Family Rhythm Failures

Rich Theil

About 10 years ago, we started establishing family rhythms and I remember some of the disasters of our early attempts.

Angie and I decided we’d have a planning meeting on Tuesday evenings at 7pm (or something like that). We were so excited because we were going to get our act together and bring some order. Soon we’d be getting things done toward our mission, like nobody’s business!

So we finished dinner, got the dishes cleaned up and by 7pm, I was deep into a house project that was too hard to stop. Angie was finishing something with the garden, Madison was probably focused on school, and Hayley & Sam were probably off playing someplace (Hayley was probably 7 and Sam was only 4 years old!).

I got my act together first, got to the table, and quickly became frustrated with everyone for not being there when we said we needed to be there.

Ugh, we missed the mark. We were late, and my frustration revealed some immaturity.

Of course, now it’s funny to look at it for two reasons:

  • It’s really not that big of a deal – we might’ve missed the mark, but we learned something valuable.
  • And of course it was difficult to pull off. Everything you start new is challenging at first, but gets easier every time you do it.

Turns out, we were about to learn a couple of skills:

Skill #1: Identifying What Happened

Identifying why you didn’t succeed is one of the best skills your family can develop. The road ahead is full of challenges and this wouldn’t be the last time we needed this skill. We talked about it and realized our mistake was we didn’t respect our calendars.

Skill #2: Respecting the Calendar

For some reason, work meetings happened on time, but we neglected family meetings. We viewed family meetings with less importance. So, we talked about it and it took months, but we learned to respect our calendar more. Now, for the most part, we start things when we say we will. We build respect for everyone through this process.

So, as you start the new school year, you’ll be establishing some new rhythms. When you encounter challenges, remember the two skills above and put them into practice.

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