Families are all about connection

Relationships are the foundation of every family. Family meetings promote relationships, as does encouragement, mutual respect, natural and logical consequences, family dinner and family chores, according to "Alfred Adler." and "Rufolf Dreikurs." FAmilies depend on relationships. RElationships make the world go round. Parents have a huge responsibility to facilitate relationships among its members. A Big part of that is to put down the electronics and look at each other.

Kristen and Ian relive our weekly Friday night pizza tradition.

At left, Kristen and Ian are having fun with pizza dough during a visit home. Friday night pizza was part of our family tradition for many years.

Someone made the dough – me, one of them, or we purchased it. Everyone got to make their own personal pan pizza with their choice of toppings, including leftover bits of vegetables, cheese and meat. It’s a good way to clear out the fridge. After the pizza operation we watched a family movie together. We were connected, working as a team and satiated.

When my 20-somethings come home for a visit, they often request pizza for dinner. It’s a wonderful tradition that connects us. Research has shown that connection is one of the most vital gifts parents give children.

The challenge in parenting is to establish a connection based on mutual respect in which every member has rights and responsibilities.

In some families, parents have all the rights and responsibilities, and children have none. In other families, children have all the rights and none of the responsibilities. This is called entitlement.

Setting a positive family atmosphere depends on mutual respect, parents being kind, firm and friendly in setting limits, and having fun together. PAY ATTENTION to having fun together. Fun cements together the bricks of family meetings, family dinner, family chores, mutual respect and natural and logical consequences.

Family meetings, family chores and family dinner plant deep roots underground for your family tree to flourish and grow strong. Have them once a week, two or three times a month or once  a month, but have them. Always keep an open agenda on the fridge to place agenda items when issues arise.

Parents must model how to use the family meeting by placing items on the agenda and rotating the roles of facilitator and scribe. Make sure you take notes and save them for posterity. Kids have to be about 10 years old in order to be able to write fast enough to take notes. See my free tip sheet on family meetings. And have a family meeting this week, followed by family fun.

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