Sunday, August 17, 2008

My favorite talk from the Midwest Catholic Family Conference

Well, I have to admit that I had a hard time on our recent vacation. I was TRYING to remember the advice from Faith and Family Magazine about family trips being about having experiences as families, not as a vacation for mom. I didn't really mind the cooking and cleaning...but the lack of naps and the difficulties with discipline on the road got to me.

Hubby says it is mostly because I insist on sitting towards the front at Mass...but it was really difficult not to compare our kids behavior to other families around us. It seemed like everyone else's children were very well behaved, and that other moms weren't as frazzled as me.

So, my favorite talk from the conference was titled "Family Rules: The Power of We" by Jim Stenson. He has a great website here. Basically, he suggested that successful families should have a mission, a responsible chain of command, and a set of performance standards. For these standards (or rules, or whatever you want to call them, he suggests the following categories:
--We respect the rights and sensibilities of others.
--We all contribute to making our home a clean, orderly, civilized place to live.
--We give people information they need to carry out their responsibilities.
--We use electronic media only to promote family welfare, never to work against it.
--We love and honor our Creator above all things; we thank Him for His blessings and ask His help for our needs and those of others.

Go check out his website for more, as all the information he shared is there!

Also, We ended up buying a DVD/CD set called "You're a Better Parent Than You Think" by Dr. Ray Guarendi. The Catholic Answers table was having a buy 2 get one free sale, that hubby didn't think we should take advantage of (ironically enough, during one of the talks he went to, they announced that they had changed it to buy 1 get 1 free I could've gotten the OTHER book I wanted to, had I just waited...) I can't say that any of it is earth shattering advice or anything, but I really needed a pick me up for my parenting skills.

Things have been a little bit calmer around our house...I've been able to deal a little better with disciplining Eva--Dr. Ray's DVD really has reminded me that talking is not discipline, and Jim Stenson reminded me that having consistent expectations for the whole family to follow can make it easier to be clear in my expectations.

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