How do you motivate family members to do family night without making it feel like a chore or an argument?
- “The Anatomy of Peace” by the Arbinger Institute (Unaffiliated)
- What is family night?
Welcome to the intentional family moment. Take a moment with us as we discuss our thoughts on your family related questions. Then join us in our weekly challenges. We work together to become more intentional in our families.
This is Episode thirteen hosted by married Coriaria founders Brent and Michelle. This episode is brought to you by Coriaria – Choose family. Learn more at Coriaria.com.
Today’s question is: “How do you motivate family members to do family night without making it feel like a chore or an argument?”
I think it’s going to depend on the family and on the circumstances around that. What are the ages of children? What are the ages of family members in general, and what are the reasons why they may not want to participate? I do think that the thing that sticks out the most to me is consistency. My family Growing up, we consistently had family nights, and sometimes it definitely felt like a chore or an argument. But the fact that we had it consistently made a big difference in the long term impact of family night on at least me. I can’t speak for anyone else in my family, but I believe that it made a difference for all of us, and I know that it definitely made a difference for me as well. And the consistency was a key factor for that
I like how this person phrased the question by saying, “How do you motivate family members” instead of saying something like “How do you make family members participate?” Because there’s a lot of agency that goes into it. You can’t make someone want to do something. But there are things that you could do like you said, to get to know your family members, to know what they care about, and then to act on that. You know, if you have a family member that’s really into a certain hobby, maybe you can plan the family night around that. Or on the other end of things, you can give people different assignments and parts to it so that it’s all not all coming from you. It’s a group effort.
Certainly incorporating buy-in into the process of setting up and running family night would be a big part of it, especially if you were to ask individuals that might be more disinclined to participate and family night to plan it and to just see how that goes. They’re certainly going to be different pieces to that. But giving them that ownership in that autonomy could go a long way towards fostering trust and towards reducing the negativity that might be associated with conducting family night
I think in that same process that you want to listen to the people that are making it feel like a chore and argument to you, and to make sure that you are understanding their perspective and getting to know what they care about. Kind of back to, I’m sure we’ve brought it up before, but the Arbinger Institute “Anatomy of Peace” book. It talks about how you are towards other people and how that could affect things. Because if you’re going into it feeling like it’s going to be a chore or an argument, there’s some of that that’s in your own. It’s on your own responsibility how you are towards the situation.
I think that makes sense. Ultimately, the way that we are towards other people influences the way that they respond to us. And if we’re viewing a moment as conflict, or maybe a person is someone that needs to be fixed or something like that, then that’s going to not create a positive interaction out of the gate. And the person asking this question may not have that as a concern. But it is something I think keep in mind anytime you’re interacting with someone is, “Are we approaching this treating people as people or are we treating people as something that we’re going to use to our benefit or to whatever it is that we want?”
So what would be a good challenge based on this question this week?
I think that the starting point of consistency and simply going to conduct family night is a good starting place and then making the invitation to someone who may not have been part of organizing or running family night, to do so. Extending that invitation to that person so that they can be a part of the family night experience of planning and running it would be a definitely a good starting point that anyone could apply.
Thank you for joining us. Now go home and change the world by being more intentional with your family.
Challenge: Ask your family to organize family night
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