How can a family reduce stress during this time of uncertainty? What can help keep or bring happiness to your family during the COVID-19 crisis or anytime?
In the sixth post in this series, I shared the allowance and planning steps of the Weekly Family Planning Meeting (WFPM). In this, the last post in the series, we will talk about what works well and where your family might struggle.
What Works Well
Most children don’t like change. If you stick to this system, it does work to introduce change with little disruption. The kids perceive their larger amount of control because they contribute to the changes made in the WFPM.
Not receiving a daily point or worse yet, losing a Cotcha is a huge loss of face in the family. The kids will work hard to avoid this and do well in their commitments to the rest of the family.
There is usually an increase in the amount of tasks completed in a given day. Most things are independently accomplished with a much lower level of frustration. This means less arguing and yelling by mom and dad.
Where are the struggles?
Skipping the family stand ups can be an issue. If this happens, give kids that remember to start the meetings a Cotcha. This helps the meetings occurring. Even if there is a conflicting school activity, hold the stand up right before bedtime.
Don’t forget to reward Cotchas for good behavior. To not do so decreases their effectiveness. If the parents forget, it’s ok to ask the kids to help with these as well.
If a meeting must be missed because life happens, simply adjust. Don’t skip a meeting! Be persistent, keep the system working.
The End-Not really, it’s the beginning!
The increased productivity is certainly a valued piece of this system. The real value lies in the increase in communication between family members. Making time to talk about how the family functions is key to improving behavior and happiness at being a part of the family.
Talking about common dysfunctions like arguments as a family has a genuine impact on individual behavior. Openly managing an individual’s behavior in a structured group is a powerful tool to promote more positive behavior.
When parents encourage their kids to become part of the change process, kids will be less fearful of change. To stay relevant, the process must always be open for change. The goal is a happier, healthier family!