Family Character Focuses™

It’s easy as a parent to feel like time is slipping away – a million good intentions that keep getting put off until this, that, or the other lines up properly.

But that stops now. (<— some thoughts on jumping in with both feet and starting before you feel ready)

Two things we have purposed to get better at this year are relationships and intentional parenting.


Family Character Focuses™: Simplifying Intentional Parenting - activities, tips, printables, and more to focus on one character trait at a time as a family and make long-lasting progress.

Below we’ll outline the method we’re trying this year, but first, does your parenting ever look like this?

What’s your default parenting mode?

I feel like our parenting has become pretty scattered. Life happening and all that.

How do we usually decide our kids are ready to try something new or take on a new responsibility? Well, I can tell you it’s generally not through careful deliberation and thoughtful discussion. No. It’s based almost exclusively on pure laziness.

Saturday, lounging in bed on our “free” morning, the kids want more cereal, hmmm… “should we let them take a crack at getting it themselves?” “Ye…s? Sure. If the milk’s not too full they can probably handle that.”

Our policy has always been to have few hard and fast rules so that it’s practical for us to stay consistent on those.

But all the other stuff? It mostly just comes in spurts as we randomly think of it. And then usually quickly forget about a few days later…

And there are so. many. things. that we want to teach our kids, that they need to learn in order to be the kind of adults we are aiming to release into the world to do amazing things.

Quite frankly, it’s completely overwhelming. But…

Parenting well doesn’t have to be so overwhelming.

One of the biggest problems we run into as parents is that life just keeps coming at us. As I like to say, parenting is basically one giant experiment – there’s no tried and true formula that you can just follow because no two kids are the same.

If you’re not super intentional (which is certainly difficult when there are so many things in life to be intentional about), your parenting becomes reactionary by default.

How do you simplify becoming a more intentional parent?

The best way to become more intentional about anything is to adopt little changes and then build on those.

We’ve decided to work together as a family on one main focus per month because:

  • It’s a lot easier, and therefore more practical, to focus on one category at a time – it’s much more common to flit from one thing to the next and never really make much lasting progress in any one area.
  • When you are focusing on something, you’re able to build on it and grow in it much more than if you only think about and try to implement it for a short time.
  • A month is a good amount of time to make some progress – like they say, it takes 21 days to make a habit. This gives you a bit extra so you don’t have to feel so rushed, and because it’s easier to break down and keep track of.

Of course this is still practice, we’re not awesome at it, yet 😉

But we’re inviting you along for the journey! We plan to add a new focus each month, and each focus will be what you may know as “living lists” – updated as we find or as you suggest new resources and ideas. So you’ll be able to jump in any time, and as the focuses get built up you’ll have more to choose from. You can start here, with Love 🙂

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My goal will be to post on the Monday of the last full week of each month so that you have time to see how you may want to implement the ideas into the following month. So a tentative schedule will look like this:

  • April 27, 2015 – Self-Control
  • May 25, 2015 – TBD
  • June 22, 2015 – TBD
  • July 27, 2015 – TBD
  • August 24, 2015 – TBD
  • September 21, 2015 – TBD
  • October 26, 2015 – TBD
  • November 23, 2015 – TBD
  • December 28, 2015 – TBD

Other focuses I’m thinking about/planning for this year are:

  • Heart Attitudes
  • Thankfulness
  • Joy
  • Patience
  • Perseverance
  • Prayer

I’d love to hear any thoughts and ideas you have about this 🙂

Streamline the essentials;
activate your potential.