Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Lady Banksia Rose story and taking the "Long View"

Spring is in the air and I've got another Fine-Tuned Family minute here.  Let me know how you have or will take the "Long View" in parenting your kids:
 If you prefer to read instead of watching a video, here is the transcript:

Hi, Parent Coach Janet Bonnin here of Fine-Tuned Families and The Families of the Way Ministry. This beautiful plant behind me is called a Lady Banksia Rose. It's about 20 years old. It's twice as tall as I am and equally wide around, and it has gorgeous blooms on it every spring.

I was looking at it the other day and realized this is a great metaphor for taking the long view in the raising of our kids. This plan required a lot of TLC when it was little, and has required regular care over the years. Likewise, when we're raising our children, we need to not only take care of what's right in front of us, the issues at hand, but we also need to take a long view in identifying the skills and talents that our kids need to acquire in order to be as happy and well-adjusted and successful as possible as adults.

My husband and I often get complimented on how well our kids turned out. And I can tell you it wasn't by chance. We had to take the long view. So join me, connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn as Janet Bonnin or Fine-Tuned Families or Families of the Way, and let me know what you are already doing to take the long view, and what you will do to take the long view. And please do me a favor and share this video with other parents that you know, who might like to be part of the conversation. Take care!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Setting S-M-A-A-R-T Goals for Your Family

By Angela K Woodrow,  
Updated by Janet Bonnin

Want to know the secret to achieving your goals/dreams/ wishes/ desires?

It is all about being intentional. When you are aware of what it takes to get something done, know the steps, know the cost (time, talent and resources) - then getting it done is focused and intentional and the results are always good!

Think of it this way...did any athlete or successful business person get up out of bed one day and say ‘ta-da’ goal accomplished? No. Truth be told, there are always setbacks. When you have a plan that is clear and descriptive, even the setbacks can be leveraged to help you accomplish your goals.  Lets look at the steps to help you and your family get ready to flourish with goal setting:

When you are making a goal, it needs to be a S-M-A-A-R-T goal.  In the Fine-Tuned Families community, this stands for:
  Accountability (the "Secret Sauce" that helps us attain our goals)
  Time Table

A goal can simple, such as “Eat a meal together”.  Is that too easy? Actually, it is not specific enough.  The goal is announced, but the people participating in making it a reality don’t have a concept of how to accomplish it.

So first it must be Specific:
“Eat breakfast together”.  The meal is defined. The goal of eating a meal together is defined as the first meal of the day.

To make the goal have some strength, it must be Measurable:
“Eat breakfast together two times a week.”  Now, the specifics can be measured.  It may be Saturday and Sunday...or it may be a quick breakfast stop mid- week at the local coffee shop-- what a way to motivate those young teens out of bed! When a plan needs to be adjusted you have 5 other days to choose from to help you meet the desired goal. 

Actions: What actions do you need to take?
  Set the alarm
  Go to bed a bit earlier the night before
  Set up a budget to help you manage the cost of eating breakfast out once a week

Accountability: This is the "Secret Sauce" in taking goal setting to realization.  There are a number of ways you may create some accountability in your plans.  The first is to ask someone to be your accountability partner.  Who are you going to report to regarding your success or the need to adjust the goal setting strategy?  Another way to hold yourself accountable may be by creating your own checklist.  Still another could be journaling about your progress, what you discover and your successes.

Resources: This category may seem to overlap with Actions as set out above. But, like painting a room, the more prep the better the result! Naming and claiming who will do what is just as important as naming the action.  Who actually will do the cooking or set up and then the clean up or shopping? 
Looking at the ‘big picture’, allows you to hash out a successful goal reaching strategy.  Double checking your thinking may make the difference between getting a jump on the reaching your goal versus falling into the rut of "flash starts and weak finishes". (Also known as the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting a different result.)

Time table: This is an important and often ignored part of successful goal reaching, the awareness of time - when do you want to start the goal? What is the best time - now or the week kids have off school so that accomplishing the goal is enjoyable and gives the kids motivation not to linger in ‘non-routine’ moments.

Taking the time as a family to set S-M-A-A-R-T Goals; to really organize, plan and implement the goal allows your family to celebrate success and know how to move forward in planning the next goal, such as: “Eating 2 meals a day together 3 days a week!”

Enjoy creating and achieving S-M-A-A-R-T Goals this year with your flourishing family!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Mindful Gift Giving

By Guest Blogger Angela Woodrow

Wow, it is the middle of December already! And we are all just as busy as ever.  It seems to be that ‘busy’ is the new ‘normal’. That is why I love the "Rule of 4" as a way to model mindful gift giving for parents. The "Rule of 4" is easy to remember: 1 book, 1 item of clothing, one of something they want and one of something they need.
It is a simple concept that has been around for a while. I use the "Rule of 4" to help my larger family participate and help me as a parent model mindful gift giving. You can modify and adjust as you like…. you are smart and clever. This is for inspiration and motivation to continue to do the good you are doing!
Here are 2 easy steps to help you grasp how I use this rule in my family:

Step one:
You can talk with your children about the list and what it means to receive a gift from someone and also to help understand that just because it is on the list does not always mean that it will appear on the day. Over the years I have learned to have my children put two or three from each category on the list so that they learn to be happy with the gift they receive, even if it is not exactly what they were ‘dreaming of’.
Step two:
Of course, set a budget. That is very mindful.
In my family we are pretty darn good at making a list and sharing it. So, we use the rule of 4 for the larger family. It helps everyone feel like they have an opportunity to acknowledge each other without breaking the budget or each child ending up with their own complete toy store. One or two toys are enough. Beside, where to store it all after it has been unwrapped becomes a bigger issue at my house!
With technology we are able to post this gift list online and when a purchase is made we can see that the item has been purchased, but not by whom.  This  is nice for the element of delight and surprise—thank you Elfster (!  Knowing the gift has been purchased helps the person working the budget.
An aside: As a family, we work hard to communicate what works and what does not. This is a process that has evolved with the various ages and stages of my family. It takes time…and it is worth it to ask others to help you in the process of practicing mindful gift giving. (And if the truth is to be told, most are relieved to be able to ‘keep it simple’).
What to do about Santa:  We are big believers in the “Spirit of Santa”.  Over the years, ‘Santa’ has shifted from individual gifts for each child to delivering a family gift at our house and it usually covers almost everyone’s ‘want’ category pretty well.
Wishing you joy and peace as you navigate the next few weeks. May you and yours find time to just sit still and share time with each other. For sharing time together is one of the most precious gifts of all.