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‘The intentional parent loves big.’ 5 ways to go through parenting with more purpose

There are a few things you can do to be a more intentional parent.

They say the days are long, but the years are short when it comes to raising kids. We hear that all the time. It’s easy to let time pass by without fully savoring the moments, but not if you parent intentionally.

Studio 5 Parenting Contributor Heather Johnson believes the intentional parent loves big and sees clearly.


Intentional in Any Stage

Heather reassured us that being an intentional parent doesn’t depend on what stage of parenting you’re in.

“It’s not about if you have little kids, so be intentional if you have college age, or if you have grandchildren. Being intentional is a decision that we make, and it’s a working plan that we put together.”

The Power of Intention

Heather said that being intentional in parenting “…means that we take the time to decide where we want to end up in our parenting. What type of relationships we want to have long term. So, it’s end goal first.”

This doesn’t mean you have one big parenting goal. Instead, it’s about having lots of little values and principles. For example, do you want to be connected to your children when they’re 40? Do you want to make memories? These are the questions that guide your intentional parenting journey.

Seeing with Intention

One of the key aspects of intentional parenting is seeing with intention.

“An intentional parent sees a child as a person, not as an object,” Heather said. “They don’t see their kids as being in the way. They see them as having hopes and dreams and good days and bad days and strengths and weaknesses just like we do.”

This shift in perspective is crucial. It’s about framing these little people as human beings with their own experiences and emotions. It’s also about being intentional in the way we see ourselves.

“We have to see ourselves that way and also see ourselves through a lens of grace to know that we are going to work every day on purpose to create these memories and experiences and to connect,” Heather added.

Loving with Intention

Loving with intention means never withholding love, regardless of what our children do or what kind of day we’re having.

“That we make a decision right now that regardless of what our children do, regardless of the day I’m having, regardless of what our family is going through, that we will not use love in any way as a weapon,” Heather said.

This also means offering empathy. “Empathy and love are connected. When we’re empathetic towards them, we’re loving them,” Heather explained. This requires us to put ourselves in a position where we look and we say, “I’m going to be very intentional with the empathy that I offer you, which means I’m not going to judge. I am just going to wrap my arms around you and love you.”

Communicating with Intention

Intentional parents are also very deliberate about their communication. They prioritize connection over being right.

“When we’re communicating, we have to choose that. An intentional parent is also very willing to repair, which means they’re willing to look at a space where there’s been a disconnect of some sort. They’ll go back and replace it with connection and take responsibility for their part in the disconnect,” Heather said.

Acting with Intention

Finally, acting with intention means setting boundaries and making time for your children every day.

“An intentional parent sets aside time every day to connect with their children,” Heather emphasized.

It also means infusing meaning into everyday tasks. “Acting with intention means we’re infusing meaning into everything. Everything we can possibly get our hands on,” Heather concluded.

To contact Heather for counseling, email, or visit

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