Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Intentional Parenting Goals

When I first started teaching, our school was just transitioning to a Classical Christian approach.  In planning meetings, we were talking about how to plan the things a student would learn in their 12(ish) years at our school.  Someone wise (wish I remembered who!) said that in planning, asking "what do we want our kindergarteners to be able to do?" was the wrong approach.  Rather, we should start at the top, "What do we want our graduates to look like?" and work our way backward.

This has been resonating in my mind as I have thought about raising Sophie.  I've been thinking a lot about making the most of the time I have at home with her and being intentional in the things I am teaching her thoughout the course of our day. Not focusing on what I want our one-year-old to be able to do, but instead what we want her to look like as an adult.  What kind of person do we want her to be?  How can we begin to cultivate these traits in her now?

Some things we want are skills we want her to have.  Other things are more abstract like a love for God's Word and for good literature.  But I know that the things she's exposed to now are laying the groundwork for who she will become as a child, teen, and eventually a woman.

This list is a work in progress. One that I may unpack more at a later date and elaborate on the ways I'm trying to develop these traits or skills.  But for now it's just a working list - something to organize the big thoughts swirling around in my mind.

The website Intentional Parents (something I just googled when I was thinking about this post!) breaks the idea of intentional parenting into five categories, which seemed to make sense to my color-coded list-making mind. :)  So I will use their categories to (try to) organize my thoughts.

In no particular order, this is the type of person we want our daughter to grow into as an adult.

The Bible

1.  A true disciple of Christ 
2.  A lover of God's Word who is confident in her knowledge of the Bible
3.  A woman of Prayer

Enjoyable Pastimes

4.  A lover of good books
5.  An appreciator of the beauty in art, music, and the world around her
6.  Passionate about a hobby and desiring to use it for the glory of God


7.  A lover of wisdom and knowledge
8.  A reader and a thinker
9.  Understands that all truth is God's truth and that by learning about the world around us we learn more about Him


10.  A woman who loves her family
11.  Compassionate and generous
12.  Hard-working and diligent
13.  A servant leader
14.  A good steward of the resources God has given her
15.  Grateful - knows that every good and perfect gift is from God
16.  Honest
17.  Respectful of authority

Home Skills

18.  A competent home manager
19.  A woman who is not afraid of a tool box or a flat tire
20.  A woman who will one day be a faithful and supporting wife to her husband

I know that this is a huge list, and I'm sure there are many more things I am forgetting to even think about!  However, I know that it is only by the grace of God that our daughter will become any of these things.  Clay and I can be faithful to teach her and guide her in these areas, but it is God who will develop her heart and grow her into the woman he desires her to be.  I want to be sure that I am doing my part in praying these things for her and doing my best to model them in my own life.  Many of these we are already working to plant seeds in her heart:  praying with her, teaching her to say thank you, reading lots of stories, and having her help with laundry are all ways we can begin to work on these qualities with her. 

Have you thought about what you want your child to look like as adult?  It's scary to think about, but I know that whether I'm thinking about it or not, Sophie is learning from us every single day!  I want to be intentional about the things we're teaching her.

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