Monday, February 16, 2015

Intent and Parenting

Greetings All:

Last post discussed setting your own intent. How has that been working for you? Are you finding that you are more positive and that you actually get more done?

I would like to discuss intent and parenting. One of the most challenging parts of parenting is to understand the "WHY" of what a child did. We think if we know the "Why" then we can help the child make better choices. Actually the why is less important than the "WHAT". What is the child trying to accomplish? What is the purpose of their choice? What is the INTENT? When we understand the intent of the child, we can usually agree with it, and then we can really teach. We can then help the child make a decision that will accomplish the intent and stay out of trouble.

This works with our self as well. When we become upset what something we did, if we will take a few minutes to discover our real "Intent", we can usually come up with a much better solution.

Example, a child does not do his/her homework. What is his/her intent? Probably to have fun, they do not understand it, they are hungry, tired. When we has what did you really want to do (intent) or accomplish by not doing your homework, we have more information to work with. If it is about having fun, help the child prioritize. Remind him/her that there will be time to play, etc. Help the child understand the concept of getting what you want, by doing what you need to. Children are near sighted when it comes to what they want. They want it now. Helping children learn to delay gratification, be responsible before play, and loving the rewards of accomplishment and what they want is a great life skill lesson

What is the intent for a child lying? It is usually to stay out of trouble, they wish they would have made the better choice, etc. Help the child learn the value of honesty. This is a tough one and takes time - lots of time is some cases.

Remember that a consequence must make sense to the child in order for it to work. This makes parenting challenging and rewarding. Punitive punishment is just a power struggle, and you will usually lose. Consequences that teach life skills will be more long lasting. The child will learn to  manage self - that is the goal.

I invite you to read: "The 5 Love Languages for Children" by Gary Chapman. It addresses many of these issues.

If you have question, please contact me (435) 841-4060; or

Make a Grate Day

Dr. Susan R. Nate, LPC, PhD
Choices for Change Counseling

Monday, February 2, 2015


Greetings All:

I trust that you survived and hopefully thrived the holidays. How many of you set New Year's resolutions? How many of those have now been broken?

I prefer to focus on intents, rather than goals or resolutions. I know it just a word. However, it is the word that makes the different in the brain that ultimately affects the feeling and the experience.  Intent is more gentle and opens the mind to possibilities. Intent suggest varying degrees of improvement and change, rather than the did or did not.

At the end of each day, identify three things you enjoyed during the day. Set an intent for the next day.

At the beginning of each day, identify what you are grateful for and remind yourself of your intent for the day.

These two simple ideas will make big differences in your thinking and in your life. There is always something we can remind our self that is positive in our life. We can always focus on a positive intent for our day.

Make a Great Day

Dr. Susan