So often in life we get overwhelmed by everything going on and find ourselves just reacting, instead of setting goals and proactively taking part in our own lives. It is important to take a step back from things on occasion and get a clear objective view. It is important to remove things from our lives that aren’t working so we can slow down and focus on what does matter. This is the case with parenting too. That is why I am so happy to have parent educator and author, Maria Dismondy, share with us even more on this topic. We’ll talk about what parenting with intention means, why it is so powerful, and how to adopt this value based parenting.
What Is Parenting With Intention?
Intentional parenting refers to parenting rooted in the values that matter most to you. It is a form of mindful parenting where you invest the time to think about what is really important to you. Then you parent with the intention to impart that to your child. Parenting with intention is all about sharing with our children purposefully family values and key life lessons.
Why Parenting With Purpose Is Powerful
Parenting with intention makes good sense but it also takes mindful thought around what really is important to us. This type of value-based parenting means that we are really thinking about what we want to pass on to our children most. Purposefully deciding what positive values we want our children to learn and working it incorporate them into daily life and working to discuss these values with our kids is pretty powerful parenting. It means walking the talk and talking the talk. Both of which are important and both of which can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of our busy lives and this digital age.
How To Practice Parenting With Intention
The best way to parent with intention is to be mindful of your intentions and then create parent-child interactions that help teach and reinforce those positive values. If you wish to parent with the intention of teaching the value of patience. You will want to be able to talk to you child openly about patience and why it is important. You will also want to be able to encourage patience in real life situations by demonstrating it yourself and by praising them realizing when they need to have more patience. My grandmother always told me “patience is a virtue” whenever I needed a gentle reminder.
I am so happy to have Maria Dismondy share with us today because she is all about intentionality and making each day count. This is what fueled her critically acclaimed children’s book writing career. Maria has penned ten books that feature stories with topics ranging from anti-bullying to overcoming adversity. Now, she has written a book for adults called Sunny Side Upbringing (affiliate link below) which will come out in March. It is a simple parenting toolkit designed to make your life easier and more fulfilled by keeping your family values at the forefront of daily life. If you are new to value based parenting, she will help coach you through it and make it fun.
Dismondy’s book, Sunny Side Upbringing, is a month-by-month parenting guide that’s loaded with enriching content that fosters creative parent-child interactions rooted in the values that matter most to you, like empathy, friendship, and honesty. I love the way this book combines research, advice, practical tips and activities for families. This resource provides routines and traditions to do at home that will make it easy to instill positive values in your children. Today she has agreed to share with us an excerpt from Chapter One on Goal Setting which helps you decide what values you want at the forefront of your actions and reactions as a parent.
The following book excerpt is reprinted with permission from Sunny Side Upbringing A MONTH-BY-MONTH GUIDE TO RAISING KIND & CARING KIDS by Maria Dismondy, Cardinal Rule Press, March 2020. Available for pre-order now!
As you begin the year parenting with intention, determine what values are important to you and your partner.
On your own, spend time thinking about six character traits you want to instill in your children. Write down a “why” next to each trait. Then, sit down and share your answers with your partner. Next, highlight any values you both chose that were the same or similar. Your goal is to choose three to four attributes you both agree are important.
The next step is to sit down as a family and explain to your kids that it’s time to create a family mission statement. (If your kids are preschool aged and up, this will work best.) Make this step sound fun and exciting, because it really is! Your family mission statement describes the expectations of what it means to be a family member in your home. As your children grow, it will be appropriate to update your family mission statement occasionally.
To get technical, a mission statement is meant to explain the “what” and “who” of a family (or business) and a vision statement adds the “why” and “how.” We worked on the why in this exercise by determining guiding principles with filling in the blank, “I believe being a good problem solver will help my children be successful. For me, that means modeling and encouraging them to be brave in trying new ways to figure out tricky situations.” To help you get started, begin with this phrase, “In our family, we will…” Then fill in the blank.
Below is an example of the core values my family determined were important and our resulting family mission statement.
- Strong sense of self
- Financially independent
- Problem solving
- Emotional well-being (thanks to effective communication skills)
- Work ethic (financial independence
- Kindness and empathy (how we behave toward others)
- Sense of self and well-being (don’t forget to enjoy life)
Our Dismondy family mission statement: “In our family, we work hard, are kind, and have fun!”
Come up with a motto (three to four words) that reminds your kids of what it means to be a member in your family when they are out and about on their own. Make it easy to memorize, repeat, and recite. Family mottos can be silly, serious, sentimental and more. Personalize it to match the style of your family.
Finally, post your mission statement somewhere visible in your home to serve as a daily reminder. You can even order a decorative handmade sign on Etsy with your mission statement. At the Dismondy house, we refer back to our motto just about every day. Especially during challenging moments.
I hope you found this excerpt empowering and that you are ready to create some of you own enriching parent-child interactions rooted in family values. Parenting with intention is an excellent activity that will help your family bond grow in even more rewarding ways. Go ahead and try this value based parenting and jump into the fun of parenting with purpose!
If you have questions, reach out to us @familyfocusblog and/or @mariadismondy!