The parent is a child’s first teacher. Teachers work with lesson plans to ensure that the child learns what they need to move on to the next level toward a goal, which is graduation. Parents, however, do not have lesson plans. Sure, they have health guidelines, milestones, and millions of parenting how-to books, but is there a goal in mind?
The Intentional Parent Method was developed to help parents teach and train their children with thoughtfulness. It follows the Hebrew definition of “teach” which meant that relationships are built and time is spent on the person. Through observation and interaction, parents are able to pass on “gifts” to their children with a goal in mind. That goal is to raise children with gifts that will benefit them spiritually, physically, socially, mentally, emotionally, and practically.
Before starting a lifestyle as an intentional parent, it is important to know yourself as a parent. Is God’s purpose in your mind? What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have the maturity that will help you improve your relationship with your children and demonstrate the values that you teach as a role model? As a parent, you will seek patience, consistency, and balance, especially when dealing with teens or children with special needs. Asking God for guidance can help the intentional parent give the child what is best and most helpful to them.
What are those gifts?
These gifts, which are organized to make the word TEACH, build relationships which encourage the growth of the child as a Christian and a productive adult later in life. They will be creative, strong, and faithful based on the relationships that started with their first teacher: their parent.
Mimi Rothschild is a veteran homeschooling mother of 8, writer of a series of books called Cyberspace for Kids, and passionate advocate for children and education that is truly worthy of them. In 2001, Mimi and her late husband founded Learning By Grace, a leading provider of online Christian homeschooling Academies.