Many families we talk to express interest in parent planning but find it difficult to get started. One way to EASE into parent planning is to break down the task into four steps.
- Educate yourself
- Analyze your child’s needs
- Set long and short term goals
- Evaluate your progress and plan regularly
We’ll take time to address each of these 4 steps in upcoming blog posts, but for now we are going to focus simply on education.
Whether you are a pre adoptive family preparing for your first parenting experience or a seasoned parent who just wants to work on being the best parent you can be, you must first decide what it is you really believe about child development and parenting. This is where step one EDUCATE YOURSELF comes in. Every parent should learn at least the basics of childhood growth and development. It’s also helpful to become familiar with a variety of parenting techniques and ideas. And it’s even important to think about and come to terms with your own childhood experiences and the good, great, lacking, or mediocre parenting that you yourself have experienced.
This can be a tall order for any adult, and for those of us who plan to undertake the parenting of a child who began life in a less than optimal setting this step means even more. Besides the typical, we also need to educate ourselves in the science that relates to the circumstances of our child’s beginning in life. In other words, we need to begin to understand child development from the less than optimal viewpoint. We want to be able to recognize the challenges that our children are at risk for in order to parent in a proactive fashion. When we take time to understand the potential issues facing our kids, we increase our ability to choose parenting strategies with informed purpose and we eliminate scattered or trial and error parenting.
Start by becoming an active consumer of the information that is available about children and parenting in general, and the adopted child specifically. Read current books, articles, websites, research, etc. that pertains to these topics and helps you to formulate your own beliefs. Network with other parents. Talk to experts in the field of adoption, and attend trainings and conferences that address the specific needs of the child who waited. Utilize the internet and other technologies to connect with resources that might otherwise be unavailable to you.
Remember this step is not about finding others who can “fix” your child or family. At this point this step is simply about building yourself a firm foundation on which to begin or expand your parent planning. It’s about moving into parent planning with informed confidence.
We’ll tackle Step 2 ANALYZING YOUR CHILD’S NEEDS in an upcoming blog. But if you’re eager to start your parent planning now, get busy educating yourself even more than you already have. Whether you are a pre adoptive parent or a seasoned adoptive parent, if you haven’t discovered Because They Waited it is a great place to start. This 10 hour on demand course takes you step by step through the science and parenting of typical issues facing children who join their homes as older infants, toddlers, or children.
Tags: adoption, Adoptive Parenting, caregiving, close proximity parenting, discipline, general parenting, international adoption, new adoptive parents, older child adoption, parent planning, parenting, parenting the issue, positive parenting, pull close parenting