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“4 T Plan” For Building Relationships
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Developing the team is really about building relationships. The most important relationships to build are those within our own family. Our family teaches us how to get along in the world, how to treat others. A strong family should provide love, acceptance, support, and refuge. Follow the “4 T Plan” for better family relationships.
Communication is the most important ingredient in a strong relationship. Each member of the family needs to feel heard and respected. Work on listening to and understanding your family members. Use “I” messages rather than “you” messages when you’re talking. This requires us to be clear about our thoughts and feelings, which decreases the chance of an argument. It also helps us focus on behaviors without being accusatory. Encourage all members to share thoughts and feelings. As long as it’s not disrespectful or dishonoring to another, allow honest expression. This will validate their importance in the family and show they are accepted as they are. Stay in touch.
In today’s culture, finding time together can be difficult, but it is crucial to building better families. Time equals attention and what family member doesn’t crave attention from those closest to him/her. Work to create regular family rituals - dinners, games, church, walks, etc. These family rituals help define who we are and they boost confidence and comfort when we’re apart. If you’re a parent, try to give each child “special time.” It only needs to be 10-15 minutes per day, but be sure to plan it so there are no interruptions. You can let the child decide what to do during “their” time. Be on the lookout for other opportunities to spend time with family members - during chores, waiting in line, participating in various activities, etc. You never know which moment will have a lifelong impact. Be there.
Let’s face it, all families have conflict. This is a natural and critical part of growth in a family. The important thing is to work through the conflict in a positive way by focusing on the problem and not “ripping each other apart.” When blood temps are rising, walk away and count to ten. As mentioned earlier, use “I” statements to express your feelings. “I feel angry when you continue to argue with me even after I’ve told you my decision. I want you to go to bed now.” is more productive than, “Get to bed now before I blister your bottom!” Focus on the current problem and don’t “dig up bones.” Although conflicts are often unpleasant, they should still be safe. Never use or allow violence (correct spanking is not violence). Don’t allow hitting or throwing (people or things!). No yelling. Work out a solution together. As adults, we need to set the example of how to resolve problems in a mature way. Resolve to resolve.
Trust is the glue that holds relationships together. Give your child opportunities to earn your trust. Allow your children to do tasks on their own suitable for their ages. Encourage them to try and praise their efforts. Show your family members you can be trusted. Follow through on your promises. Teach forgiveness by being forgiving yourself. Teach responsibility by saying, “I’m sorry.” Many times as parents, we demand apologies from our children but never give any in return. We all make bad choices in behavior and in order for children to learn from their choices, they need to acknowledge them and accept responsibility for them, and they need to see us doing the same. Teach your children manners. They don’t need to be able to quote Emily Post, they should know the basics. Be courteous and expect courtesy from other family members. Developing trust will allow family members to feel loved and accepted, which will aid in their growth and maturity. Build belief.
For more info visit www.runwithperseverance.com.
© 2007 Jeff Coble All rights reserved. Unauthorized use is prohibited.
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Reader Count & Comments
27 Oct 2007
This is a good parenting article for people with kids. Have you written anything on the conflicts between grown adults and their parents?
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