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Purposeful Parenting in a New Light

My initial blogging experience brought the below post for just a little more than two years ago.  It’s a bit funny to read now, knowing how different our lives are – hot dogs are now organic, picnics are missing anything with cheese or bread, and I never knew ice cream could taste quite so yummy coming from coconut milk.  Ah, the life of a family with a gluten-free, casein-free diet in its midst!

Purposeful parenting month certainly still intrigues me … and I think I may find it even more important now than prior to Day 1, Step 1

July is National Purposeful Parenting Month. Did you know that July is National Picnic month? It’s also National Outdoor month, National Hot Dog month, National Blueberry Month, and National Ice Cream month. Now, in my house, any of those are reason for celebration!

It’s nice to know that, with the aid of the Internet, we can find numerous reasons to celebrate every month – in fact, every day – of the year. In my search to find all the various reasons for celebration over the upcoming weeks, I also learned that July is National Purposeful Parenting month.

That one really intrigued me.

The purpose of the month is to build strong, caring, nurturing families – regardless of what your family structure is – and to teach our children the values we want to them to have when they grow into parents themselves.  Now that’s a pretty tall order for a single month of the year.

I love the concept, but purposeful parenting – and the instillation of values in our children – can’t truly be relegated to a single month of the year. But we certainly can use the month to recommit ourselves to taking the steps necessary to make sure our kids are learning those values. We can decide now to start a new daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly tradition that exemplifies a value we want them to have.

In July, when we celebrate the bravery of those men (and Traditional Moms of the day!) fought for our nation’s freedom, we can teach our children about courage.

On your next family game night, talk to them about persevering even in the face of defeat.  On the next trip to the park, encourage your child to slide down that big, scary slide to learn it’s not so scary after all.

Encourage your son or daughter to ask a new child in the neighborhood to play. Even keep track of those “acts of courage” on little notecards that you can save for the day they look to teach their own children that value. It’s a priceless gift that costs no money at all.

And maybe, just for fun, in National Picnic-Hot Dog-Blueberry month, you can plan a fun picnic lunch with hot dogs before taking the kids to pick blueberries at a nearby patch. (Oh – and if you don’t have a nearby blueberry patch, July is also National Blackberry month, National Raspberry month, and National Peach month. Surely that covers most of us.)

Just be sure to have your picnic before the last week of the month – that’s Don’t Eat Meat week. Sort of conflicts with the hot dogs, huh?


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