Intentional Parenting: Welcome to My Book

Wednesday August 4, 2010

Intentional Parenting is the title of chapter three, and it’s just what it sounds like -- parenting on purpose, with intent. When you have more than one child, it’s really important to know each one individually. That doesn’t happen on its own; it takes time and effort. This chapter explains the importance of intentional parenting and gives tips to help you make it a priority.

And when they’re all the same gender, it’s easy to slip into stereotypes and expect them all to be the same. Even though I thought I knew better, somehow I expected dealing with #2 would be much like dealing with #1. And it wasn’t. I couldn't slide along with what I thought I knew or what I had learned with #1. I had to be intentional about parenting. And I learned more about this, boy...after boy...after boy.

If you want to parent on purpose, with intent, there are three things to keep in mind:

The first is priorities. You have to put intentional parenting in the forefront. Good parenting doesn’t happen on autopilot.

The second is stereotypes. The common “boy” stereotype can be a real pitfall for a mom. The image of a strong, able creature that needs absolutely no help from Mom couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s also important to remember that Boy #2 will not fit the mold of Boy #1.

The third is differences. Obviously, these boy characters are different from us moms. But they need our different perspective. Some boy moms let their sons go their own way simply because they are so different and Mom can’t relate. When you do that, you pass up the opportunity for the nurturing that leads to a close mother-son relationship. You lose the chance to teach them about relating to a female, too.

This chapter outlines four specific ways to nurture your sonsphysically, intellectually, socially, and spiritually. There are practical ideas to help you cultivate each area. Whether you have boys, girls, or a mix, you’ll find plenty of hints for fostering well-rounded kids.

One note: my book contains insights gleaned from my own experience (that means stories from the house of four boys), from other boy moms, and from parenting experts, too. I think you'll find it a mix that is touching, humorous and practical.

Chapter 4 is up next. Next Wednesday, check in for a preview of The Education of Boys -- from the perspective of a mom who also happens to be a teacher!


Heidi @ Decor & More said...

Great tips and so true!

Diane said...

I have learned the stereotype one with my son especially. He is not currently involved with sports until he can handle competition better even though every other kid his age is involved in everything imaginable. :O)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

It sounds wonderful!
I've tried to take time every once in a while to reflect on what kind of job we're doing with each of our children, what things do we need to help them work on, how can we encourage each of them, given their personalities and interests. For me, I need to evaluate periodically and set goals or I just feel we're drifting, dealing with whatever life gives them.
Thanks Laura! I really look forward to reading your book!

Victoria said...

I'm really looking forward to your book! You've got a great deal of insight and this chapter really sounds like one I need to read.

Karen said...

Your book is wonderful. I'm enjoying reading it again!

Laura said...

Thanks for this sneak peek into your book, Laura! I have been trying to be more intentional with my parenting lately so this really meets me where I am right now. Thanks for the insights.

Natalie said...

I'm just really starting to realize that different kids need different parenting. What works for one doesn't neccesarily (sp?) work for the others. It's a slippery slope I'm learning to climb :)

Michelle DeRusha said...

Boy, I made that very mistake with boy #2 - -I espected him to be quite like boy #1...come to find out, they couldn't be more different. It took a LONG time for me to figure out that boy #2 needed different parenting techniques -- I couldn't just squeeze him into the mold. I wish I'd realized it sooner -- I just kept trying and trying to fit him into boy #1 mold. It took me a while, but I am finally appreciating his uniqueness for what it is -- a richness that is all his own.

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