As an intentional parent, each day you make children a priority, setting aside your needs and agenda to raise a responsible adult. Your career, your checkbook, and even your desire for a squeaky-clean house all comes after the family. Every moment you set aside to play with your children or talk with them sends the message: “You matter!” Every time you put away your own fears and insecurities and teach them about sex, drugs and morality, you tell them: “You’re important to me!” It demonstrates your decision to love and respect them.
Remember the old saying, “Monkey see, monkey do?” It always applies to parenting. Your little ones will learn from your example. Whether it’s good or bad, they will follow your lead. They notice what you watch on television. They notice what sports teams you like. They hear the positive or sarcastic comments you make in the car. You do them a lifetime favor by modeling an appropriate example in every area of your life.
Their success is your long-term investment that will yield great dividends. Just remember:
- Get started early. It’s best not to wait until your children are teenagers to suddenly decide to take interest in them.
- Keep a long-term perspective. There will be times when you’ll think you’ll never make it beyond a certain challenge. You will! Take a step back and regain perspective. You’ll get there.
- Fight against discouragement. Don’t give up. The final chapter has not been written. Find a way to occasionally get away from the kids and take care of yourself. For couples, date nights are a must.
Children are a blessing in your life. Help them thrive by setting a good example.
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