Most Important Things to Know About Family Management

(Excerpted from Kathy’s books)

The family is the most important organization in the world. Building loving, lasting relationships is the most important job you’ll ever have. When you make this your priority, other things seem to fall into place.

The ultimate business of family life is creating an environment in which human beings love and serve one another so they can grow, flourish, and become all God created them to be.

A successful family doesn’t just happen. It results from a passionate commitment to shared values and from family members who invest their love, time and energy into helping each other discover and pursue their calling.

Family is the sacred ground for training and passing on beliefs, values and traditions.

Every organization, including a family, needs a manager—someone with a team mentality who oversees home operations.

Applying good business strategies—vision-casting, team-building, delegating, leading by serving—fosters healthy relationships and efficient home management.

Just as in business, every family hits glitches. Getting off track doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It just means you need to make some course corrections.

If you and your spouse openly communicate and negotiate your priorities and individual preferences, you’ll be better equipped to make decisions all day, every day.

It’s never too late to begin making changes that lead to a rewarding marriage, a strong family, and a more satisfying life.

The end goal of time management is to make sure you have time for the things that matter most.

Managing time is about deciding what’s most important and determining not to let non-priorities crowd out those things.

Getting high-priority tasks done first is the best assurance that important things won’t be crowded out by seemingly urgent things.

Time management is really about self-management.

There is no such thing as unimportant time. Every minute is a gift.

When you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else. Don’t let it be your family.

Somewhere between perfection and chaos, every couple needs to find common ground about what makes home a good place to be for all.

Everyone has a different tolerance level for dirt and disorder. Spelling out responsibilities without first negotiating specs for each room or task is a recipe for disaster.

Working together to make your house a home and devising a fair and efficient way to care for your home and belongings will reduce stress—both now and in the years to come.

Everyone who lives under the roof of a home should contribute to its upkeep. This is not the job of one or two people.

As soon as children are able to help around the house, they need regular chores. Even a two-year-old can fold towels and pick up toys. Toddlers won’t fold the towels as neatly as you’d like, but that’s okay. It’s more important that they learn to be productive and see themselves as active contributors to the welfare of the home.

Don’t assume that certain household tasks are always the husband’s or wife’s responsibility. Let giftedness and time availability guide you as you share the load.

Hundreds of tasks are required to keep a family going. Create Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or routines to make everyone’s life easier. Once you decide how, when, and by whom something should be done, you eliminate lots of frustration.

The more you accumulate, the more you have to clean and maintain—and the more time it takes to do it.

When your kids grow up and leave home, they won’t remember if everything is perfect; they will remember if home was a good place to be and if Mom and Dad were fun people to be around.

If you have to choose between taking a family vacation and buying new furniture, go for the vacation. The furniture will end up in a garage sale one day; the memories of the trip will last forever.

Shared meals are the learning center of family life. There’s something about sitting down and eating together that fosters communication and closeness.

Your family eats 1,095 meals per year—snacks and parties not included. Developing a good strategy for managing the Food department is a worthwhile endeavor. Managing food and meals as a team and including children in age-appropriate ways teaches them valuable life skills.

When meals are planned in advance, with all the food and ingredients on hand, everyone tends to relax and feel calmer.
There is more to eating than good food. The ambiance can make meals more pleasant and define family culture.

Reclaim the family dinner hour. Decide to eat together certain nights each week—and then don’t let anything disrupt those plans.

A family is on-site training for growing human beings to learn how to care for a wide variety of emotional and physical pains by receiving loving care and by watching it being given to others.

You and your spouse must work together to intentionally teach your children the values you want them to embrace. Otherwise societal forces will answer their questions about their identity, parameters for right and wrong, and what’s important in life—and you may not like the answers they provide.

Don’t set an agenda for your child’s life. Whether it’s excelling at sports, earning high grades, or choosing a particular vocation, forcing a child to fit a mold of your making—one that doesn’t consider how God designed the child—is a sure path to frustration for both of you.

Children gain tremendous security just knowing Mom and Dad are committed to each other and that theirs is the most important relationship in the house.

The small acts of love you show daily will, over time, add up to big differences that often cannot be seen today.

Money has the power to destroy relationships, which are infinitely more valuable.

Everything you have belongs to God and is a gift from Him.

If you haven’t decided what you value in life, you are more likely to feel insecure, discontented, and unable to enjoy the blessings you do have, especially when money is tight.

No matter what the backgrounds of you and your spouse, what’s yours and what’s mine, your way and my way must give way to finding common ground and crafting a family financial policy that’s ours and one everyone can live with.

What you leave in your children is far more important than what you leave to

Don’t cover for your children when they behave irresponsibly with money or their belongings; this trains them to be irresponsible adults. Responsibility is like the measles: it’s less painful when you get it as a child.

A financial downturn is the opportunity to change spending routines that have gotten out of hand and focus on the truly important things of life: family, faith, and friends.

If you strive after wealth at the expense of family life, personal health and a healthy marriage, you will find that you really don’t control your wealth. It controls you.

Managing money is not about the money. It’s about how you view money.

Traditions and common experiences cement a family. There’s something about being able to say, “This is the way our family always does it.”

People are the most more important part of any occasion.

Spending time and or money to create shared memories is a good investment.

Accept the fact that calamity and confusion are often uninvited guests at celebrations. Food will burn, toilets will overflow, and your power may go out. But you can still make positive memories if you are able to laugh about mishaps and plans that go awry.

Self-care is not a call to selfish preoccupation but a necessity to be all you can be for the people God calls you to serve.

Failing to take time to care for yourself puts not only you but also the people you care about at risk. An exhausted and deflated wife, mother, daughter, and friend is not much good to anyone.

You have to be in good shape to give good shape to the rest of your life.

Every day you make decisions, and then your decisions make you.

When you work in harmony with the way God created you—instead of trying to be like someone else—you can better manage your home and personal life.

Little changes can make a big difference.

The family is God’s invention. He knows best how to make it work.

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