Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Breakout Session Teaser: Connecting while Correcting

Have you ever gotten to the end of what was supposed to be a great day with your children and just thought, “Man, all I did today was ride my kids about this and that.” Or “I had really wanted to connect with her today, but we were just at odds all day.”?  I have and it’s an awful feeling.   I think if we are honest, we have those days so much more than we want to admit.  Oh sure, we plaster our Facebook walls with the ideal moments that we want to cherish.  And  sometimes, if we are really being authentic, as adoptive parents we feel the need to project how great we are doing and how wonderful adoption can be, by making it look easy.  But, let’s be real, our life doesn’t look like our Facebook newsfeed or our Instagram photo stream.  We would trade it all for true connection with our kids any day; we long for them to know how much we love them and how much we desire to parent them well. We would LOVE to go to bed every night knowing they felt loved and successful, without those tense interactions repeating themselves over and over in our mind.  Knowing we sounded differently than we planned, knowing we didn’t make it better and desperately wanting to fix it but not knowing how.  We simply sleep on the promise that we will all start fresh tomorrow. 
So what IS my goal?  Is my goal compliance?  If my goal is compliance and behavioral change then (let’s face it sometimes it is just for the behavior to STOP! FOR THE LOVE!), then my approach places the child’s behavior above their preciousness and need to trust.  It also allows me to use whatever means necessary to change the behavior, but this usually creates a disconnection that I now have to recover from.  However, if my goal is to build trust and connection with my child then, the behavior (both mine and theirs) that I need to address is merely what is standing in the way of that connection.  Because our children need so much correction, the only way to meet the goal of building a trusting, connected relationship is to connect while you are correcting your child. This requires a whole new skill set, because most of us didn’t grow up this way and it doesn’t come naturally to us.
I would argue that this is how God parents us, from a point of trust and connection. 
“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”
Romans 2:4
The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  Romans 8:15
God doesn’t send his children away when they are “bad.”  We don’t only get to be in is embrace when we are “measuring up”; he gently guides us, loving us.  In fact, it is our connection with our Father that creates our desire to obey.  It is that same connection with a loving Father that allows us to approach him when we have strayed, knowing his love remains, he’s still our fan and that all is not lost.
It’s my goal, as we grow as parents that we will parent more how God parents us.  Because it doesn’t come naturally to any of us I would like to provide you with a set of tools and strategies to turn your correction moments into connection moments as well. I look forward to being a part of your journey next weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Been feeling like this more as my children get older. Thanks for the reminder of how God parents us. What a great example.