Parenting with the End in Mind—Theirs Not Yours!

A vital path of mindful parenting is to parent with the end in mind. Visionary parenting is another way of describing this mindset. Discipline, love, structure, boundaries, empathy, and redirecting children’s behavior all contribute to helping a human grow up to be an adult. Children are not just a toddlers, preschoolers, middle schoolers, or teens. 

When we parent, especially in the toughest moments of discomfort, challenge, and testing, we need to remember that we are parenting not only the 3-year-old child in front of us but also the 13-year-old teen to be, or the 23-year-old young adult to be, or the 33-year-old adult to be. And it’s not only about getting through a rough moment for a short-term outcome; it's essential that we keep our parenting hopes for our children front and center. How you respond NOW influences the future and either builds emotional intelligence in our children or not.

Mother and daughter walking in the woods

Peers take a front seat in teenage years so time with our teen is usually limited and competing with socializing, school, and sports or other extra-curriculum activities. Therefore, it can be especially easy to condense our interactions with our teen down to requests or demands. Below are some common parental responses:

  • “Stop fidgeting!”
  • “Remember to take out the trash.”
  • “Have you done your homework?”
  • “It’s getting late, get to bed.”
  • “Be nice to your sister/brother!”

“Adulting” will come all too soon for our children and teens. What are we doing to help them “adult” well?  Are we parenting with the end in mind or are we only trying to make it through the challenge of the moment?

What is the focus of your actions?

Like all goals, when we focus our strengths and actions around keeping the end in mind, we respond rather than react. Visionary parenting requires us to plan differently, and we focus differently, too.

Parent with the End in Mind!

Next time you are struggling with a challenging parenting moment, ask yourself, “What can I do to help my child build skills such as empathy, organization, kindness, or discipline?" [Fill in whatever quality that supports your values.] Ask, "What gift can I give them to carry into their adult world?"

Perhaps, this little opening of mindfulness will help change your parenting style from survival driven to value-driven. Maybe this shift will help you be more responsive and loving to the needs of your child. Perhaps not every time, but either way, pausing will give you an opportunity to take a breath, self-calm, make room for new ideas, and help you more gracefully get through difficult times as a parent.

Related topic: "Visionary Parenting Is the Key to Capable and Happy Children"

For more positive parenting tips or parenting articles to develop visionary parenting, check out Heartmanity's parenting resources.

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Britta Hubbard / Heartmanity ContributorBritta Hubbard / Heartmanity Contributor
Britta Hubbard has been a parent educator, working within the framework of Redirecting Children's Behavior, for four years. Conducting classes, introductory seminars, and over-the-phone sessions to help individuals with their parenting challenges. She has been a Middle School Family and Consumer Science teacher for six years empowering adolescents in personal development and financial education. Her work was featured in Dr. Harry Wong's First Days of School publications and presentations. In addition to these occupations, Britta Hubbard faces her own joys and challenges in navigating the demanding landscape of being a parent of two young boys. She currently lives on Colorado's Western Slope and spends as much time as possible drinking herbal tea with her husband, sons, family, and friends while gazing at the beauty of the world around her.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

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