Tuesday, February 22, 2011

7 Habits of happy families-being proactive

One of the things that we as a family are the most excited about is the 7 Habits of Happy Families training that we've been participating in at Imagine East Mesa elementary school.  

The school recently adopted the "Leader in Me" curriculum, and as part of such, the faculty and staff participated in the 7 habits training over the summer.  They have been so excited about the personal changes they have experienced in their lives, that they decided to make the training available to interested families.  Now, I will admit, receiving a hand-addressed invitation to participate caused me to experience some mixed emotions.  I mean, on the one hand, wow! and on the other hand wow... Either they know us to be a family who cares, or a family who's struggling to figure it out. Or, oh yeah, there is that "both" that I am not ashamed to belong too.

The training has been facilitated by two super dynamic teachers known around the school as "the Matt's" not as in 'door'....no way, definitely no walking all over these two. They're a little like mutt and jeff, and they play off of each other beautifully as they get class participants engaged in discussing the 7 Habits and how they can be used in our family and personal lives for greater effectiveness.

We're only a few weeks in, and we've not covered a whole lot of material yet, but I love the slow pace, it gives us an opportunity to put our learning into practice. One thing I've learned about myself is that I'm pretty good at knowing all the right answers. I can talk the talk.  Walking the walk however...well, I have some work to do.  But that's part of what's great! I can identify the WHY of the things that aren't working, and if the WHY is me, then I can do what's necessary to change it! (and believe me I am a BIG part of the WHY. But don't read that as me self-bashing, its purely an acknowledgement that I'm not as effective as I can be, and now I'm beginning to understand what I need to do to change).

One of the first assignments we brought home was a family challenge to discuss responsibilities, and how we can become proactive in keeping up with our responsibilities.  That night we sat around our dinner table discussing what responsibilities each of us carries in our household and were surprised to discover that we really do share more responsibilities than we might have thought at first glance.

For example, the youngest of our clan (not yet 5) is responsible to bathe and brush her hair daily, wear clean clothes, put away her toys, and eat her meals. If you have children who love to eat, you may not consider eating meals a responsibility, for this child however, meal eating is a necessary responsibility.
For the next youngest of the clan, responsibilities include getting dressed all the way to shoes and socks every morning before breakfast, completing homework, and putting away clean laundry.  We discussed that some of mom and dad's responsibilities are providing a safe home environment, food, love, and electricity! When it was time to choose a responsibility to work on being proactive about, I was surprised at how easily the children chose which responsibilities to work on.  It was as if the same things that were making me and daddy cave hair miserable to argue about every day, were also making the kids miserable.  So it was with much excitement that the youngest chose to be proactive about eating her meals without complaining, and the next youngest chose to get dressed to the shoes without being reminded every day.


I never saw what was coming next headed my way....

Enter "Proactive Man!"

Lights thrown on to illuminate the gloriousness that is being showered, dressed, belt buckled, shoes tied, underwear clean, and hair combed. And a loud announcement of "I'm being PROACTIVE!!!!"

 At 4:55 AM......
But what's a proud mom to do other than congratulate her child and say "good job buddy". We did however go back to bed for a bit, with shoes on.  The hair was a little "cave-ish" by the time we finally got up for school, but so what else is new?  We wouldn't be us without it.


Jessie Geroux said...


Anonymous said...

Classic. Glad to hear he's embracing the concept!