What is ‘purposeful parenting’ and how can your family benefit?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has designated July as Purposeful Parenting Month. Here are some ways you can approach your child when they act out, and help them learn the skills they need to grow in the future.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has designated July as Purposeful Parenting Month.

When it comes to parenting, there are many styles.

One approach, called purposeful parenting, is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. But what is it?

Purposeful parenting involves setting long-term goals for your kids and then parenting intentionally to help them achieve those goals. Ask yourself what traits you want your kids to have as adults. Maybe it’s hard work? Or intelligence? Or compassion? You essentially work backward with the result in mind.

If a child is throwing a tantrum, a purposeful parent might try to find the motivation behind the action. Are they tired, scared, or do they want attention? Once you’ve figured out the purpose, you can help your child learn skills to avoid the negative behavior.

The approach also involves meeting your child’s physical needs, setting expectations, showing love and acceptance, and being positive and playful. It’s a strategy that can help parents and kids grow in their relationship.

Being purposeful doesn’t mean you’ll be the perfect parent. Just try your best. Studies have shown that parents who work hard to have positive relationships with their children are more likely to have kids with a higher self-esteem and they are less likely to suffer from depression.