In Part 1 of this series, we talked about how important a strong parenting team is to building a peaceful family. Conflict escalates when there is division between the parents. Now it’s time to move beyond the parents and get everyone involved.
Creating a shared vision of the family helps bond members by providing common direction and goals. The goal here is to create a sense of unity – which, in turn, will help diminish conflict. By the end of these activities, you will all be on the same team, working toward the same goals.
Part 2: Creating a Shared Vision
There are a number of great techniques for creating a shared vision. You will be including every member of the family in the activity. Choose an activity that is age-appropriate and considers any special needs your family might have. Ready to get started?
Use Art: Create a family collage in which all members collect pictures that represent how they would like the family to be. Work together and talk about the pictures chosen by each member. Once your collage is assembled, frame it and give it a place of honor where everyone sees it daily.
Put it in Words: Create a Family Mission/Vision Statement. Organizations develop vision statements to capture their major goals and ideals in a concise and inspiring way. These statements offer value clarification and a decision-making framework. And, they can be an effective tool for your family. Use this handy printable to get started.
List it Out: If a family vision statement feels a little overwhelming or formal for you right now, start with a list or two. Brainstorm together and come up with the top 10 values your family holds. You can also make a list of shared goals. Be sure to include everyone in the process and to post the final product in a prominent place.
Set some Rules: Collaborate on a set of “house rules”. Let everyone have input into a code of non-negotiable rules for the house. Try to keep it simple and focused on things that support your family values. Be sure to talk about the consequences for violating the rules as you go.
So there you have four activities for building a shared family vision. Use all of them or just one. The time you spend building your vision now will pay off in smooth sailing later. In Part 3 we will tackle finding a family structure that works for you. Part 4 deals with effective communication and conflict resolution. Finally, in Part 5, we will talk about increasing positive interactions.
Stay tuned – lots of good stuff coming up. In the meantime, here are some terrific books you might want to check out as well: