Dear Families of Character,
Your Adventure into Character subscription box sounds really fun, but… I’m not sure that our family is ready for something like that. My husband and I have two tweens and a teenager—and we are, quite honestly, struggling to parent them! I’m surprised we even eked out to the end of the school year for our oldest. Is it too late for us? I wonder if we’ve set in motion so many bad habits (kids not helping out, too much screen time, poor work ethic at school) that it’s impossible to turn back the clock. Or are there still things we can do to build character? I’m tired of growing apart as a family and watching my kids being tossed in the wind by the influence of their friends and their social media feeds. I’m not sure what we can do to change course and become stronger and more united. Are we even candidates to try your subscription box??? I’d do just about anything to help us come together if I knew it would work.
~Stranded In Quicksand (Near Chicago)
I’m sending you a giant virtual hug—sounds like it’s been a rough go for you and your whole family. Please know that we hear from so many others who experience the very issues you describe. You are not alone! And don’t discount the fact that the crazy year and a half that we’ve experienced as a country (and world) has resulted in compounding so many other day-to-day problems. Those feelings of being stuck in a rut are tough and can make the adventures of family life feel more like an endless nightmare. By your heartfelt email, I can tell you and your husband are intentional parents who want more for your family.
You’re in luck! It is never too late to turn things around and get out of that quicksand.
But the truth is, it won’t happen overnight. And isn’t that what we all crave—a magic bullet that will cure all?
The answer is not as exciting as a super secret plan or one profound parenting life hack that will miraculously fix everything, it really lies in the small day-to-day happenings of your family life. And you have to be patient for results. You’re not baking a cake, you’re forming good, well-adjusted adults. That takes time!
But there are certainly things you can do right now, that amount to small, extremely manageable daily steps, which over time amount to a major impact. You can build a foundation of strong character which will empower each member of your family to feel like a valued member of the team.
The first small step you can make is implementing one of our essential tools—the family huddle. Call it what you like—a meeting, a dinner discussion, pizza pow-wow, backyard fire pit time—but you need to reinstate family time to regroup and revitalize as the living, breathing organism (FAMILY) that nurtures each individual member.
Sadly, we live in an era when very few families make the time to share sit-down meals together. We're running here and there for sports, hobbies, work, etc. and they all take precedence over scheduled family time. This fosters the bad habits of selfishness and entitlement. When we plan time together as a family that is considered “sacred” time—meaning it is more important than anything else and you can’t opt out, we emphasize the priority of the group over individuals. Family becomes the starting point for everyone’s day, not the afterthought. We recommend families meet to engage their family dynamic at LEAST once a week! More is better. But again, start small and ritualize it into your schedules once a week.
What do you talk about in these family huddles? Start simply by taking a look at the week’s schedule. That’s it. Ease into it and offer the kids’ favorite snack or food. If you want to go deeper down the line, consider these talking points:
- What’s on everyone’s mind? (Let everyone have a chance to input!)
- Do we have any exciting goals to look forward to for the week/ month/ year?
- Are there particular character strengths that will be helpful in the week ahead?
- Look back on the week’s “wins.” Celebrate them!
- Were there any trouble spots that could use retooling (focus on situations, not people)? What character strengths would help these situations?
It’s as simple as that! You'll build communication and trust in no time. But more importantly, you'll be planting the seed that the family unit matters and must be nurtured and protected. This fuels everyone else to go out into the world with the knowledge that they are supported, encouraged, and loved.
Give it a try and let us know how it goes. While you can’t expect a magic bullet, let’s just say, these small steps are moving you forward to something exciting.
Our Adventure into Character subscription box experience offers these kinds of easy tips to turn things around. You don’t need to make sweeping changes, just little tweaks that lead to transformation over time. Adventure into Character is designed to provide families easy, fun, and practical ways to grow in character together. No matter what your starting point is, you’ll all land at the same destination—a firm foundation of strong character. Translation: less nagging, more pitching in, unity, and a lot more laughter!
Family life is an adventure regardless. We want you to choose the guided path that avoids all the nasty pitfalls. You’ve got this, “Stranded!” To show you how confident we are that this will be the start you need to pull your family out of the mucky quick sand, we’re sending you our first character kit FREE! Destination Organization will be arriving at your doorstep shortly.
You’ve got this!
If you’d like to start your family’s Adventure into Character today, check out all we offer to parents just like you.