A New Look At Setting Resolutions/Goals With Kids and Families

Part 2

I hope you enjoyed Part I of my tips of Setting Resolutions/Goals about working with your individual children or for yourself.  If you missed (Part 1), Click HERE for the link.
This next part is specifically related to working together as a family to “help things go right” or to improve things in your home or family relationships.  I have given you an example of a strategy I use when working with families that has been collaborative, fun, and very successful!  I hope you have fun with it too! 
 
PART II – SETTING FAMILY RESOLUTIONS/GOALS:

There are several ways to set resolutions/goals as a family.  One is to adapt the approach I gave you for individuals last week and use it as a template for family goal-setting.  Instead of asking the questions to only one individual, join together to answer the questions to relate specifically to a goal chosen by the whole family.  (See Part I for Questions and step by step instructions).

This next idea is one of my favorite techniques!  It is created from a positive perspective looking and moving forward rather than focusing on the negative, past and moving backwards.  This innovative approach works well, especially when you have younger kids who need help in learning the process of goal-setting or a family that desires to improve on a specific family-related issue.  It begins with the family agreeing upon one or two Family Resolutions/Goals.  Here’s how it works:

1.    Pick a time to meet when things are going well– when you are generally all in a good mood.  If you have school aged kids, offer a few choices for meeting times so they feel included in the decision making process from the beginning.

2.    Ask questions that focus on the positive, look for the specifics in the answers.  Here is an example of how it went for one family while I was working with them:

     Q:    “What were 3 or 4 things you did as a family that made you happy, you had fun and enjoyed being together, or maybe had a positive impact on you?”
     A:    “Going camping.” 
     Q:    “What are all the things about camping that make it fun or enjoyable?” 
     A:    “We had fun playing games, we were together, and we didn’t fight or argue.” 
     A:    “Yeah, we went hiking, road quads and slept out under the stars – it was soooo awesome!” 
     A:    “Everyone helped with all the meals and cleaned up and we kinda made a game out of it to make fun!” 
    Q:    “To sum it up – you were together, engaged in activities that you enjoyed or turned into fun, by cooperating and getting along – Is that right?” 
     A:    “Right!”

The family discussed three more events/family activities that had positively impacted their family and identified 4 specific “things in common” in each one that contributed to the success of it being a “positive” for them: Togetherness, fun, cooperation, and kindness (getting along).

Those 4 attributes became their focus for the upcoming year.  They turned it into a Motto of sorts:  “The Johnson Family will be successful in helping things go right in our family when we focus on being together, having fun, cooperating, and being kind!”

If something started to go wrong, they practiced asking themselves and each other – “How can we help it go right?  Which of our four attributes is needed here– one or more?”

For each attribute they decided on specific actions that led to successful outcomes to begin with and would add more as the year went on:

Togetherness: Dinner, outdoor activities, camping, watching a movie, family council
Having fun:    Playing board games, the Wii, telling jokes, no one being made fun of.

Cooperation: Everyone pitches in, everybody has a voice, taking turns, doesn’t mean things are going to be “fair”.

Being Kind:    Speaking, and responding, with kind words.  Using a soft tone and trying to be understanding of the other person’s situation (empathy).  Acting on the feelings or information gathered to be helpful.

I hope I’ve given you some strategies that are informative and beneficial in helping you and your family set and meet your Resolutions/Goals. 

Thank you for letting me share your journey.  I would love to hear from you about what goals you set and how it goes throughout the year!
Take Care,
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