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Conscious Parenting through Appreciative Inquiry

The parenting job is very demanding when you are committed to raising children who will become responsible adults and contributors to our society. Conscious parenting means that you have a clear vision of what kind of family you want to have and who you would like your children to become. In the process you are attentive to what each child needs to thrive, instill principles and take the time to have conversations with your children that nurture the parent-child relationship. The relationship we create with our children along with their temperament helps shape the kind of person they become.

Most parents struggle doing the parenting job, not because they don’t care but because they don’t know enough how to be more effective and demonstrate more love. The only training most parents receive is from their own parents and often that could use some revising. Many parents come from a place of fear and control, and demand obedience from their children. In turn, the child rebels against this authoritarian approach.

Conscious Parenting through Appreciative Inquire offers an alternative to this approach and can make the parenting job more rewarding. It offers a model that allows families to take time aside from their busy schedule and bring BEING into their busy family lives and into the relationship with their children. The process uses a four-stage process for the families to co-create exciting and sustainable solutions. Appreciative Inquiry 4D cycle:

Discovery—finding out through well-crafted and careful questions what is presently working well in the family. What is currently giving life to the parents, the children, and the family? What is working well in your family? What are your family strengths?

Dream—helping parents and children articulate a clear vision of what it is they want and to feel the positive emotions and qualities that living in that preferred future with their family would evoke.

Design—encouraging strategies, ideas, behaviors, parenting practices, reflective exercises, and other applications to help parents design both external and internal activities that would best support fulfillment of their dream. In this cycle the family selects what principles they want to honor as a family unit.

Destiny—as the family’s dream emerges into actual lived experience, the facilitators point out the “evidence indicators” that shows this is happening. The parents are guided to gather the qualities and resources to make sure the emerging dream is sustainable, and to acknowledge that deep change has occurred and that the parent is the primary cause of this change.

This innovative approach to bring families together can be adapted to ALL families regardless of their education level or socioeconomic background. Humans yearn to feel a sense of connection to their family of origin and when they are able to have some fun connecting through the team building activities at the beginning of each cycle they are more willing to collaborate, see their strengths and collaborate to create a healthier and happier family environment.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) has been researched and used successfully in corporations, community organizations, some school setting, life coaching and counseling. It has a wonderful track record because the AI process supports positive, long term change, offering much hope and unleashing new levels of creativity, innovation, and inspiration. We adapt AI to parent and family coaching conversations using its principles and methodology as a basic structure for those conversations. Instead of jumping in to solving the problem directly, AI uses the four stage process to co-create exciting and sustainable solutions.

The AI 4D cycle can be done in individual sessions and the family addresses one cycle at the time and they complete the assignments at home or it can be done in one day workshop where families focus complete 4D cycles.



  • What gives life to our family?
  • What is great about our family?
  • What situations tend to bring out the best in our family?
  • Let’s share our BEST memory of a good family time.
  • What are the strengths of our family?
  • What are the strengths of each family member?
  • What do you value most about our family?
  • What is working well in our family?
  • What needs immediate attention in your family going forward in order to have a happy family? 

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  • If you could have a wish for your family what would it be?
  • What’s possible in our family and who cares?
  • What would it be like if we had our dream come true?
  • What do you want more of for our family?
  • What do you want more of for you within the context of our family?
  • What is one thing you would like to change in our family?
  • What would your ideal family look like? Make a picture of it.
  • Where do we want to be as a family in 5 years? 

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  • What would make our dream come alive?
  • What would it take to create the change (s) needed in our family?
  • What principles/values would we chose to guide our family?
  • How can we support one another in taking the next step?
  • What is one thing you can do to help our family succeed?
  • What seed may we plant together today that could make the most difference to creating team synergy?
  • What challenges might come our way and how might we meet them?
  • What is the next level of thinking we need to do?
  • If our success was completely guaranteed, what bold steps might we choose? 

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  • How are we already living our dream?
  • What are you learning and accepting about your family at present?
  • What are you learning and accepting about you -within your family?
  • What unique contribution can you make to creating family happiness?
  • What is one thing you would like to change in you to benefit your family?
  • What commitments are you willing to make to yourself and your family?
  • What is the next level of thinking we need to do?
  • How are we already living the dream?
  • What has been the most important thing that you have learned about yourself? 

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