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Parenting is hard work.

Being a father of just one child, who can barely stand – I am beginning to understand the needs and the obligation of
being a parent. Not only that, but as someone who regularly talks to teenagers, I also realized how important
intentionality is when it comes to parenting.

One sad reality that I have learned by being with kids, teens and even young adults is that biological relationship will not
guarantee a good relationship. So many young adults or even adults today have strained relationship with their parents,
which are for most cases are entirely preventable.

The key to making things happen with our relationship with our children is by being intentional. Are you an intentional
parent? Here are some of the quick questions to ask yourself whether you are truly intentional or not:

1. Who are your children’s best buddies at school? How well do you know their friends?
2. Do you know whether your child has a crush in their school?
3. What are their favorite music, books or things to do?
These questions while very simple strikes a chord to each of us. As parents, we believe that our main priority is to provide
for the material needs of our children. But the truth is that money is not the only thing they need. They need what
parents can offer which is love.

But how can you start building the right foundations to your children? Here are three basic, doable and meaningful things
you can start doing to be an intentional parent: Choose to ACT.

1. Affirmation

Affirmation is more than kind words, it expresses emotional support and encouragement. Whenever
we express our affirmation to our kids, something beautiful is created in their hearts. My baby, which is just six
months old, I believe already asks for affirmation. Every time she holds something new, she looks to me and
waits for my nod before she plays with the thing she has in her hands. Affirmation helps build trust. According
also to Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial development table, a child has needs that needs to be met during every life
stage – and guess what, most of it can be hit if we become more affirmative to our children. I also have heard
personal stories of teenagers who wanted nothing more than to be affirmed. They rebel, they fail to love and
they sometimes get misunderstood. But the truth of the matter is, most of their issues can be resolved by just
the affirming words of their parents.

2. Communication

If relationships between spouses are nurtured through two way communication, how much
more will it be beneficial to father-son or mother-daughter relationships? Take time to listen to our children. They
may be saying their struggles, their fears or worries. Be aware of how they act around you. Communication isn’t
always about words.

3. Time

In a previous article written here, we learned that kids spell love time. Time is a currency that we can
never get back. And when we decide to give it to our children, we are saying that they matter to us more than
they can ever imagine. Start spending time with them more. You may realize that all they wanted is not the
latest gadgets, a bigger allowance, or a boyfriend – but just more time with you.

Choosing to act as an intentional parent will have its cost. Pride needs to be removed and we need to be patient not only
with our kids but also with ourselves.


About The Author

Manuel is a guy who loves books. He enjoys reading and does it whenever he can. If he’s not reading, he spends time with his family and also ministers to teenagers in a local church. He does public speaking and talks about issues concerning the youth and young professionals. An Oleia topical oil user and content contributor.