With today’s headlines covering school shootings and community bullying, there is a huge concern for the next generation and how society will development them. This era of children are being raised by an abundant amount of processed technology. I have heard from many parents that their child rather watch a YouTube video of someone else playing with a toy than playing with the toy in front of them. The era of children playing outside until the street lights come home are being less and less of the norm. So with technology booming and expanding, its important for us to focus on being intentional with our parenting. Focus on building the next generation of strong, kind, and caring people; who will continue to use their power to change the world in positive ways.
Majority of homes today have single parent homes or both parents work outside of the home for more than 20 hours a week. With these busy schedules we have to be mindful to take time to purposely parent and love these children like they deserve. We have to make our children more of a priority. Now you’re thinking: they are well groomed, I fed them today, and they got to enjoy this activity or that. However, what about the time you spent with them today? Was it a focused time with them, did you unplug? Here I will talk about 7 helpful ways to be intentional and improving your engagements with your parenting.
1. Starting with thinking about how you were raised. I’m not talking about those happy moments when mom or dad took you to Chuck E. Cheese. Let’s reflect on those moments when you wished things would have been handled differently. The foundation of all relationships start with yourself and the bonds you have with mom and/or dad.
2. Find a parenting role model. The best examples to parent the children is to have someone you admire. What ways do they parent that you could use their methods? Use your resources and observation skills to find the best examples or ways to raise your children to your benefit.
3. You have to communicate with your partner. It takes a village to raise a child. I come from a co-parenting and blended family. It’s important to have all authority figures to be on the same page. Discipline in the same manners and hold each other accountable for each household to enforce the same morals and lifestyle.
4. Think about the character you want your child or children to have. Focus on the top five traits you want to accomplish. Make an executive plan on how you can instill those traits into daily lessons.
5. Create a routine for success. Children need schedules and routines. Children thrive off of consistency. In my personal life, I have found it beneficial to post visual schedules for my daughters so they know their responsibilities to cover for each morning. As well as after school chore list so they know what task they have to complete before being rewarded with downtime. This might sound strict to some with 10 year old or even 5 year olds. However this teaches them how to work towards goals and the naturally good feeling that comes from achieving those task. Life is about work first and play later. The sooner they learn the motto the sooner they gain access to life long success.
6. Be consistent. Building your child’s trust starts with you. Hold yourself accountable for what you tell them your going to do. If you dedicate that you will read them a bedtime story every night than make sure you stick to that commitment as much as possible. Be the leader to teach them what loyalty and accountability looks like. Your relationship will be the foundation to all relationships he or she will have for years to come.
7. Unplug! In this modern time, it’s the normal for everyone to have a phone or electronic device within a 5 foot radius of themselves at all times. Teach your child like its a date. Dedicate 30 minutes out of your day to give them your undivided attention. Color a page together or read a book, if they are older have an engaged conversation of how they have processed their moods and feelings. Spending time with your child is the richest gift you can ever give them.
Adjusting yourself to these task will be difficult, and there will be days that non of the list comes to mind because of the busy hustle and bustle of the day. However if we can be intentional about making this list a priority in our schedules then we can slowly change the next generation for the better.