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Choose your family dynamic

Choose your family dynamic

family picThere is a little Mexican restaurant near my house that has a great all-you-can-eat Sunday brunch bar. So, the other day, right after church, I took my wife and kids over to see how much damage we could to the owner’s bottom line. As we ate our lunch, I noticed the family at the table next to us sat very still, their attention focused toward their laps. The kids were intently focused on their video games and the parents had disappeared into their texting. They didn’t talk to each other or even acknowledge one another’s existence the entire time they were in the restaurant.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this was how they always interacted with one other, or didn’t interact, to be more specific. Was the only time that the parents interacted with the kids when the kids needed something from them or when they were scolding the kids? Why would anyone choose this dynamic for their family?

Maybe I misread the situation, or I just caught that family on an off day, but either way, it made me think. A friend of mine died unexpectedly a couple years ago while he was estranged from his family. There was no warning and no time for final words. This kind of thing happens every day, but how many times do we heed the warning and apply the lesson these stories tell?

I think one impetus for implementing the Power of Choice can be realizing that life is short, and this is not a dress rehearsal. Whatever time we are given must be utilized wisely. That means taking advantage of our time with our family to engage them, which is a fancy way of saying we need to be talking to each other. We need to be engaging each other directly and not allowing ourselves to accept adjacent relationship as a standard.

The question you have to ask yourself is, what do I want my family to look like? No, you can’t control your children’s actions, nor your parents’ or husband’s or wife’s or anyone else’s, but you can control your own. What choices do you need to make in order to create the type of family dynamic that you want?

 Excerpted from The Seven Powers of Success; Unlock You Strengths, Unleash your dreams. © 2013 Charles Marshall.

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