Lately I’ve become convinced that it matters very little what you teach kids, so long as you have a good answer as to why you are teaching your kids. Now, I’m not saying that teaching evil or foolishness to your kids is ok (it’s not), but I think parents spend a lot of time debating over which right things they should be teaching. The answer to that question, I believe, is to intentionally teach them what you want them to become. If you want them to be financially free, focus your teaching on money. If you want them to be kind, teach them compassion. If smart, then knowledge. If creative, then art or music. You get the picture.
The problem is, we want our kids to be all of these things, so we don’t intentionally prioritize anything. We give them heavy doses of everything and they become exceptional at nothing. I realize there is a balance and that well-rounded exposure is important, but how many of us have certain traits we are intentionally instilling in our children?
For my wife and I, we decided intentional parenting means just that, being intentional! For the past month, we’ve been working on developing a series of values we want our family to be defined by. We are actively hashing out whether it is more important for our children to be intelligent or passionate, loyal or honest, compassionate or hard-working. We realize there are no right answers to many of these questions, but we believe there can be a prioritization in our family. So we have set out on a journey to establish the priorities of our home. To be intentional about what our kids value and what they could’t care less about. In this way, we not only learn what we need to be emphasizing but also what we should be intentionally downplaying. These discussions have been an incredible intentionality exercise with the potential for long-lasting impact on our family.
As we work to finalize the last few concepts, we are also developing a family crest that pictorially emphasizes our priorities as a family. We hope for it to to be a source of inspiration for ourselves and our children for decades to come.
In fact, we have already started reaping the incredible benefit from sowing intentional thoughts, prayers, and discussions into our family.
May God richly bless you and yours as you seek His will for your family!
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