The 4 'I's of Parenting

Learning Landscape Tuesday, 15 Aug 2023

As a working mum of two boys I’m forever reminded of the time I wish I could spend with my children and how it’s so easy to put other commitments ahead of their lives. I’m confident that in today’s busyness, many parents feel dissatisfied, like me, with the quality of time they spend with their children.

Wilson McCaskill, the creator of ‘Play Is The Way’, a social and emotional methodology used at Living Faith, highlights easy ways parents can develop and nurture their children’s emotional and social well-being. In his book, ‘Children Aren’t Made of China’, McCaskill shares his beliefs on the 4 I’s of Parenting - Interest, Invest, Identify and Inspired:


We must show and action our deep interest in children. It is important to observe them and notice their successes, failures, strengths, weaknesses, problems, concerns and improvements. Being interested in them helps them to be interested in themselves.


We must invest time in our children. They mustn’t rule the timetable of our lives, and they must learn to wait and be patient. However, our lives must have sufficient time for them and their needs. There must be time to sit with them, either at the table, in the garden, the car, or on the end of the bed at night and just enjoy their company.


We must see things from their point of view. Often we are too busy trying to convert and control them and have no time to look at the world through their eyes. Shifting their perceptions and attitudes is often easier if we can see why they have them in the first place. They want us to understand what it’s like to be a kid now, in this place, at this school, at this time. Respect their point of view and work with them to create beneficial changes.


We must be inspired by them. Their actions, ideas, outcomes and above all, effort must inspire us. Children need to know that their existence and example as children inspire us to be better adults. This does not mean we need to act out great exuberance and enthusiasm for everything they try or achieve. It means that we should be on the lookout for those things, large or small, that happened because of a special effort, awareness or concern.

If you would like to read more on The 4 I’s of Parenting visit Play Is The Way.

As parents we don’t always get it right, but short helpful reminders like this can help reignite our drive to want to invest in nurturing our precious ones emotional and social well-being.

Chelsea Formosa, Director of Junior Primary