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  The saying that there is no manual to prepare us to become wonderful parents is false. Being an intentional parent isn’t something that happens instantly. In part 1 of this article, 3 Tips on Being Intentional Parents, we talked of things you can do for your children as an intentional parent. But in this article, the focus is on us as parents. We need to put in the effort to prepare ourselves for the journey in advance. We can do this when we:
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  • Seek Knowledge

No one has exclusive knowledge of the right parenting style for your home. So read as many parenting books as you can lay your hands on. Don’t be too proud to take parenting courses online or attend seminars on parenting. These resources teach you more about yourself and help you become deliberate with your actions. The more you know, the better you will be at becoming a good parent.
  • Evaluate Your Own Home

At the end of every year, we get into a state of sober reflection. This attitude of reflection should also include evaluating our parenting style. It shouldn’t only happen at the end of the year. Have a family retreat every quarter or a family time out where you can get feedback from your children. Use this opportunity to discuss what works or doesn’t work for your home. If your kids are not old enough for this kind of interaction, you and your spouse should find the time to evaluate your home and parenting styles. Addressing shortcomings will reduce the need for a ‘good cop, bad cop’ routine with your children. Having a united front will also improve your parenting.
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  • Be Present & Do The Work

No amount of effort equates to being present. No one can replace you as a parent. Others can do for your kids what you should do for them. But that doesn’t mean you have succeeded as a parent. Anyone who raises your child for you becomes their parent in their eyes. No amount of money in the world can make up for good and present parents. So make out time in your busy schedule to know your children, interact with them and parent them.   
  • Be A Good Role Model

Children look up to us. How we live defines how they see life. So let’s keep our actions in view while around them. Ensure that by your life, values, and actions, you are providing adequate guidance and leadership for your home. Be such an awesome parent that they will look forward to having kids of their own to do the same things with them, too. When they trust you and your intentions, they will learn to love and obey you without the use of physical interventions.   
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  • Get Help

There is no shame in asking for help. If you can afford it, hire a parenting coach to assist. Abroad, social workers usually provide this service too. They aren’t just there to take away children from their parents. In Nigeria, we have relegated social work to religious establishments and one’s affiliation with them. But these days, many people are studying child psychology and obtaining degrees that enable them to become independent parenting coaches. Some have parenting communities on Facebook. And we can discover others through referrals. Reach out to a professional and use their services to become a better parent. The future of our society rests in our hands as parents. Let us do well not to fail future generations by doing our part now. Featured Image Source: Guardian Nigerian News
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This article was first published on 7th May 2022

ann

Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at annesievoadje.blogspot.com.ng. You can reach her at annesievoadje@gmail.com


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