12 Habits of a WISE Family – Habit #1

December 10, 2014

Wise families thrive on commitment.   I know…sometimes you wish your family members were committed – somewhere safe and padded.    But seriously, commitment is the foundation for healthy families because it is for the long haul.

Family members with commitment expect the family to work together – in good times and in bad.   Let me be clear – we are talking about all kinds of families – one parent, two parents, four parents, divorced…everyone looks out for everyone else.   All members are determined to help each other succeed.   The family is a priority for everyone in it.   This means that sometimes the priorities of individuals must be put aside for the good of others in the family.

OF FEAR.Just this week, my daughter needed to be at a mandatory school meeting then a softball practice in preparation for the playoffs (also mandatory – what is with this mandatory stuff?), while her dad and I were both still at work.  That left my driver’s-license-carrying son to miss his afternoon commitment to help out.

Sharing experiences that mean something to all family members, setting goals that involve the whole family, and working to see these goals met all lead to feelings of commitment.   Planning an adventure, a summer vacation, or even a Wednesday night meal is a shared experience that everyone can be a part of.  Commitment brings with it feelings of trust, security, and oneness.   It also supports change, which leads to family members growing and becoming individuals.

Families with commitment know their relationships with each other are important.   All of the members of the family let each other know they are valuable, needed, and respected.   Commitment leads to free-flowing trust and appreciation.   Special-ness is celebrated through words and actions.   This begins with the parents working to grow relationships with each of their children, nourishing them especially through times that are rough.   As our kids grow into teens, parents become even more important as role models for their kids.   Seeing how their parents deal with tough times and how they care enough to make lasting relationships with each child shows kids how to do this with their own children when they have families.

Commitment can be built in a variety of ways including holding family meetings to discuss issues of concern, the whole family piling in the minivan to attend a member’s sporting event, or spending a Saturday afternoon working together to rake the leaves covering the yard.  Commitment can also be built by parents setting aside time for each child individually.   Time when the focus is just on what the child wants to do, whatever that is.   This special focus lays the foundation for the evening when your child will come to you and say, “Mom, Dad, can we talk?”

That’s a magic moment when your commitment to growing WISE together really shines!

Do you have a magic moment to share with us?  Send us a comment below – we read and respond to everything you share!  And we LOVE a good family story!

Until next week, Stay Wise!