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The ninth part of our ABC’s of Parenting Series is The letter I.

The letter “I” has a full range of words that relate to Parenting! Below is a small list that we think are important while dealing with our kids. We have included our thoughts, tips and tricks as related to the letter I.


Do you have an idol? Someone you look up to or that you greatly admire? When you think about that person, what are the qualities that drawn you to them? Our children also have or will have idols. Someone they will want to model themselves after or strive to be. Pay attention to who those idols are. These idols will be the ones shaping how they behave at school, in their relationships with you and with their peers and also will influence how they handle problem situations.


Imaginative play is so very important in child development. It develops a high self esteem, helps in friend making and kids who are creative in their minds are often the best problem solvers. As a parent, we sometimes become the director. If you want your children to develop good imaginations, let them direct their own play. Give them the opportunity to pretend and create with their own minds. Get them outside and encourage them to use nature as their backdrop to creating a fun play world.


Children can be so demanding and will surely want their needs to be met immediately. Use caution in always promptly catering to their every request. Teach your children patience by allowing them to wait for the things they want. Teach them to use good manners when asking for things and when receiving the things they want. Reward good behavior and guide them to understand that not everything happens at the moment they want it to. Set them up for success in later years by teaching them young.

Consequences are most effective when done immediately. If you want your child to understand the connection between the punishment and what they did (the action) you need to make sure not to delay the consequence. If too much time passes they just will not understand the connection.


Allow your family to be perfectly imperfect! There will be flaws, there will be errors and most certainly there will be problems. Learn to love the imperfect and embrace the incompleteness so you can celebrate when things are seemingly going perfectly well.

Remember that we all make mistakes, we all blow up at times, we all get anxious and nervous and we all are learning this parenting thing. Don’t beat yourself up over your flaws and embrace your mistakes. Use your mistakes to teach your kids that everyone makes mistakes and show them how to move forward from them.


Figuring out what is important in life can be so difficult. In this society it often feels like the focus is put on material things; the latest technology or the prettiest car. But really, is that what matters? Is that what you want your kids to learn to be the important things in life? My thought is the important things are family, relationships, time and effort. What you focus your attention on seems to grow and flourish, like sunlight and water to a plant.


Most research says that the most impressionable years for children is birth to three months old. Children are influenced by their experiences. They are so easily impressed and influenced by the people around them. They are like a sponge, they soak up everything around them. Consider how impressionable your kids are when you think about your own behavior. Kids learn from our actions, not our words. They take more from what they see than what they hear. If you look at your actions around your kids, do you like what they will see?


Be incredible and allow your child to be incredible. What does it mean to be an incredible parent? Create a positive environment and give your kids the positive life. A positive heart is something they catch from you, something they learn from their small world. Motivate your kids by working with them to reach their own goals. Show them how to be a goal setter and also how to achieve their own success. Sometimes you will have to sacrifice your own time and energy to work with them, but they will see it and appreciate it. Focus on communicating as a family. Discuss the hard topics and enjoy the easy talks. Provide a safe environment for your kids. Let them know your boundaries and your expectations. Show them gratitude, appreciate them and let them know that you do.


Teaching independence is so important, honestly it one of your most important teachings as a parent. Raising children who grow up to be independent and resilient is a huge undertaking that can be quite frustrating at times. If you want your kids to grow to be adults who can solve their own world problems, you must focus on teaching them the important skill of independence. Encourage your kids to help you around the house, teach them important life skills and develop strong problem solving skills. Be creative in your teaching and your children will learn to be creative in their approach to life.


There are many different forms of intelligence. Being smart about nature, in music, with numbers and math, life, people, body and word smarts. These are all areas where you can teach intelligence. Guiding your children through these areas and teaching them about the world around them will create a well rounded intelligence, which is something worth thinking about as a parent.


Being intentional in your life and in your parenting will teach your kids the value of family. When you know what matters to you as a person and know what matters to you in your parenting you will have a goal and a plan in your parenting. Being intentional means you put your focus on what is important to you. You are able to recognize that your time with your young kids is limited and then you can put your focus on them, while you still have that time.

I is for Intentional
I is for Intentional


The type of person you are and your experiences will greatly shape who you are as a parent. The internal part of you determines how you raise your kids. If you are optimistic, you will have a more positive parenting style. If you are affectionate this will be how you are with your children. Internal thoughts and feelings are so deep in you, they are a huge part of your style.



What is your favorite parenting word that starts with the letter I? Feel free to share in the comments!

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