Thursday, 14 February 2013

An adoptive parent's manifesto

As you might have read recently, I'm trying to be more positive at the moment, and have got our Positivity Pot in place at home. As part of this, I've put together this 'manifesto', just some things for me to bear in mind, but not beat myself up on if I can't do them all the time. Please feel free to add more in your comments...

1. I will not judge, or allow myself to be judged on different parenting styles.

2. I will not bow to pressure to tell my child off, just because he is perceived to be naughty.

3. I will support other adopters when they need support.

4. I will believe what other adopters say - I know how unbelievable it sometimes sounds!

5. I can accept that I will make mistakes, but it's OK.

6. I will share my experiences, but not offer advice unless requested.

7. I will not ask about your child's background...you can tell me if you feel it's appropriate.

8. I will not tell you about my child's background, unless I feel it's appropriate.

9. I will remember to focus on the positives...they make me feel better than the negatives.

10. I will remember that random acts of kindness apply to myself as well as others.

11. I will not 'sweat the small stuff'.

12. I will give my children opportunities they can cope with, and not feel guilty for protecting them from situations I know they won't deal with.

13. I will enjoy being a parent.

14. When my children's behaviour is at its worse, I will pull them closer.

15. I will laugh, and have fun. And so will my children.

24 comments:

  1. fabulous. can I adopt your manifesto too.please?

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  2. You have absolutely no input into what your children will do, feel, think, or live. How offensive and typically arrogant. "I will not bow to pressure to tell my child off, just because he is perceived to be naughty." Really? How perverse.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Always interesting to hear other views.

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  3. Great - number 12 rings true with me tonight as I have just said 'no' to a weekday party for Bonzo - too late, on a school day and too manic. He is not happy, but I am doing it to protect him from a situation he can't deal with!

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    1. Thanks. I don't think they're all going to be easy, but they are necessary aren't they, especially number 12!

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  4. Brilliant piece as always, Vicki. Your insightful and diplomatic ways are an inspiration to all parents, adoptive or otherwise. x

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  5. This list is brilliant. Little reminders that we all need sometimes. A great manifesto. x

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    1. Thank you...I definitely need reminding often. Hopefully having this stuck to my fridge will help me remember it! x

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  6. Excellent...
    I think I may need to borrow this and print it out and stick it randomly around my house.

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  7. All great things to parent by, but number 14 really stood out for me. I have an easy time seeing this, and I'd say doing an pretty good job at doing it with my little guy. But with my step son my first reaction to attitude and negativity and any behaviour really is to get annoyed and push away, when really he trying to adjust to having a new little brother just as we are still adjusting. He needs to be pulled in tighter too and I need to try to remember this. Thanks for the reminder:)

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    1. Thank you...I think 14 is going to be difficult for us. But I'm gonna try really hard to do it!

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  8. Brilliant list! I definitely need to do more of no.9 and me and OH need to remind ourselves re no. 14.

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    1. Thanks Sezz. 14 is going to be tough for us, but I'm so gonna try...

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  9. What a great list. I must admit was a bit surprised by number 2. Am i right in assuming you don't mean you won't discipline your child at all, just that you won't discipline them when others might expect it, if you think it isn't in your child's best interests? If so, is that something you have experienced a lot?

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    1. Thank you. By number 2 I mean that I won't tell Mini off just because someone else *thinks* he's being naughty. Mini's behaviours are not naughtiness, but sometimes could be seen that way by others if they don't understand him. I don't want to be pressured into telling him off just for that other person's sake and benefit. We're tying to reduce shame here...not heap it on for show.
      Does that make more sense? And yes, I have been expected in certain situations to tell him off for behaviour that I know he had zero control over...

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  10. Great manifesto for any parent really, not just adopters. I have a poster called "How to really love a child". It's on the wall in the playroom and I try to read it every so often to remind myself to make some snow angels!

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    1. Absolutely for anyone, and I think it should be added to, definitely seeing it as a working document x

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  11. CHT is totally perceived to be naughty/bad behaviour, even by some people who are supposedly trained to understand. I'm expected to react in every way except the one i chose; for me it building our relationship over managing behaviour/other peoples expectations anyday x

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    1. I think 'managing behaviour' means different things for different people. For me, it often just means moving Mini to a different situation, one in which he can regulate better/feel more comfortable/feel more secure.
      It's a shame that so many parents and professionals see behaviour management as punishment/discipline. Or they assume you don't discipline because you don't wade in and tell your child off.

      Each to their own, I guess different styles work for us all. But I prefer the way we do it!

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