After discussing and laying out our values with our family, Mom and Dad checked in with our family’s progress. We’re embarrassed to say that we have not progressed as intended. We decided that our failure was primarily due to a lack of a control-document or process. Our plan is to devise a working system by end of month, in order to hold our family accountable to our values. This will help us into the future, as things are bound to get more hectic with a little one on the way!
Potential solutions included a picture (Easy to follow and use for the kids…and Dad), a simplified SOP (Editor’s note: SOP=standard operating procedures or an agreed upon, easily understood set of expectations that all concerned individual share in order to meet a shared goal), a printed control document and more structured verbal check-ins during family dinner. Mom and Dad feel that we could employ a blended strategy of all solutions.
“It’s rudimentary, but fun and engaging.”
We will put up a picture, which shows our values, so that we can easily reference our values and remind us to live them. Our picture will be placed under our family calendar in our kitchen and can also be seen from our primary eating space. The reason for that placement is that the proximity may assist us is because we play a game at dinner called, “Sweet and Sour”. The objective is to get someone to share the day’s Best and Worst as a spark of conversation. The fun is in being the first person to call out a fellow family member (or guest) and ask them for their input. We ask that the first topic be the Sour, so that we can end on a positive note, the Sweet. It’s rudimentary, but fun and engaging. Most importantly, it is a great tool with which we can learn about each other’s perspectives.
Sour before the Sweet in Sweet and Sour game during Family Dinner.
Additionally, going forward we are setting a goal to focus on one value per month. We will ensure we are living these values purposefully and proactively. At dinner, when our family is together, we will discuss how we exemplified that particular value. If we have not used that selected value that day, we can discuss where we could have used it or if it was appropriate for the situation or not.