Especially during the school break schedule for many children, as a parent, I sometimes feel the weight and importance of the time spent with my child. I try to advocate being an "intentional parent" as much as possible.
What exactly is an intentional parent? For me, an intentional parent is one who is willing to do the very hard work of helping a child be the best the child can be. The intentional parent does a lot of giving: giving of time, giving of sleep, giving of money, giving of attention—generally, giving mightily of oneself. It is certainly not easy, and as far as I know, is not meant to be.
Every parent—intentional or not—gives their child many things. Some of those “gifts” are things children might not necessarily want to receive (and/or parents don't necessarily want to bestow on children); our bad habits sometimes have a way of living on whether we want them to or not. Nonetheless, most gifts we choose to bestow on our kids.
Parental “gifts” say a lot about parents. Some just want to get through the child-rearing years with as little effort as possible...to survive, they will give the child whatever is demanded, so the kid will be quiet and stop bugging them, so that the parent can carry on with whatever the parent is focused on. Some choose to give their child the “in thing” or what's most popular, without necessarily considering whether that thing will be the most helpful. Some move through their children's worlds deliberately and purposefully; these parents give what is useful, after carefully thinking through what would be best.
That is an intentional parent. Easy? Certainly not. Going unrecognized? Probably. Helping to create a better world for their child and the world beyond them? For sure. That's an intentional parent.