Last Friday on my Lazy Mom Radio Show I got to talking about a subject I’m very passionate about. Family.
Yes, as a Lazy Mom I am very passionate about family. Mostly my family, but I’m also passionate about yours.
In my little Lazy Mom book I believe that one of the most important things you can teach your children is that your family is a team. I would almost say, that if you teach them nothing else, at least teach them this!
Your family is a team.
What does that mean?
You’re all on the same side!!
It saddens me how much unhealthy competition I see among family members. Spouses compete against each other, children compete against each other, fathers and sons compete against each other, on and on I could go. They may not even be aware that they are doing it, but they are!
STOP THE MADNESS!
Your family is a team! You shouldn’t be competing against each other, you should be working together!
A family with a team mentality teaches their children…
- When one of us is hurting, we’re all hurting.
- When one of us is rejoicing, we’re all rejoicing!
- If one of us wins, we all win!
Since my children were babies we have taught our children that we are a family, a team, all on the same side.
I would ask them (and still do to this day) “What are we??”
“A family!” I taught them to reply.
“That’s right. We love each other, we support each other, we stick up for one another.”
I would venture to say there is no better parenting tool than teaching your children that your family is a team.
It even works on breaking up toddler fights to big kid fights to teen fights to adult fights!
When two of my kids are arguing I say to them, “Wait just a minute! What are we?!” And they know by now to reply, “A family.”
Then I launch into my family speech… “That’s right. We are a family. We are on the same side. We are a team. We share with each other. We help each other. We stand up for each other. When something good happens to one of us, we are all happy because we’re a family….”
And the beauty of this little lecture is that it really and truly solves just about any dispute that arises:
Not sharing? “We’re a family… we share!”
Hitting each other? “We’re a family… we love each other!”
Someone’s pouting because they didn’t win the board game? “We’re a family… if something good happens to one of us we’re all happy!”
Someone needs help and no one will help them? “We’re a family… we help each other!”
See? It’s amazing! And something I feel very passionate about. Families are teams.
Here’s a quick test to see if your family is working as a team or is competing against each other (you could even ask these questions to your kids to see where you stand)…
- When someone else in the family is hurting over something or gets in trouble, do you sometimes feel a little happy?
- Do you feel jealous when something good happens to another family member?
- When someone in your family gets picked on, does it make you mad?
- If a family member gets left out, does it make your heart sad?
Asking your children (and maybe even yourself) these questions, and answering them honestly, will give you a good indicator of whether or not your family has a competition mentality or a team mentality. Maybe you need to insert names into those questions to get real answers.
A family with a team mentality will answer those questions with, “no, no, yes, yes!”
A family that’s a work in progress will answer some of those questions with “sometimes!”
A family that has a competition mentality will answer these questions with, “yes, yes, no, no.”
As my children have gotten out of the preschool stage and into the elementary years I feel that all those years of reinforcing to them that we are a family (a team) has laid a great foundation for them. I don’t have to launch into my “family speech” too often now because they know that when I say, “What are we?” the answer is much more than just “a family.” It’s everything I’ve taught them about how we’re a team.
What are some things you do to teach your family you’re a team? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.