Faith fosters strong families, which raise sound human beings. Here's to the family- the world's greatest institution and one of nature's finest masterpieces.
Creating Effective FamiliesTake a cue from motivational great, stephen covey
I like to think of families as airports. This is where we first arrive when we come into this world. Here's where we are fitted with gear we require to fly through the rest of our journey. It is what happens here that often determines if we will soar or if we will sink. It is imperative then that this airbase is sound and resistant to any turbulence.
Every successful family needs a flight plan, says Stephen Covey in his best-selling book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. A successful family's flight plan would reflect their values and principles that enable them to handle problems and reach the desired "destination". Covey prescribes these seven habits:
Be proactive: This entails being responsible for our choices. It is the freedom to choose based on values rather than moods or circumstances. Covey uses the analogy of the Emotional Bank Account where family members make "deposits and withdrawals" which impact the trust levels in the family. Maintaining a high balance is the goal so that even mistakes will be compensated for against "emotional reserves".
Begin with the end in mind: Covey suggests that families develop a "family mission statement" that describes what kind of family you really want to be and identifies the principles that will help you get there. A mission statement can be a list the family compiles together based on each one's vision for this unit. For example: "To be honest and open with each other, to maintain a spiritual feeling in the home, to love each other unconditionally…" Does your family have a mission statement? Put first things first: Covey cautions that, "Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least." Prioritise taking everyone into consideration.
Think "win-win": Mutual benefit and respect must be kept in mind when making decisions. Thinking as "we" and not "me" will circumvent a lot of disagreements and hurt.
Seek first to understand . . . then to be understood: Listen, says Covey, and understand the other person's viewpoint, thoughts and feelings before communicating yours. Such feedback helps foster trust and increases love in the family.
Synergise: Work in tandem. Think of the family as a team whose combined efforts will far surpass individual efforts. When based on the dynamics of loving, learning, contributing, and creative cooperation, families can troubleshoot any calamity that befalls them.
Sharpen the saw: Traditions play a key role in nurturing the renewal of family spirit. A family increases its effectiveness through personal and family renewal in four basic areas of life: physical, social/emotional, spiritual and mental. Family rituals repeated countless times, are a symbol of acceptance, love, provision, peace, and fellowship.
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