Intentional parenting. It’s something we’ve try at every day. We are not perfect, far from it but making ourselves prioritize certain things, draw boundaries and say NO when we need to has upped our parenting game.
What does intentional parenting look like with our family? Let’s start with the definition of intentional.
- done on purpose; deliberate.
*ding* *ding* *ding* ON PURPOSE! Our decisions in parenting are deliberate and done on purpose for the goals and sanity of our family.
How We Parenting Intentionally
We purposefully prioritize our family. How does this look? Here is how it looks for us.
I’m hitting pause on writing this post for a minute and saying by writing this I am not saying this is what you should do. I’m simply saying this is what our family does.
No parent gets it right 100% of the time, we celebrate little wins and for us when we get it right – intentional parenting works for us. It can totally look different for you – each family needs to find whatever jam works for themselves.
Limiting Extra Curricular Activities
For us, this means simple things like every child isn’t going to participate in a sport at the same time. We have 4 kids, each gets a turn but we want to keep a sane schedule so not every kid gets to do an activity – everyone takes turns.
We’ve learned to say no to many things to prioritize what is important. What do we say “no” to? Well one thing is ALL THE BIRTHDAY PARTIES. OMG, I kid you not in one week we had 4 birthday party invites. We just can’t. Close friends and family we make it a priority to celebrate, but classmate – nope can’t do it.
[clickToTweet tweet=”If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. -BRUCE LEE http://bit.ly/in-parent” quote=”If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of. -BRUCE LEE” theme=”style3″]
Sometimes this means saying no to things we want to do. My husband and I were invited to a show, and as much as we wanted to go – it was a school night, both of us were in the office that day – it would of meant chaos. Little things like this, we’ve just come to accept.
Creating Our Priorities
Our priorities are for the kids to know and feel loved, to be fed, to be clothed, to be educated and to know that they are an important part of our family. That is a lot.
So what we don’t prioritize: house cleaning, laundry, dishes. We’re not complete slobs, don’t get me wrong but we sure don’t have a neat and tidy home – it’s what I called “lived-in.”
With both my husband and I working this past year, life has changed quite a bit. No longer do we have nice home-cooked meals – but you know what we do have?
At least 3 meals around the family dinner table during the week. It maybe Hamburger Helper or Papa John’s – but you know what? See priorities above – they are fed.
We do try to do family meetings. These have helped establish an open line of communication with our kids.
I love my kids with all of my heart, but in order to be intentional – you must be SANE. And to maintain sanity – I need time just with my husband or my friends.
We have a date night a few nights a month (thanks to our local gymnastics place for parent’s night out!) Every other week, my husband meets up with his friends and I do the same as often as possible. Happy kids need sane parents.
Perfect – No, Intentional – Yes
We are far from perfect parents, but intentional parenting helps us keep focus on our priority – our family, kids and marriage. Not perfect, but we do try.
What ways do you intentionally parent?
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