Intentional parenting. This is something that I am actively trying to do. To parent with intention and not just wing it. Let’s look into how this is going. I am now parenting an 11 month old girl. I have a grown son, who is married and 25 years old. I also have a daughter who lives in heaven. So now I am older and I hope wiser.
I winged it with my first (don’t we all?). No matter how many books we read or how much our mothers interfere with our parenting, I winged it a lot with my son. It is uncharted territory. You learn as you go, you evolve sometimes with not even your wits about you. They are GOOD. They learn too, and sometimes they are out the door before you know you’ve been had. You learn that what was cute when they were five or something you labeled as a phase, sure lasted a LONNNNNNG time. Such as lying…my son started this young…and when he was 10 I realized this sure was lasting a long time. I tried all kinds of things to get it to stop, but then it was a nasty habit. I think with age comes a wisdom you just can’t learn in any book. And you come to this on your own because God knows if our mothers told us we would mostly roll our eyes and do it our way anyway.
I am intentionally parenting now. I try to follow through. I consciously try to a few times a day simply be in the moment with her. I don’t correct everything she does. I am setting boundaries and letting her explore them. Some days are better than others. I have an advantage of having a grown son so I can see the positive and negative things and how they played out. I have a main goal and that is to give my daughter the kind of childhood she never has to get over. It won’t be perfect and I am sure she will be very angry at me at times, but I want her to be a well rounded, happy and confident person and in order to do that I have to set intentions on how to make that happen. Now having said that, you know what they say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions” so I have to make changes and actively participate in those changes and actively create a world where my intentions come to life. At my age, that takes some effort. So I have to talk my self through doing things sometimes, like making homemade foods or making my self get on the floor and actively engage with my daughter, when I really want to veg or talk on the phone or clean. (Sometimes I do really want to clean, organizing is an entirely different matter).
Some of the things I am intentionally doing with her now:
We read every single day.
We eat together at the table a lot more and include her.
I have decided that she will take several different classes in her childhood. How does one know what talents they have if they aren’t exposed to different things? So at 11 months, we start music class tomorrow. If nothing else because mommy can’t carry a tune and I don’t want her to think that is how it always sounds.
Letting her make messes
Not yelling at the dogs to shut up. Can’t tell her that isn’t nice if I am always yelling it to the dogs.
Telling her please and thank you
Things I intend to do for her future:
Let her fail
Not bail her out of everything so she will think on her feet
Let her have date night with daddy
Not let her have a TV in her room
Give her more experiences than things
Making lots of memories for her memory bank
Things I intended that I have already failed at
I intended when she was smaller that there would be zero television. I would not use the tv as a babysitter and she wouldn’t just sit and watch it. Well that was a FAIL. She watches Sesame Street and usually Daniel Tiger or Curious George and sometimes all of them. I NEED my coffee and mommy needs to wake up time. Its not my fault she wakes at 6- 630 ready to go. So I am letting myself off the hook. She LOVES Sesame Street. Fail
Eat all organic or made by mommy. FAIL…I feed her pretty healthy. She even eats barley almost everyday as snacks, however she did have homemade pizza and a few bites of cake tonight. GASP!!!
Her daddy and I had a not nice argument in front of her. I intended that we would be the types that would not and I mean never fight in front of her. FAIL!!! I think we even cursed. A lot
But that is ok. I failed. I can say that. I will not be perfect. Some days I will be all together and Martha Stewart like and others days it may appear my house is a crime scene and I am holding it together like Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club. (Slight reference to my age here).
The point is, we won’t be perfect, but if I parent with intention and have some end goals in mind, then I will wing it a lot less, and hopefully guide her into some semblance of a functioning adult, who can think on her feet, manage money, have a sense of humor, treasure memories of her childhood and throw a mean left hook when needed.