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Truth is, if you homeschool, then you are intentional in your parenting. It would sure be a lot easier to let the kids get on the magic golden bus and disappear for eight hours each day. But you didn't choose that because you didn't think it was best for your children. You prayed, weighed your options, and decided that it would be better for your children if they learned at home.
That's really what intentional parenting is: not doing what is easiest in the moment, but doing what's best for your children's future. You've already got the homeschooling thing down, so let's look at a couple of other areas to consider.
To make it easier, let's start in the future and work backwards. Imagine 30 years from now. Your children are grown and have families of their own. What do you picture in your mind? Is your son sitting in front of the TV watching sporting event after sporting event while his family members do their own thing?
If you don't want him to have that habit in the future, then you have to intentionally create different habits now. Is that easy? Not if you're like me and were weaned on the milk of network television. But intentional parenting says, I don't care how hard it is now . . . I have my eye on the future.
How about another area? Looking into the future, do you see your daughter sitting at her computer chatting away with friends she's never met while neglecting her family's needs and her relationships with the real people who live in her house? If you don't want that for her in the future, then you will need to limit her texting/facebooking time now.
Would it be easier to just let your kids do what everyone else is doing? Yes, but that is not intentional parenting. There are a hundred other areas which you need to consider and take the high road.
But one more before I go . . . and it's for you, Dad. Imagine your grown son working late into the evening to build his career while his children long for their daddy to come home and his wife's heart has grown cold and empty.
My fellow dads, if you don't want that for your sons, then you must model something different. Because if you work too much, your boys will work too much. Intentional parenting ain't easy . . . but it is worth it in the end.
Published on May 8, 2009
Todd Wilson, “The Familyman,” author of Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe, Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom, and The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons, is a dad, writer, conference speaker, and former pastor. Todd’s humor and gut-honest realness have made him a favorite speaker at homeschool conventions across the country and a guest on Focus on the Family. Todd and his wife Debbie homeschool their eight children in northern Indiana when they’re not traveling around the country encouraging moms and dads. You can visit Familyman Ministries at www.familymanweb.com.
Copyright 2008. Originally appeared in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Winter 2008/09. Used with permission. Visit them at www.TheHomeschoolMagazine.com. For all your homeschool curriculum needs visit the Schoolhouse Store. Check out past issues of the The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, including curriculum reviews and more!
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