HABIT 3: PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST
There’s no way we can be successful in our families if we don’t prioritize them in our lives. And this is what Habit 3 is about.
There is probably no single structure that will help you to prioritize more than a weekly family night. On a typical night in our own family over the years, we would review our calendar of upcoming events, hold a council to discuss issues and problems, have a talent recital so the kids could show us how they were coming along with their music or dance lessons, do a short lesson and a family activity and serve refreshments. In this way, we’d accomplish what we’ve come to feel are the four main ingredients of a successful family night: planning, problem-solving, teaching and fun.
The second absolutely foundational family structure is the one-on-one bonding time. These one-on-ones are where most of the real work of the family is done. This is where the most significant sharing, the most profound teaching, the deepest bonding takes place.
A mother of five sons said:
The other day, I took my 22-year-old son out to lunch. As we ate together, we talked about his life, including his classes at school, his plans for the future, and so on.
We had a wonderful time just being together. As I thought about it later, 1 realized this is something that didn’t just happen. I started this one on-one tradition when the boys were in elementary school, and it’s really made a difference. I don’t think I could have this kind of time with my son now if we hadn’t started doing it when he was younger.
Stephen R Covey