Give yourself time and space to do the following exercise. It is an opportunity to do something that despite its importance, most people never put aside the time to do. The exercise is designed to help you clarify your big picture thinking; your wishes, hopes, and dreams regarding the family you wish to create for your children (and for yourselves).
Imagine your child as a 25-30-year-old adult. You (as your child) are talking intimately to your therapist or very close friend/significant other/spouse etc about your childhood. What do you hope your child will say about their childhood?
I offer you some topic areas that may help organize your thinking but do not feel constrained or limited by the list below. They are just suggestions.
How my parents operated with regard to each other. For example:
My relationship to my mother was _______________________________________
My relationship to my father was ________________________________________
When my parents had to make a decision about my life they would _____________________________________________________________________
They mostly communicated with each other _______________________________
My Mother’s home _____________________________________________________
My Father’s home ______________________________________________________
When my parents were together ___________________________________________
When I had a school event ________________________________________________
When kids asked me about my family, I felt __________________________________
When I transitioned from my mom’s house to my dad’s house __________________
When I transitioned from my dad’s house to my mom’s house __________________
My parent’s social life_____________________________________________________
With regard to my parent’s divorce, the things I worried about most_____________
What I wish my mom did differently was ____________________________________
What I wish my dad did differently was _____________________________________
I was happiest when______________________________________________________