Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Nights of the Round Table

Last night we called yet another family meeting. In our home, when things aren't clicking along the way they should, we sit down together, we look each other in the eyes and we talk. True, meaningful communication rarely happens by accident and we have tried to be intentional in our family about fostering openness and honesty. It goes without saying that, because we have three sons (two of them teenagers), our family meetings sometimes get, well, silly. But for the most part we are able to deal with hurtful behaviors and attitudes that sometimes creep in and threaten our peace. Our ground rules are simple: complete honesty, absolute respect, and what is said in the family meeting, stays in the family meeting. Each person can express what they think and how they feel and then we deal with it...nothing is minimized or swept under the rug. And the best thing is that usually, when the tough issues are dealt with, we end up laughing or talking about other things that we might not have talked about otherwise. And each of us leaves knowing that, even if no one else on the planet cares what we think or how we feel, there are four other people who do. And we will always work to keep that.

Adults who are capable of healthy communication do not grow on trees. They are best grown around your kitchen table. If you have never led your family into this type of interaction, why not start now? If you and your spouse do not have this type of open communication, then you will need to start there. You cannot lead your children where you have never been. It's not too late. It is never too late to unlock the hearts of your spouse and your children and let them know that you are listening.


Rachel February 10, 2009 at 10:19 PM  

One of the reasons we admire you all so much.

Joylene Green February 10, 2009 at 11:39 PM  

great post. I linked to you.