This holiday season is a great time to reflect on our lives and particularly on our families. As a husband, father and grandfather, I am so thrilled with my family. They are my greatest blessing and my greatest joy.
I’ve wondered over the years what mistakes I have made in my role as a father. There are mistakes along the way; the important thing is to get back on track. I think one of the things I would differently as a parent is spending more time developing informal win-win agreements with each of my children. Doing this consistently and over time, covering the different phases of their lives would have been beneficial.
Because I traveled a lot I felt that I often indulged them and went for lose-win too often. Instead I would have liked to pay the price to take the time to build relationships through win-win agreements.
Think about your own relationships with your children. What can you do to create more win-win? Would you like to try creating win-win agreements with them to involve them more in decision-making, problem-solving and being accountable? Find a problem or issue you want to work on. Talk to your child about their needs or desires (their win). Explain what is a win for you. Then come up with ideas for meeting your child’s needs in a way that will also meet your needs. Set up specific expectations, to-dos and outcomes. You even can put this down on paper and you both will sign it so you can always go back to it in case of questions. This also creates accountability.
The more you create win-win with your children, the more trust you will build with them—and you’ll model and teach them one of the most important skills they need to have to thrive in their relationships not only in the family but in all their relationships, now and in the future.
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