Wednesday

Maturation, Communication, and "The Secret to Happy Families"

Tomorrow our son attends Maturation. Yep, 5th grade Maturation. Do any of you have kids who have already been there and done that?

I remember when I had to attend maturation. My parents rarely went out of town when we were kids. But this particular time, they happen to be in England for two weeks. My great-grandparents came to watch us. I had to bring the permission slip home to my great grandmother for a signature if I wanted to attend. It took me three days to bring the subject up with her. I didn't know if I wanted to go or not. I just remember tears and stress because I didn't want her to go with me, but I didn't want to go alone. I just wanted my mom.

I ended up attending the class alone, and everything worked out just fine. I realize in hindsight there was one main reason things worked out. My parents had already started the conversation with me about maturing and the birds and the bees. When they came home from the trip, we sat down again and continued the conversation.

My husband had a completely different experience. His mom told him some false information, in order to avoid talking about touchy subjects. As young kids do, he believed her. One day while having a conversation with his friends, the topics came up and my husband told his friends what he "knew". They laughed at him and told him he was wrong. He defended his mom insisting she was right, until another parent stepped in, to set the record straight. My husband was so embarrassed! Needless to say the experience violated trust and affected future conversations and experiences between the two of them.

We all talk to our children every day. But talking to them is so much more than conversations about schedules and sibling conflict. Successful communication means we are having a series of talks. We are starting conversations that continue over weeks, months, even years, in preparation for what they might face, and what life will have in store.

This doesn't just apply to difficult topics like "maturation." This can apply to everything.

Talking also means telling stories about ourselves. Positive stories that help teach our children, and help them relate to us.

Growing up, my dad always told us stories about when he was growing up. He used stories to relate to us, teach us, and inspire us. I LOVED it. I think about his stories often and appreciate that he tells them to our children. They are being passed down through the generations and continue to bond us together through the ages. It seems that most, if not all the lessons and principles I was taught as a child, were taught through stories.

My husband and I took a challenge not too long ago to work harder to share more personal stories with our children.

Inspired by the thoughts of Bruce Felier in his new book, "The Secrets of Happy Families" we have set out to create a family narrative in our home so our children know our family history and know more about us. We have tried to focus on stories about our successes, and how we have overcome setbacks and challenges.

Last month when our son brought his maturation permission slip home, we sat down to chat. With a renewed dedication to our family narrative, I told our son about the experience I had with my great grandparents when I was in the 5th grade.

We laughed a lot and he gave me that shy funny look he delivers where his eyes go up and his mouth turns down. I told him how I was able to over come a difficult situation.

Our children want to know about us. They want to hear our stories. They find strength in being able to relate to us and find similarities. It is comforting when they can realize that we were kids once too!

We have seen our family relationship strengthen as we have worked harder to weave stories into our conversations and communication. It is a good challenge for all of us.

Tips to having your own "conversations".
  • Start early. Open the lines of communication when they are very young so they always know you can talk together about everything. Children will be prepared when situations arise and we won't feel like we are always playing "catch up" with our conversations. 
  • Remember, communication is more than just one talk. It is a series of dialogues, an ongoing conversation. 
  • Share stories with your family. Focus on sharing positive experiences. 
  • Sharing stories about challenges are also great, just be sure you focus on how you overcame the challenge. 
  • There is room to talk about mistakes also. Focus on how you fixed the mistake, learned from it, and righted the wrong, more that the actual thing you did wrong.
  • There are some things we don't need to tell our children. Think twice. 
Research suggests that the more children know about their parents and grandparents, especially their successes and failures, the more they are able to overcome setbacks. Start creating a family narrative in your home today.
    Has your child gone to 5th grade Maturation yet?
    How did it go?
    Do you tell your children stories about you growning up?



    Over the past two years of so, I have been able to participate in the TLC Book Tours. Every book I have reviewed has been fantastic. This last read was The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Felier. After 3 years of research, Happy Families aims to share some innovative and less traditional ways of bringing families closer together. Following along on Facebook and Twitter too!

    I was given a copy of the book to read. All thoughts and opinions are mine.








    11 comments:

    1. Beautifully said! I think I'm going to have to go check out that book. Thanks for sharing! :)

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    2. This article happened at a great time, because my daughter has maturation today too! Thanks for the fantastic tips. I think I'm going to print out your bullet points and pull them out everytime I have a conversation with the kids. Great points to remember.

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    3. "Our children want to know about us. They want to hear our stories. They find strength in being able to relate to us and find similarities." So true! And both my husband and I are doing everything we can to keep the lines of communication open between our son and us, though I'm sure there are tips in this book that would help us.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour!

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    4. My parents never had "the talk" with me. Ever. I found out everything I knew from school, friends, books, whatever. I don't feel like that's the right way to do it, and my eight year old has been asking questions so a few weeks ago my husband and I sat and talked with him about the basics. The best part was when he looked at us and said "Did YOU guys do that?" So funny. But we stressed that this isn't really something we talk about with little siblings or friends at school, not because it's bad but because it's special and private. He seemed to take it all in stride and I was super nervous for nothing. If nothing else, at least he knows we are willing to talk to him about this kind of stuff.

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      ReplyDelete
    7. Am here to appreciate a man who has brought back the most precious thing back into my life, After my Ex Boyfriend left me for good 5 years i was in deep pain and so confused because i truly loved him so much because he meant a lot in my life,So i was at a shop one day buying somethings when i was listening to the radio hearing a lady talking about Dr Ofemo on how he has helped her in bringing back her ex,lover So which then i got home and had a think about contacting this spell caster So then i got his contact when i went to meet them at the radio station,They gave me dr Ofemo cell number and email id,Then i decided to contact him, and i explained to Dr Ofemo how my Ex Boyfriend left me for good 5 years, Dr Ofemo has used his great and powerful spell to help me bring back my Ex Boyfriend within the period of 24 hours. This is more than words to me, at first I didn't believe it because I have tried several means to have her back to my life but nothing worked until Dr Ofemo came in to help me. I will advice every one out there who finds this testimony that has a similar I once had, and also anyone who is willing to get his or her lover back to contact this wonderful man today via email: drofemospelltemple@yahoo.com Dr Ofemo is a man to contact for help please don't fall victim into the hand of scam Dr Ofemo is here to help and a living testimony to his great work contact him on his private mail
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      ReplyDelete
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      ReplyDelete
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      My boyfriend of a 2year just broke up with me and am 28 weeks pregnant. I have cried my self to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again. Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes, my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time. Generally he is a very nice guy, he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along. He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot. After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change. I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with. I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe. He texts me once and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy, he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy. i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Ahmed can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my boyfriend came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my boyfriend are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Ahmed. as it is a place to resolve marriage/relationship issues, do you want to be sure if your spouse is being faithful to you or Do you want your Ex to come back to you Contact.: E-mail: Ahmedutimate@gmail.com or call/Whats-app: +2348160153829 save your crumbling home and change of grades its 100% safe. I suggest you contact him. He will not disappoint you.

      ReplyDelete
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      ReplyDelete

    Hi Hi! It always makes my day to hear what you have to say. Let's keep this conversation going. Thank you for your comments. Don't want to leave a comment here, email me at blog.familyvolley@gmail.com.

     
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