How to Become a Purposeful Father and Mother

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Saturday, July 06, 2024
By coralgables_admin

By: Izakun Cruz, LMFT

When I read about purposeful parenting, the first word that caught my attention was “purposeful.” As a mother myself, I’ve been navigating the challenging waters of parenting for 15 years. It’s a journey filled with highs and lows, and just when I think I’ve got it figured out, a new wave of challenges appears. I’m sure many of you can relate to this experience.

Parenting is a profound and challenging experience. We strive to be the best we can be, juggling our parental roles with other aspects of our lives. Sometimes we can be the working parent, the tired, the sick, the mistreated, the grieving, the hungry, the unsatisfied, the anxious, the confused, the depressed, and the unmotivated. Yet, we persevere, determined to excel in this significant role of our lives to be the best mom and dad for our kids. Our resilience in the face of these challenges is a testament to our strength and determination.

DAD AND LITTLE GIRL

Understanding the essence of ‘purposeful’ can guide us in fulfilling the dreams we have for our children. ‘Purpose’ signifies a clear intention, resolute action, directed towards a specific goal, and a focus on behaviors and plans.

The key to becoming a purposeful parent is understanding WHY we do what we do and HOW we choose our actions when educating kids.

Strategies to manage the “why” and “how”:

  • “I want my kid to become independent”: allow the child to make age-appropriate decisions and face natural consequences to help cultivate problem-solving skills. Show them that you trust them, and they will trust that they can make it.
  • “I want my child to see me as a role model.” Children often imitate their parent’s attitudes and behaviors, sometimes demonstrating our positive and negative sides as mirrors. It’s important to remember that it’s okay not to be perfect. We all have struggles and moments of pain. By showing our children how we handle these troubles, we can teach them valuable lessons in resilience and acceptance.
  • “I want my children to manage their emotions.”: Emotional intelligence is another area of focus. Teach children to recognize and express their feelings appropriately, and they will develop coping strategies for stress and frustration.
  • “I want my kid to love me”: prioritizing quality time with them will teach them how love should be expressed. Give time for meaningful activities such as playing, reading, and discussing various topics. This will strengthen the parent-child bond, creating lasting memories. To love back, they first need to be loved and cherished.
  • “I want my kid to behave good.” There often needs to be more clarity around disciplining and setting boundaries. Setting consistent and appropriate boundaries sets clear rules and expectations, providing children with a sense of security and understanding of acceptable behavior. Always listen to your children’s behavioral challenges; that is the message of unhappiness, unsafety, or a mental struggle that needs your attention.

Lastly, self-care for parents is essential, and I would like to highlight it. Balancing personal needs with parental responsibilities ensures parents can provide their children with the best support. When we are fulfilled and well-rested, we can better provide focus and attention to our purpose as parents, being more patient, energetic, and empathetic.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“Purposeful parenting is not about perfection, but about being present, empathetic, and a consistent source of support and guidance.” Izakun Cruz, LMFT

CHILD AND ADULT HOLDING HANDS

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