Parenting with Intention. What does it mean? By definition intention can mean “a thing intended; an aim or plan” and “a determination to act in a certain way”. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to plan, however there is more to Parenting with Intention than just a good plan. Parenting with Intention also means determining how I am going to parent.
With any intention setting we must spend some time reflecting on the bigger picture. I am often guilty of not being able to see the forest for the trees when I get caught up in the daily “to-dos” and “shoulds”. It is at these times when things start to fall apart in our family. These are the times when we are all unconsciously going through the motions of life; sleep, eat, school, work, sports, dance, music, laundry, groceries, cleaning, busy, busy, busy! Then everyone is exhausted and crabby and we turn to things to help us check out and disconnect from one another, often plugging into media or retreating to our rooms. When my family was younger this looked different. We had a lot of meltdowns and arguments.
What is the alternative to this cycle? Intention. I stop, take a step back and observe. I reflect on my family as a whole and then on the individuals. It doesn’t take long. Just a few minutes of quietly sitting and listening to my inner voice. What does my family need right now? What do my children need? What do my partner and myself need? Often it is a quiet day of connection and a rhythm and routine reset. We spend time together, playing board games, taking walks, cooking and then when our day of rest is over I return to our rhythm with intention. Where can we slow down, what can we cut out and what is essential for my family and my children.