HOW CAN I MAKE MY TIME COUNT?

I can create small weekly rituals with my kids, where there is no motive except to spend time together. These rituals provide a small oasis that interrupts a demanding and stressful schedule. It creates an atmosphere to connect, and the opportunity to share what is on their hearts and minds. It is not only a sharing time, but it is also creating an investment in their future. My kids will continue to grow increasingly independent, but I trust they will always appreciate and desire that time to connect (even if they are to cool to admit it!).

It is never too late to create weekly rituals that provide your children opportunity for relational connection.

To see this topic being discussed between Steven Seaton and Ben Emerson, Youth Pastor of Mars Hill Baptist Church, please visit Steven’s YouTube page. ‘Intentional Parenting’. 

 

Me and my oldest daughter 2000 and 2018.

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