Intentional parenting…

…it’s one of my passions. I remember this concept coming into focus nine years ago. My oldest was turning nine and I realized at that point that we were half done with our time with her!

Of course, there is more time than that, but I was going on the expectation that she would be leaving for college and my day in and day out living with her would come to an end. That my day in and day out opportunities to guide, influence, smile at, tuck in, look across the room at, hug and reassure were at half-time. This awareness caused my heart to skip a beat, but it also made me even more intentional.

Recently, I had the privilege of speaking to the MOPS group at Sonrise Church about this topic and I referenced several books we have used in our parenting journey. I am putting this list here and what I appreciated about each one.

The Bible in Pictures for Little Eyes by Kenneth Taylor
I loved that the stories were simple and short, but what I appreciated most were the three questions at the end of each reading. It provided us an opportunity to talk about the story and ensure comprehension.

Sticky Situations – 365 Devotions for Elementary Kids by Betsy Schmitt

We used this book at dinner as a way to talk about topics that we might not otherwise touch on. Our kids enjoyed it when we pulled this book out.

Praying the Bible for Your Children by Heather and David Kopp
Kevin and I continue to take this book out and pray the prayers written in this book. We love that there is an open space for us to insert our kids names into the prayer and that the prayers are scripture based.

An Introduction to Family Nights: Family Nights Tool Chest By Heritage Builders
This was a really wonderful and creative way to begin some fun and meaningful family interactions. So much fun!

Journey to the Cross by Helen Haidle
This is an exceptional resource to use during the Lent season! We have used this several years in a row. We read it at the dinner table and have learned much about the many symbols of Easter as well as some history and context. (I love when I can learn even as I’m teaching!)

Resurrection Eggs – Not a book but an excellent resource for sure! It’s a dozen plastic eggs filled with the symbols of Easter. There are also little stories that explain each symbol. This is when my kids really understood the story and symbols of Easter.

Keep the Siblings, Lose the Rivalry by Dr. Todd Cartmell
I attended one of Dr. Cartmell’s workshops when my kids were younger and learned so much! This book is full of great insights and practical family tools. A book I recommend frequently.

The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman & Ross Campbell
If you have not read the original The Five Love Languages book, I would recommend that as well. This is especially helpful for the marriage. (just sayin’)

The current book I am reading and recommending is You’re Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen. I am loving this book because it is providing some enlightenment about mother-daughter conversations. I am sure I will write more about this soon.

Now, something fun! A Give Away!! ´╗┐Because I love to share resources, I am inviting you to share about book or other resource you have found helpful in your parenting journey.
Here’s the deal:
Leave a comment with your resource name and the reason you liked it. If I receive 25 comments from 25 different people, I will throw all of you in a hat and draw a name. If its you, you can pick one of my resources listed here and I will send you a new copy!
Feel free to share this blog with others to ensure we get 25 comments! I cant wait to hear from you!
Resources shared so far by readers:
  1. Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Dr. Kevin Leman
    Because it keeps us focused on remaining non-emotional, simple, intentional – and letting natural consequences, reality discipline do the work. It just makes sense – simple and intentional.   ~ Myah
  2. Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof. …because it talks about how our kids benefit as parents partner with the church and vice versa to make a greater impact than those two influences alone…encouraging for me as a mom to think about how my own kids will benefit as I “widen the circle” and intentionally involve other godly adults in their lives. ~ Deanna
  3. Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date – 8 Steps to No Regrets by Dennis Rainey We LOVE this book because it gives the blueprint to talking to our daughter’s dates about her value and our expectations. This can feel like an awkward conversation, but one we cannot be afraid of having.  ~ Sheri Carlstrom
  4. Boundaries with Kids by Drs. Cloud & Townsend. It has taught me to be consistent without raising my voice, and how to teach my kids that my no means no regardless of their reaction. ~ Janna
  5. Passport2Purity – By Family Life
  6. Parenting Today’s Adolescent – Helping Your Child Avoid the Traps of the PreTeen and Teen Years by Dennis & Barbara Rainey
  7. So You’re About to be a Teenager by Dennis & Barbara Rainey. The reason I love these resources(#5,6 & 7) is that they gave us a very deliberate time to have difficult, uncomfortable, hugely important conversations that might otherwise be easy to put off until “tomorrow.” For more on these resources, click on “Comments” and read more from Debbie.

6 thoughts on “Intentional parenting…

  1. Josh and I ordered Sticky Situations and the Family Night Tool Chest after you spoke to our MOPS group! We like them both, so I'm hoping to win something else! :) Anyway… we too are very passionate about intentional parenting. We have found the book Making Children Mind without Losing Yours to be very valuable tool in our parenting – and have read it a few times. A good read – and I highly recommend! :)

  2. oh, sorry, Sheri – forgot about that part :) We really like the book because it keeps us (mostly me) focused on remaining non-emotional, simple, intentional – and letting natural consequences, reality discipline do the work. It just makes sense – simple and intentional.

  3. Love this post! Thanks for more info on all of these great resources. My favorite parenting book of the last year or so has been: Parenting Beyond Your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof. http://www.amazon.com/Parenting-Beyond-Your-Capacity-Community/dp/1434764818/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1298947781&sr=8-1 I love this book because it talks about how our kids benefit as parents partner with the church and vice versa to make a greater impact than those two influences alone. It's totally the "ORANGE" concept and was very inspiring and encouraging for me as a mom to think about how my own kids will benefit as I "widen the circle" and intentionally involve other godly adults in their lives. Also, it has some AWESOME, AWESOME real life, inspiring stories of what some other parents have done really well! (I LOVE Kevin Leman books, too!) :)

  4. Look at you, you're like Oprah. :)
    My current favorite is Boundaries with Kids by Drs. Cloud & Townsend. It has taught me to be consistent without raising my voice, and how to teach my kids that my no means no regardless of their reaction. There is much more peace in my home now! Thank you for sharing your tools with us.

  5. Great resources, Sheri! I see many favorites, and a few to add to my library.

    I can strongly recommend a set of resources that we have used recently from Family Life. The key pieces are called Passport 2 Purity, which has a parent manual, a student manual, and a set of audio cd's. The box set we purchased also had "Parenting Today's Adolescent" and "So You're About to be a Teenager." All of these are by Dennis & Barbara Rainey.

    The reason I love these resources is that they gave us a very deliberate time (weekend getaway for parents & 1 almost teen), to have difficult, uncomfortable, hugely important conversations that might otherwise be easy to put off until "tomorrow." And the sessions were fun–lots of hands on illustrations. We laid a clear, specific foundation of our values in terms of dating, drugs, friend relationships, and so many other things. It also allowed our daughter to draw specific boundaries for herself that she can cling to when she's tempted in the future.

    Obviously a weekend away with cd's are only 1 step in transmitting our values, but the way our daughter felt respected, loved, treasured, and valued from our taking the time with her opens the door for many other little conversations along life's way. As an aside, the "program" recommends a dad with a son and a mom with a daughter for the weekend away, but I strongly recommend both parents attend if possible (Dad gave us privacy for the body change section), because kids need to hear from both parents in most of these issues.

    Thanks for your encouragement, Sheri!

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