Parenting In Faith“Purposeful Parenting”

By Donna Rayburn

uly is National Purposeful Parenting Month in the U.S. Purposeful parenting is designed to elevate the level of parental effectiveness by building awareness and providing interested participants with tips for positive, conscientious parenting.I thought it was so interesting that there is actually a month dedicated to raising awareness for parents to become actively involved in their children’s lives. It states the basics of knowing what your kids are up to and setting some positive boundaries to guide their behavior and decisions. Purposeful parenting helps you to teach good organizing skills to your kids, from learning how to manage their time, to keeping their rooms in order, to understanding responsibilities to others. But it also helps you make time to spend with your children and avoid conflicts (over bedtimes and homework and “Why can’t I sign up for this class or that”) before they start. I encourage you to take time this month to examine what works and what doesn’t, as it relates to parenting your children. In Proverbs 2:6, the Bible tells us, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  When we turn to God, the divine Parent, for our parenting inspiration, our children are inspired as well. To celebrate Purposeful Parenting Month, we can do a variety of simple and easy things to create a more positive and loving home. Before we know it, they’ll be all grown up and moving on with their own lives. I don’t want to make the all-too-common parenting mistake of thinking that giving my children  material things is more important than spending time with them. Once those years are gone, we can’t bring back them back, so let’s not skimp.Here are some family togetherness ideas: summer picnics, going to the beach, a backyard barbeque, going to sporting events, going bowling, cooking together, fishing, bike riding, doing puzzles, playing miniature golf, going to the zoo or museum, playing board games (my personal favorite), camping, making ice cream, building a family tree, doing kids crafts, going to the park, going to the library or playing frisbee.”You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who’ve never had any.” — Bill Cosby, Fatherhood”The family should be a closely knit group. The home should be a self-contained shelter of security; a kind of school where life’s basic lessons are taught; and a kind of church where God is honored; a place where wholesome recreation and simple pleasures are enjoyed.” — Billy Graham, “My Answer,” syndicated newspaper column”Where will our country find leaders with integrity, courage, strength—all the family values—in 10, 20 or 30 years? The answer is that you are teaching them, loving them and raising them right now.”  – Barbara BushDonna Rayburn is a local resident and mother of four children and author of I Accidentally…, a story about her son’s kindergarten adventures. E-mail her at

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