Purposeful Parenting: What It Is And Why It’s So Important
By: Grant Stenzel MS Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
Companies have business plan. You probably know someone—or are someone—who has a fantasy football plan every year. But what about a parenting plan? Do you have one? If not, you should. Here’s where to start.
Picture the end result and work backward
Many people find that imagining the end result of what they’re working on is a great way to achieve their goal. For example, sculptors picture their final piece as they chisel. Homebuilders picture the perfect interior and exterior. Did you know parents can do the same thing?
Picture your child at 18, 20, 25 years old. Figure out what traits you’d like them to have. Hard work? Compassion? Drive? Athletic ability? Intelligence? Once you have your list, you can work backward from there to raise your kids into happy, healthy, world-bettering adults.
That’s the foundation of purposeful parenting. Think about the final result and what you want for your children. As you parent, you’ll undoubtedly run into difficult topics and others you don’t know much about.
Honesty is key
Whether you’re talking about sex, the Internet, healthy relationships, money or how to help a friend who’s in trouble, being open with your kids, asking them questions and answering the ones they have is so essential.
Honesty should be rewarded, not punished
It’s all too easy to be upset with our kids after they’re honest with us. All this does is teach them not to be so open in the future. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t punish; you should simply do that a little later. In the moment, just say, “Thank you for telling us. We know that took courage. We’ll have to talk about your punishment, but it’s going to be lessened because you were honest with us.”
Lecture time? Keep it brief.
Nobody likes being disciplined, let alone for too long. My wife and I love to lecture, but we managed to keep them to five sentences or less. After that, our kids tuned out and got defensive. Less is more when it comes to lecturing.
Be curious about your kids.
I can’t emphasize enough how important this is. If you show interest, if you ask them questions, if you want to know who they are and who they’re shaping up to become, it’s one of the most important things you can do to ensure your purposeful parenting dream becomes a reality.
At Stenzel Clinical, we specialize in helping parents and their children learn lifelong skills that will lead them down a healthy path. Talk to us today.