Parenting is a never ending adventure that goes through numerous twist and turns; just when you think you have it down pat some monkey wrench comes flying your way. There is no one size fits all for parenting but the idea of purposeful parenting simplifies it for us. Purposeful parenting goes beyond giving your children hugs, feeding them, or being their biggest fan. It is all about being active and engaged with your children. In simple terms it is parenting with a specific purpose in mind. Purposeful parenting is not just showing up but connecting with, having discussions, and listening to your child. Here are 5 simple tips to becoming more of a purposeful parent.

  1. Engage. In all the craziness of life family time becomes more stressful than enjoyable. Take the time to invest in your children and build a strong relationship. Go on mommy/son dates or have daddy/daughter days. Set a side alone time as well as family time, to show the importance of being together. During this quality time be sure to let your kiddo pick some activities or direct the conversation; this will demonstrate you value their input. 
  2. Have Open Ears. It is great to engage with your kiddos but you have to listen to them as well. Don’t just take ‘fine’ as an answer to ‘How was your day?’ It is so easy, especially as parents, to do a million things at once, letting what you hear go in one ear and out the other. Don’t be afraid to dig deeper and genuinely lean into what they are saying. 
  3. Value Teamwork. Your family is a team, maybe a still developing team sometimes, but you are all in this together. Demonstrate the power of team work by completing projects together (big or small). Whether it is having family yard day, completing a craft project or just cooking together. This may seem like a mediocre task but building strong family bonds will be crucial for the future. 
  4. Cultivate Positivity. Your attitude will set the tone for your family. Children take their cues from their parents and learn to respond to people and situation by observing what you do. It can be difficult to always be the uplifting one, but your attitude will set the tone for your household.
  5. Lead by Example. Whether you realize it or not you as the parent are your child's biggest role model. They look up to you and often want to grow up and become just like you. Be the best example you can be; what you do a little they will do a lot. So be purposeful in your actions; show kindness, positivity, teamwork, and LOVE.  Your purpose and intentionality will pay off.

Parenting is one of the hardest but most rewarding journeys you will encounter in this life. Just because you practice purposeful parenting tips doesn't mean it is going to be a walk in the park. The hope is though that the more you put these strategies into practice the easier it will become. Be a purposeful parent!