The Compleat Family Book by Elva Anson and Kathie Liden, was my first organizational book that I read in 1980. I posted a review of the first chapter a couple of days ago. This is my review of the second chapter—MANAGEMENT BEGINS AT HOME.
“The Bible teaches us to live together in harmony, to live together in love as though we had only one mind and one spirit among us. (Philippians 2:2) Living together in harmony and love forms the foundation in which we build the marriage relationship. It is the key to our attitudes, the way we raise our children, who does what, how we operate this partnership, how we manage our finances, how we take care of our bodies, and how we cope with change.”
“There are no specific rules for how a house must be run and no standards by which to measure success. You must choose whatever housekeeping style suits your family and meets it needs best. This will be different for different periods of your life.”
“Do not make the mistake of measuring housekeeping by someone else’s standards. To keep things in perspective, remember that if it will not matter ten years from now, do not worry about it.”
“As a team you will learn to distinguish between your wants and your needs . . . Sometimes one partner’s need are more urgent than the other’s at that moment. You must learn to make that kind of judgment. Most of the time you can find solutions that meet the needs of everyone.”
· Cooperation is the key to teamwork.
· Plan the future. Visualize your lives five years from now.
· What obstacles are keeping your from becoming what you want to be? How can you get rid of those obstacles? Focus on your objectives rather than the obstacles, if you wish to succeed.
INVOLVE THE WHOLE FAMILY
· Get your family together and ask them to think and dream about specific areas concerning the family.
· Set up regular family time—to settle grievance, to make family decisions, to have fun.
HOW TO BEGIN HAVING A FAMILY TIME
· Have Dad explain what family time will be. Let the children know that one afternoon or evening will be set aside for the family from now on. Tell them to expect to do different things together—sing, play, go places together, talk over problems, talk about God, and just spend time together having fun and getting to know each other.
· Sit in a circle so everyone can see each other—at a table or any other circular arrangement.
· Always start the evening with prayer.
· Have a notebook handy—ask questions, find out what your family would like to talk about and have fun doing.
· Se family times worth considering:
o During one of the first family nights, talk about the purpose of families. Tell the children about how you met and fell in love, and married. Dig out pictures from that time period. Tell each child about his/her birth—how happy you were and how much you loved them and still love them.
o Have everyone list what he thinks families should be. What do you expect from your family?
§ Focus on each person, one at a time.
§ What do you know about that person? What does he like to do best? Who is his best friend? What kind of people does he like? How do you think his friends see him? What is his favorite Bible verse? Let everyone write answers to these questions. Then have that person give the true answers.
o Makeup night—put mustaches and makeup on the parents.
o Pass around a feeling bag—but objects in a bag and each one tries to guess what it is by feeling it.
o Make a collage on love
o Make treasure boxes for items family members collect
o Have a banquet night.
o Make sailboats and sail them
o Make kites and fly them
o Play games
o Work on puzzles
o Tell stories
o Write and put on plays
o Write or read riddle and joke books
o Make puppets and put on puppet shows
o Make and show family videos
o Have celebrations and family parties
o Go on picnics
o Mold clay
o Role play
o Visit factories
o Visit a farm
o Have a fix it night
o Have a love night for Grandma—make cookies for her or write letters to her
o Learn a foreign language
o Have discussions and debates
o Plan and plant a garden
o Make terrariums
o Have a fire drill
o Take an imaginary journey
o Write letters
o Make valentines
o Cook or bake
o Carve soap
o Make candles
End the evening with prayer, refreshments, and some plans for the following week. You can draw names for prayer partners. On the next week you will reveal your prayer partners to each other.
The length of the meeting depends on the will vary based on the age of the children. All meetings should end before the children become bored or restless. In some cases where there is a wide range in the age of the children, parents and older children may need to talk about something to do something that the younger children cannot relate to. At these times spend a short time with the younger children, who can then play by themselves until refreshment time. Use common sense in adapting the plans to the needs of your family.
“To make family night work, you must be prepared.”
Elva Anson and her husband took a weekend away to relax and consider the direction that they wanted their family to take. They took reference materials and blank calendars with them. They returned home with tentative plans for the next few months. The calendar went up on their family bulletin board where the children could see what the plans were. Elva checked the calendar each week to know what materials they would need for family night. Kathie Liden and her husband planned that way also. If they could not get away for a weekend they spent a Saturday morning in the park planning and reviewing.
Sometimes the plans changed. “That’s fine. Plans can be changed. Flexibility is the key.”
Coming Up Next –Chapter 2 Part 2
Principles of Management
Dressing Makes a Difference
Dedicate your Family to God
Have a wonderful Tuesday!
Love, love, love,