Family & Relationships Family & Relationships

Keeping Good Staff Is Important, But Keeping Your Family Is Critical

One of the outcomes of our lack of focus on our marriages and families is the elimination of joy in our older age.
Sure it's important to run a good business, and we want to "make our mark" on the world with the services and products we offer our customers.
But the lack of commitment that is becoming common in American families is promising devastating unhappiness to business owners and executives as their lives unfold.
Regard-less of what people say, the anger and bitterness that accompany divorce, the sadness and disconnected feelings that children feel when one of their parents leaves under such circumstances, all these take their toll on both us and on family members.
But the worst effect won't be felt until we get older, and the loneliness that is the outcome of broken relationships is only now becoming evident to those of us who didn't consider family worth the effort when we were younger and building our businesses.
A Focus On Family There is a huge benefit that a couple has when they look back on years of happiness that they've had, and when they begin to talk with sons, daughters, and grandchildren about the things they did together growing up.
Trips together, challenges from school, pranks pulled on siblings and friends, even bad times become a joy when they've been shared together and are unearthed in the presence of newer family members.
You have only to watch the eyes (and open mouth!) of a kid when his grandparents open up misadventures that one of his parents had when they were young, and the opportunity for learning that comes from memories is stupendous for a young'un during these times.
The ability to share memories is fun, a learning experience, and most of all a joy and comfort to people as they get older.
But what if you haven't built the foundation?You'll miss most of those remembrances, or they'll be so tainted with unhappiness that you won't want to consider them.
And they come from a foundation worth building! Building It Now The time to begin building important relationships in your family is now, while you're still building and operating your business.
Sure it takes time; sure it's work; sure it takes thought - but it's worth it!There is a huge encouragement to people when they can look back on the achievements and troubles of mother and father, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents and see that they made it through.
It helps through hard times, difficulties that seem insurmountable, even terrible things like wars and tragedies, to know that someone in our line dealt with the same things and was able to overcome them.
How To Do It Maintaining relationships as a couple or in a family requires planning like anything else, except that it's easier to plan!The main thing is breaking the time out, and being sure to use that time for interaction, listening, and understanding.
There are several modern "conveniences" that have greatly limited that time, and consequently severely limited our ability to do it.
What are they?Television, video games, and internet.
In a study done in 2005, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that children ages 8-18 spend an average of 44.
5 hours per week in front of a television, game, or computer screen.
Neilsen Research found it to be 8 hours and 14 minutes per day for the average American - 57 hours and 38 minutes per week.
Most of that time is non-interactive, and none of it is face-to-face interaction.
How, then, do we expect to become better at face-to-face relationships with our spouse or our kids?Somewhere in here is a big "Duh!".
Here are a few thoughts that the author has personally tried, and that work.
But keep in mind that you're going to hear some grumping at the beginning - in our age it takes time to get over the habits we've been building! >Limit the amount of TV you and your family watch for two or three months (or more!).
Now this is a zinger, and it takes about two weeks to get through "withdrawal" when you take away the television, but the results are gratifying - and interestingly good.
>Plan some interactive activities.
It might be cards, board games, or a kid's favorite from my experience:reading together or story telling.
>Try doing some things outdoors.
Cooking out together, playing badminton, throwing a ball.
One caution:those people you'll discover next door to your house are called "neighbors", and they're supposed to be there.
Don't be alarmed when they appear.
Introduce yourself.
>Do a date night with your spouse - and pick a restaurant WITHOUT a television!They're getting harder to find because people are not used to having to interact with one another.
>Take a drive in the country.
This used to be popular, and although it's expensive with gas prices, it's still a lot of fun.
>Historical vacations, one of our very favorite things.
Read a book together about some part of the country with interesting historical possibilities, and then go there for a visit.
We've read "Captains Courageous", and followed it by a visit to New England (especially Mystic Seaport).
Mark Twain's "Roughing It" was followed by visits out west to his old stomping grounds.
Use your imagination and begin building memories with your spouse and family.
It will pay lasting dividends both now and especially in the future.

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