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struggling families!

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Parenting With Intentionality

Intentionality in parenting means making a purposeful decision to spend time connecting with your kids. Intentionality is one of the seven traits for effective parenting.

Intentionality in parenting means making a purposeful decision to spend time connecting with your kids.

What would you do if you had an extra hour every day that you could spend doing anything you wanted to do? Would you sleep, exercise, or squeeze in some extra work? Or perhaps you would spend more time with your kids, your spouse, or with God.

As parents, we are bombarded on a daily basis with decisions, activities, and tasks. In our home, my wife and I bring our different backgrounds to our parenting. She was raised in a low-key, relaxed home. I come from a family that always seemed to be on the move. We’ve had to explicitly define the amount of activity our family will take on. And our children are good at speaking up, at telling us when they feel overscheduled. Family time is so valuable, and we’ve tried to manage it wisely.

This helps your child in several ways:

Valuing Family Time

Kids with intentional parents learn that time together as a family is a valuable priority. They see their house as a home, a refuge, a place to connect—not a place to leave as soon as possible.

Valuing Rest

Kids learn that rest is important for effectiveness and connectedness. Rest is an important time to listen to what God is telling us, to grow in wisdom for the rest of our chaotic lives. Rest helps children mentally and physically prepare for the next set of life challenges.

Navigate family life with grace and love!

Daniel P. Huerta, Focus on the Family's Vice President of Parenting, presents a collection of seven powerful character traits designed to help parents grow and thrive while raising Godly children.

Valuing Communication

When parents are intentional in connecting as a family, their children learn to listen, think and respond. They learn how to ask questions and how to share about their experiences. Making time for communication is essential to learning about each other and growing together as a family.

Balancing Time and Priorities

Kids from intentional homes better understand their own energy levels and capacity for activity. They learn when to agree to more activity and when to decline an opportunity. They are better at not letting worries or fears dominate their decision-making because they know that in authentic relationships it’s okay to say “no” when they need time to rest.

Learning Character Formation and Serving Others

Intentional parenting involves imperfectly modeling and teaching these traits through a close relationship with Christ. Kids learn about honesty, responsibility, respect, and the Fruit of the Spirit — love, joy, peace patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control. They learn to serve each other in the home and others outside of the home.

I’ve met several parents who have honed the trait of intentionality. Their kids tend to show gratitude, maturity, discipline, and balance. Yes, these parents would be the first to admit that raising their kids this way isn’t easy and takes lots of energy and thought, but they would also say that it has gotten easier over time.

Like many parents, my wife and I have had to sift through options for camps, sports, activities, clubs, and all the other things seeking our attention, time, and money. The trait of intentionality—purposively designing hours and evenings for family—isn’t always fun or easy, but the precious time we’ve spent with our kids have proven to us that the effort is worth it.

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Entertainment Reviews Your Family Can Trust

Plugged In shines a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate, and impact the culture in which they live. Let us help your family make wise and informed choices about movies, TV shows, music, video games, and more!
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Reach a counselor toll-free at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).

Understand How to Respect and Love Your Son Well

"Why doesn’t my son listen to me?" Have you ever asked yourself that? The truth is, how you view your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. We’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Focus on Parenting Podcast

Mom or dad, could you use some encouragement and support? Put your ear buds in for this Christian parenting podcast and get practical, faith-based inspiration through all stages of parenting. Hosted by Dr. Danny Huerta, in every 8 to 15 minute episode, you’ll hear parenting experts share Biblical truths, effective parenting techniques, and useful resources that will help you feel equipped as a mom or dad in today’s culture.
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Learn How to Speak Your Strong-Willed Child's Language

In this free 6-part video series, Cynthia Tobias, author of many popular parenting books including You Can’t Make Me, explains why your strong-willed child thinks in certain ways and gives you effective tools you can use when communicating with him or her. Start today!

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