Today I had the absolute pleasure to present a talk on Keeping Family Harmony at a local MOPS group. It was the first time for me to see a MOPS gathering in action and I was impressed with the warmth of the group, the smooth running of the morning and what a wonderful opportunity that they provide for mothers with little ones.
Below I have outlined what I talked about, which is content that I have already published here on the blog and some additional links, so for those who listened to me today and wanted more information, they can find it all here in the one place!
Keeping Family Harmony
Whilst I spoke on keeping family harmony, I also noted that my home is not always in perfect harmony! However I think we do pretty well for a family with 5 kids and I shared with the group three key areas that help us keep our family harmony. The first area is a focus for me, the second for the children and the third for all of us as a family.
1. Guiding Principles For A Happy Family
These are principles that I have created for myself that can help make family life happier and contain less conflict.
I was inspired to create my guiding principles after reading the fabulous parenting book “Children Are People Too” by Louise Porter. I have written further about her book on my post on:
2. Encouraging Children To Solve Their Own Problems
I strongly encourage my children to make attempts to solve their own problems, as are appropriate for their ages. I want them to know that they can come to me for help, but that they need to be responsible for solving the problem. But problem solving is learned and something that children need practice and to be supported with. In my post below I outline ways that I endeavour to help my kids solve their own problems.
3. Family Meetings
Family Meetings are an excellent tool to allow all family members participate in decisions affecting the family and for setting accountabilities. We have been having family meetings since our eldest child was four and second son was two. When you only have small children this age in the family meeting, it can feel slightly strange to be having them. But starting them from this age, means that they grow up with them as part of their life, expect to have them and contribute readily as they grow older.
For more information on family meetings you can read these posts:
Below are some further books and ideas that I mentioned either through out my talk or in individual discussions with people:
- He’ll Be Ok: Growing Gorgeous Boys Into Good Men
- Characteristics of Three (and a half) Year Old Behavior
- Characteristics of Two (and a half) Year Old Behavior
- Coping With A Baby That Cat Naps
- 10 Ways To Encourage Your Child – link to article “How Not To Talk To Your Kids – The inverse power of praise. “
Thank you to Sarah for inviting me talk and the MOPS group who made me feel so welcome and for the lovely gift of a tea cup!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank some very supportive and helpful family and friends who have helped me get through this very busy week:
- Belinda – for picking my kids up from school the other day on very short notice.
- Steph – for looking after the kids for a number of hours on Sunday, so I could do some preparation.
- Laine – for running my preschooler to preschool for me on Tues.
- Kate – for taking my preschooler to kindy gym on Wed, so he didn’t have to miss out.
- Justine – for running to get extra buttons for craft tomorrow.
- Lou – who very kindly looked after my 1 and 3 year olds as well as her own so I could go and meet and talk with the lovely ladies at MOPS!
- My own dear beautiful husband and children who helped me in what ever ways they could and put up with me being so busy xxooo.
I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful group of people around me and I look forward to returning the favours .