ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Five Strategies for Intentionally Parenting Your Child

Updated on August 16, 2011

Fostering Positive Personalities for your Child

Please do not interpret the title of this hub to say that you can follow the guidelines below and produce your idea of the perfect child… your child is who they are and should be loved and accepted on that basis. These strategies are intended to help parents help themselves become better at their most important job… parenting positively!

1. Intentionally listen to your child. All children communicate their needs, emotions, and beliefs through a variety of media. Young and old children communicate expressively through music, play, storytelling, and drawings. These are great tools your child will use to communicate with you. Floor time with your young child that is directed by your young child will allow you a glimpse into your child’s world and mind. Room or car time with your older child that is directed by your older child will have the same effect. If you find your older child is always plugged into a set of headphones, why not allow them to blast their playlist on the family or car stereo? What an opportunity to hear your older child’s choices in song! Older children often use music as a tool to validate their very new, very raging emotions. Your child’s playlist may be a look into their emotions and thoughts. Take an interest in your older child’s book interests, and read some of their choices yourself. They will often choose books with characters with whom they identify. Ask your young child to tell you a story or draw you a picture about how they feel or what they think about any given topic. Rather than relying on your young child’s developing vocabulary, or your older child’s fragile and developing emotional intelligence, you can give them communication tools that will effectively relay their thoughts.

2. Ask your child for interpretation or clarification of their expressions. NOTE! This does not mean to hound your child for every possible psychologically traumatic tumor that may be lurking in their expressive behaviors. It does mean to ask your child before you form an opinion that is based upon an assumption. By asking your child for clarification you are modeling communication tools that will equip your child for lifelong success. Most importantly, when you ask your child for clarification you say to them, “you are valuable enough to me to listen to you twice”. That speaks volumes to a child who is often asked by our rushed schedules and impatient culture to express himself efficiently rather than effectively. You might try asking for clarification in a variety of ways. Asking a child to tell you about a drawing, why they like a certain song more than others, how they feel when they say such and such, are all excellent ways to get the clarification ball rolling. More direct questions can follow up more vague questions once the conversation has been established. Phrasing is key with older kids. They are often accustomed to being assumed as troublemakers. Use phrasing that is non intrusive and non judgmental. Asking questions tells your child that they are valuable enough that their opinon is worth your seeking.

3. Take an interest in your child’s interests. Take up their hobbies. Follow their sport’s team. Listen to their music. Know their friend’s names, favorite foods, and current issues. Read the books they recommend. Watch movies they talk about watching. This is easier with younger kids than older because they require your involvement. Older kids do not, and they are more easily sucked into their own world. Taking an interest in your child’s hobbies tells your children that they have a voice in the family’s activities. It also tells your children that they are valued and interesting.

4. Trust your child. This is the most difficult strategy for most parents. Again, this speaks volumes to your child’s sense of self worth and value. Trusting your children does not mean you are placing them at risk; it means you are equipping them with strength, confidence, and know-how for later life circumstances. As a teacher of “delinquent” youth (as they were so labeled), I saw first hand, over and over again the benefits reaped by the trusted child versus the damage done to the child about whom the worst was always assumed. Trusting your child with household responsibilities, social privileges, money, the car (I know, EEK!), decision making responsibilities, information, and a variety of other milestones equips him with innumerable life skills.

5. Admit it when you are wrong. This is one of the most important steps a parent can take in raising confident, well equipped children. This is something I have done since my children were very young, and it has paid off. My children respect me without my having to demand it. My children trust me. My children and I have excellent communication. I credit these in part to my admitting when I have been wrong to my children… and apologizing to them for it. My children have been shown how to take personal responsibility and modify a mistake. They also know better than to accuse me… which will no doubt come in handy as the teen years approach!

These strategies are by no means a sure fire formula, an exhaustive list, or a promise of reform. But they are practiced prior to being preached, and I can attest to their success. I have tried these strategies on young children and old children. I have had to modify them for each child, as everyone should. I have found that when children know that they are loved, respected, and safe, they respond much more positively than when they are yelled at, berated, and challenged. I have also learned that there is a lot of gray in between all of those points. I have found more than anything that intentional parenting and teaching produces better results than reactive parenting and teaching. Intentional parenting forsees positive potential; reactive parenting is risky and usually requires damage control.

Positive Parenting Pays Off!

Children who are raised with intentional parenting strategies often reap positive rewards, according to research. Studies indicate that parental involvement plays a key role in student achievement. Students who perform higher academically have a significant advantage in the professional arena as well as realms of higher learning. Refer to the capsule below for a list of articles for further reading.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jennifer Day profile image

      Jennifer Day 

      7 years ago from London (UK)

      Good hub! Especially the part about listening - the best way to know how to guide your child is by knowing how they see the world - and you can of course only do that by listening, preferably without your own agenda! Keep up the good hubs!

    • Rastamermaid profile image


      7 years ago from Universe

      Great stuff with a great purpose, our kids!

      Getting to really know and understand your children takes effort.

      Thanks for sharing!

      Welcome to HP looking forward to more great stuff.

    • Kari Winchester profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Herreman 

      7 years ago from Ontario, California

      Thank you Ingenira. I appreciate the supportive feedback! I seek to boost confidence while promoting empowerment. Thanks for reading!

    • Ingenira profile image


      7 years ago

      Awesome hub with brilliant advice. These approaches are really helpful to boost the confidence in a child. Voted up!

    • manthy profile image


      7 years ago from Alabama,USA

      Really good hub Kari - keep up the good work

    • Kari Winchester profile imageAUTHOR

      Kari Herreman 

      7 years ago from Ontario, California

      Thank you, HennieN! Listening really is key to a mutual relationship, I believe. Assumptions rarely lend to insight that is not our own. Thank you for reading!

    • HennieN profile image


      7 years ago from South Africa

      Brilliant hub - voted up. I agree with you 100% about point 1 -listening. This is possibly the most important one of them all.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)