Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and sensispirit.wordpress.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our second topic is focused on «Relationships.» Each topic will have eight posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!
Parenting is one of the most beautiful yet challenging of experiences. Below are some tips to help you integrate intentional parenting into your life:
- Adopt democratic parenting. Evidence tells us that when you adopt a democratic parenting style, you reduce the chances of socially and psychologically destructive behavior. Being a democratic parent means viewing your child as an individual with his own ideas, desires and opinions, and allowing him to express them even when they differ from your own. Encourage him to express his opinions. Be willing to listen to his point of view.
- Make time to bond with your kids everyday. Time spent together determines your bond and the type of relationship you build during the childhood years and beyond. Regardless of how much you have on your plate, it is always possible to find moments to spend with your kids. Intentional parenting is about connecting with your child every day. The good news is that there are easy ways to make time even when you have a crazy schedule. Grab little pieces of time to connect – when shopping, driving in the car, waiting in queue, etc.
- Take responsibility. Taking responsibility teaches your child to purposely move through their lives and make the right decisions for themselves.
- Become an Emotions Coach. Most of your child’s behavior is driven by emotions: anger, frustration, fear, sadness, etc. Educating your child to identify and respond in an appropriate manner to difficult emotions has many benefits. An emotionally intelligent child has better social relationships, fewer behavioral problems, and better academic outcomes. Work on your own emotions first. Increase your child’s awareness of her emotions. Teach her to identify her triggers. Teach her to avoid repressing her emotions.
- Open Up Your Child’s World. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity.” Curiosity is one of the ways in which openness is manifested. Contrary to popular belief, curiosity is not innate; if it is not stimulated, it dies. Curiosity has been tied to many benefits. Some studies have found that there is a strong relationship between curiosity, intelligence, and scholastic aptitude. Other studies have found that curiosity enhances creativity and is as important as intelligence in determining academic outcomes.
- Fuel the fire for learning. Provide opportunities that help your child explore different experiences.
- Negotiate. All aspects of life involve some form of negotiation. Good negotiation reduces conflict, builds rapport, and makes all concerned parties feel like winners. It turns out that negotiation is also one of the most powerful family conflict management tools. What’s more, researchers have found that families that negotiate are happier and more likely to stick together.
- Celebrate Simplicity. Since ancient times it has been said that the best things in life are free. That “stuff” doesn’t buy happiness. Voluntary simplicity revolves around the idea that much of life’s satisfaction can be obtained through immaterial things. According to Duane Elgin, voluntary simplicity is “a deliberate choice to live with less.” Voluntary simplicity is an easy way to adopt intentional parenting and to teach your kid that happiness can be found in simple things. This way of living has also been proven to spur creativity.
- Let go of the driver’s seat. Your child learns best through trial and error. Being too quick to rescue him or her can make her get accustomed to the fact that there will always be someone to smooth out difficult patches. While there is a strong link between parental intervention and children’s well-being, research shows that being over-responsive to children can be counterproductive.
Let us leave you with this quote:
“What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” – Nicholas Sparks
Let us know what you have learnt through your experience of parenting below…