Connecting and purposeful parenting

(Originally posted at Xanga.)I have these one-on-one consults I do for teaching FAM, and it is interesting to me how talking about something so personal seems to allow someone to completely open up about other parts of their lives.

I suppose I’m a fairly open person myself, so I didn’t think much about the freeness of others speaking to me until a few weeks ago when I told Jay my client and I had gotten off-topic quite a bit and spent time on parenting ideas.

“You really seem to connect with these ladies that come over,” he observed. And he’s right. I don’t know if it’s me, or the type of woman who comes (maybe a combination of the two), but, while we meet the goals of our time together, we never stay completely on-task.

One who came today commented as she was leaving how “inspiring” I was in the way I interacted with my girls. “That is so neat to see! I so want to be like that. I’m learning to be like that…” I thanked her for her kind words and said having the girls in a cooperative mood made maintaining that image a lot easier than it would be otherwise.

But it was encouraging to hear. Every now-and-then I get a really strong impression that I’m doing something right.


Yesterday at MOPS, I got into this conversation about being purposeful in our choices as parents.

It started out being about looking for ideas to purposefully instill a godly foundation in our children. It surprised us how many people (even other moms in our group, from their comments) just “coast” along, without any plan. I can’t say I have any formal plan myself, but I have begun layering things into everyday routines, like the prayers at meal-times, and hymns and bible verses at bed-time, mixed-in with the lullabies and rhymes. I see these things laying a foundation; a vocabulary, if you will, that I pray I’ll have opportunity to draw on later.

The conversation moved into the importance of purposefulness in other areas of parenting: consciously observing your children to understand motivation, planning nap and bed-times so the child gets the sleep he or she needs, knowing your own child well enough to know what punishment is most effective in what circumstances.

We talked about the negative results of letting any of these things “just happen,” that it usually resulted in a need or opportunity being missed, or being less effective as a parent.

Conversations like these are very good for me, because they start me processing ideas and applications, and often bear good fruit. This time, it was encouragement “in due season,” giving me ideas as well as making me thankful for what’s going right so far.

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