We are about to conclude another year of Intentional Parenting. I invite you to take some time to review the year. What pops first into your mind? Was it a memory that conjured feelings of connection, warmth or pride? Or, was it something which reeks of regret, disappointment or anger? The answer reveals a lot about where our attention and energy has been drawn. If worry, fear, frustration, anger or rejections dominates the conversation, it will tilt our thoughts and beliefs in a negative direction.
Let’s revisit the question and this time, clear your heart and head. Use a lens of neutrality. Now what memories spring to mind? How did things shift?
How many are positive? How many of these memories conjure up moments of struggle or conflict? Perhaps 2017 held many challenges and this negativity dominates your thoughts and feelings. Dig until at least some positive moments take center stage in the 2017 highlight reel of your life. Savor this perspective of celebrating what worked in the past year.
Notice how this intentional shift allows even more positive memories float to the surface.
As you review the highlight reel of the past year. Focus on the top three memories. Pause to enjoy them for a few moments. Which of those three memories bring the warmest feelings?
Look for patterns of success to spotlight leverage points for improvement and to help repeat similar positive outcomes in 2018.
Choose three success to analyze. What factors contributed to successful encounters? Who was involved? How did each person influence the outcome? How might you increase the likelihood of similar positive interactions in the future? In addition to the elements that you want to include what should be eliminated? Keep in mind that the prime directive of Intentional Parenting is the nurturing the relationship. Unless it is healthy, parents will find it difficult, if not impossible, to influence children positively and inculcate their core values.
Contrast these elements of success with factors that inflamed conflict. What role did your family values play? Resist the temptation to tackle every item on your list of things to improve. This creates overwhelm and reduces the likelihood that the desired changes will result. Instead, prioritize; select three items you commit to improving.
What flashpoints tended to trigger breakdown? It is a truism that we can only change ourselves. So, determine how you can interact differently when these types of conflict reappear. Get clear on who owns the “problem.” How do each person’s beliefs, attitudes, actions and, assumptions influence the conflict? How do entrenched patterns keep the family stuck?
Use the Well-formed Outcomes approach to develop a strategy for change.
 Adapted from Resource Realizations