“Govern a family as you would cook a small fish – very gently” (Chinese proverb).

‘Family’ is a person or group of persons you have bonded to with either through blood bond or soul bond.

Family provides you with stability, happiness, comfort, belonging, dependence, safety, quality time, affection, reliance, accountability, growth and learning.

How close is your family?

It is believed that couples come together to jointly grow and live by a set of meaningful family values, by instilling these values into their homes and way of life. 

As an individual who has taken the leadership role of a family or just being part of a family, it is our responsibility to create/enhance a culture that inspires love, respect, trust, oneness, and happiness. If you want your family to be close or closer, these tips can help inspire your family to become closer:

1. Be the leader of your family: If you have a family, whether you recognize it or not, you are a leader and a partner. It doesn’t matter if you are a woman or a man, mother or father, you are valued. If you have a partner, we would say that you are co-leading, and if you are a single parent, you are the sole leader. As one, you have an inspired purpose each day and you are committed to taking the appropriate action to reach your goals; Your actions should inspire the people around you. You can do this by taking a kind look at yourself and evaluating the kind of values for your family, you would be leading by example.

2. Establish family values: As mentioned above, we need to understanding personal values, which popularly results in a lack of family values. As an individual, we have to admit to ourselves about what is truly important and meaningful to us. What type of person do you want to be and what type of person do you need to be to have the life you deserve to have? Here are sample values to consider:

  • Live meaningfully, by knowing what is important and letting that direct your life.
  • Providing value to the people around you.
  • Live with integrity by your actions.
  • Understanding and practising good health as the foundation of everything – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

For your own family: There should be an understanding of what is truly important to you all? The kind of family you all want to be. What type of family member do you need to be to live the lives everyone in your family deserves to live? Here are sample values to consider, in order of priority:

  • Respect: Respect for self and others
  • Understanding that family comes first
  • Is it important for yourself, your partner, your career; your children?
  • Considering other commitments
  • Being able to be social and pleasant

3. Create the culture of your home: As the leader or co-leader or partner of your family, when you establish your family values you have just taken the first step in creating the culture of your home. Your home culture is the spirit that lives in your home and it is felt by everyone who walks through your door. Most importantly, it is the spirit that lives within your family. As mentioned above you can cultivate the spirit of respect, kindness, love and oneness. You can make this possible by living by example.

4. Be present and live by example: A good way to create and sustain a family culture based on meaningful family values is for you, as the leader, to make sure they are living as one. The only way to ensure this is being: mentally, emotionally, and physically present in their lives. If you, as the leader of your home, don’t act like your values and culture are important, why will anyone else? As the leader of your home, it all starts with you. Having self-respect and showing respect to those around you by maintaining the values that you have put in place and ensuring it gets stronger.

5. Control your schedule: Do not allow your schedule control you and take away what is more important to you. An example is having and keeping your job, you must find the balance needed for yourself and your family, there are many resources you can get your hands on on how to make a balance. As the leader of your family, you must control your schedule or it will control you. A lot of people seem to be really, really busy. When they are too busy and stressed, it’s like a validation they need from the world that makes people know they are really busy. The concept of being really busy seems to be a crutch for a lot of people. They don’t focus on their health, plan their finances, give time to people they say are important to them, or do the things they really want to do because they are too busy. People are too busy because they don’t control their schedule and they allow less important people and things distract them from what is really important. If you want your family to be close, you must plan for them to be close. You must be intentional with your schedule and make time for the important things. You need to communicate with your partner and children so they can control their schedule as well.

6. Plan with purpose: If you know what your personal and family values are, it is easy to plan with purpose because you know what is purposeful. Are you intentional about where you are spending your energy, time, and money? Plan with purpose so you can do the things you want to do as a family and spend your resources on things that will give the greatest meaningful return. You are in control. As the leader of your family, you must plan with purpose.

7. Be accountable: If you have a full-time career, own an events business, commit an hour and a half per week to mentoring young men, and above everything else, have a family that is important to you. Constantly checking yourself to make sure your decisions are aligned with the right things.

You must first hold yourself accountable that you are focused on the right things. Next, if other members of your family are allowing the rest of the world to push and pull them in other directions, you need to lovingly hold them accountable as well. If you are a parent, sometimes you have to step in and decide for your children what’s best for them and family.

8. Remind often: Always have it at the back of your mind that you have family values to uphold and protect. In fact, constantly be reminded first that you have a family and what your family stands for. These reminders could be in the form of picture frames at home, at work and even in your wallet. A painting from one’s child, etc.

9. Enjoy everything: Imagine a world where everything you do is meaningful and fulfilling. As the leader of your family, can you think of anything more fulfilling than your family being closer, both emotionally and physically? When you aren’t together, you should be able to feel proud that you are doing everything they would be proud of. You should be able to ascertain that your family is doing well, is happy and healthy.

Your family being close is a decision that you, the leader or co-leader, has to make. It doesn’t just happen. The world will use you up and drain you out if you let it—and a lot of people let this happen. Be different and decide for your family to be close by taking action to make that happen today. Be the leader your family needs and deserves!

Happy international day of families to you.

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