Psychologist Brings Message Of Intentional Parenting To Bloomington Event | WGLT

Psychologist Brings Message Of Intentional Parenting To Bloomington Event

Jan 29, 2020

When you’re a parent, things come at you so fast that you’re lucky just to keep up. But a noted psychologist who’s speaking in Bloomington this week said the key to great parenting is intentionality.

Dr. Rosenna Bakari is a psychologist and author. She’ll be the featured speaker at the 4th annual Fully Defend Yourself community conference on Saturday, Feb. 1, presented by the BCAI School of Arts in Bloomington

Bakari, whose own children are now grown, said good parenting doesn’t magically happen if you just replicate how you were raised, or if you believe you’re a good parent or that there’s nothing wrong with your kids. It’s hard work to be really present and hear what your kids are saying, she said.

“If you find you’re reacting to your children, that’s a good clue that you are probably not doing your highest quality of parenting, because parenting should primarily be proactive,” she said.

That doesn’t mean perfection. 

“We all may lose it sometimes,” Bakari said. “We may all make mistakes, get off the intentional track. But when those become patterns of parenting, we need to check ourselves.”

Bakari, who homeschooled her children while earning her Ph.D., said we also need to ditch the old adage that a parent can’t be their child’s friend. You must be your child’s friend, so they learn to confide in you, she said. That doesn’t mean you can’t set boundaries or discipline them.

“There are too many other influences that are going to play that role if you don’t play it for them,” Bakari said. “It’s making them a priority, so that you are their soft landing.”

Bakari will speak on intentionality in parenting at the 4th annual Fully Defend Yourself event on Saturday, Feb. 1, presented by the BCAI School of Arts. The conference is focused on easily overlooked ways to defend yourself and your family.

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