As coaches committed to Intentional Parenting, we strive to support parents' efforts to successfully fulfill their Purpose for becoming a family and to identify the Values that define them.
Adoption is a complicated process which usually involves much soul-searching, lengthy waits, and the revelation of a great deal of very personal information to outsiders who sit as both gatekeepers and judges of our worthiness to parent. Once we've completed the process and our wonderful kiddos have joined our families, we exhale in relief. Many of us never reexamine the home study materials.
What if we revisited the questions posed during the home study process--without the sword of failure hanging over your head? How might this lead to important conversations with your spouse? Now that children actually are part of your family, how has your parenting philosophy changed? Consider these questions and discussion points with your partner. Where do you agree and where are you conflicted?
What are the five Primary Values by which you live?
What is your Family Purpose? (Write it down. Post it conspicuously)
Look for inconsistencies in parenting style. Create a unified plan.
Examine faith matters. How will faith be lived within the family?
Clarify behavioral standards. What and why are they important?
Choose disciplinary techniques. (Be sure they are adoption- appropriate, Time In not Time Out)
Set family priorities and individual priorities
Identify individual attachment styles. Understand why/how they are important.
What patterns recur in your families of origin? In your children's family of origin? Which are "keepers" and which do you want to eliminate?
How will you handle conflict? How will you repair damaged relationships?
How genuinely do your extended families accept your children?
What measures will you take to ensure your children get the love, respect, acceptance and attention they deserve.
How "high" is your Adoption-attunement Quotient?
Any signs that "rose-colored glasses" might be hiding some hard truths?
Also discuss these ideas with your children. Learn what they think and believe. Explore with genuine curiosity. Be careful not to suggest that their ideas, feelings and goals are silly or wrong. They have value because they are important to them!
Use the Deep Listening strategies we've discussed in previous blogs; strive to understand their dreams and motives. (This level of attentive connection is rarely experienced. If you've ever shared that kind of moment, it feels almost sacred.)
Study the graphic that headlines this post. This is one example of the "planks" on which parent(s) may build a family. What are the elements of your family "platform"?