In this Dream Parenting series so far we have explored some introductory ideas, such as “Doing More of What Works” and “Finding An Audience of Appreciation.” These two ideas provide a foundation to doing some deeper dream parenting work. It is time now to ask ourselves some tough parenting questions.
The first question is “Why did you become a parent in the first place?”
This is an important question to ask because it gives you a glimpse into your motivations and drives. It allows you to recognize why certain triggers create explosions of anger and frustration in your home. If parents were truly honest, many would answer that they didn’t want or weren’t ready for parenting. They may have come to parenting by accident or coercion or because they thought they should.
I personally came from the generation that believed you should marry young and start your family right away. I am not blaming anyone since I made that decision myself. However, I realize now how immature I was when I started my family and how many challenges I have had to overcome from making that decision. I also recognize that I am a much younger grandfather and can actually chase after my two grandsons without risking physical damage!
Other parents may have started their family in hopes that the child would fulfill a need in the parents life. Parents own loss or emptiness in relationships or a lack of a sense of purpose can get projected into our children placing a huge disadvantage on to them.
Nontraditional families, such as step parents, grandparents raising their grandchildren or adoptive/foster parents start their families after some sort of trauma has occurred. Rescue fantasies or beliefs that “love is all you need” will quickly dissappear when the behavioral problems begin.
Asking this question about our original motivations make us honest for the hard work we need to do next. It puts us in perspective to deal with the pros and cons of our reasons for parenting in the first place and provides a clear path for ourselves and our families.
The second question is “Do you really want to change?”
The fact that we may have made a poor decision to parents does not alter the reality that we have to now manage that decision. Living in a parenting state of delusion that things should be different or resentment about why we parented in the first place will not aid us in making necessary changes. We now have to ask ourselvs if we really want to have the dream family we deserve to have or are we going to keep doing what we have always done that no longer works for us.
Perhaps you had the right motivations about parenting and the timing and circumstances were ideal to start your family and yet you are still having family problems. That doesn’t make the second question any easier. Change often means pain and the majority of people avoid it for that reason.
This question is important because it means work. It means feeling uncomfortable. It requies repairing some broken areas in our lives. The good news is that change is possible.
If you answer “yes” to this question, you must then ask a the second part: What will be your first step to building your dream family? It won’t happen over night so what one thing will you start doing differently today to start the change process? What resources, support, and information can you make a plan to engage in right away?
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