As a family we have recently decided to list our home for sale. It certainly is the beginning of a grand adventure.
As my wife and I had initial conversations about whether to list our home or not we talked through many criteria and wishes. At a point we decided to go ahead with the process.
At this point we enlisted our girls in the process. We sat down as a family; my wife and I broke the news to our girls and we then enlisted their help in what we will be looking for in a new home.
In excitement they chimed with their wishes and needs. We got requests for a large yard, for multiple bathrooms, etc, etc, etc.
Of course my wife and I really do care what about what our girls want and think they need and no we don’t need them to help us make a decision about anything really.
So why ask? What’s the purpose?
Simply said we are a family! We emphasize that point on a regular basis. This exercise in allowing our girls to voice their opinions, wants, and needs allows them to feel heard, valued, and most importantly safe to be themselves.
We want/need our girls to be invested in our family. Why? Because it will give them an identity outside of what culture is telling them. It will teach them to use their voice in a safe environment. It will allow them to formulate opinions and think critically with little at risk. Ultimately it will prepare them to be healthy adults.
The bottom line is that we work collaboratively as a family because that is what healthy families should do.
What is your family’s identity?
What do your children think of you and/or your family?
What do you do to involve your children in the culture of the family that gives them a voice? Does their opinion matter?