Monthly Archives: October 2013

Raising happy and powerful kids: Are we a family?


Are we a family or just group of individuals with different interests?

When we, as parents – went for the “life-project” which is called “parenthood”, we had a kind of a dream, idea, wish, hope that was that we shall be a real – good – supportive family. From the moment the first child was there (by birth or adoption), this dream was and still is challenged. We face different opinions between us – as parents, which creates tensions, discussions and even conflicts. Sometime later, the child starts to bring other challenges and confrontations, which look so different from our dream. Not only these direct confrontations with our children are sources of doubts, but the discussions on how to bring up our children are becoming heavier. From these confrontations a serious question is evolving: Can our dream of the united – supportive – family be realized? How come that so many families (including our relationships with our own brothers/sisters) are facing arguments and discussions that look very far from our desired family-life? The answer to the last question – whether the dream can be realized is – YES, it can be and it has been proven to work in many families. The more relevant question is HOW can we create it? What is it that we are missing, or what is it that we do not know how to apply, in order to fulfill this important dream?
In order to realize this important and yet sensitive dream, we have to realize that we need to be able to integrate several sources of expectations, to bridge over several different personal cultures, to communicate in a variety of communication styles and to handle external sources of influential people like our own parents, teachers, neighbors and friends.
The beginning must be by setting very clear foundations for the family that will allow well-defined freedom for every member of the family to express their wishes, but still maintain the “family-unity” spirit. Once the foundation is prepared, it does not mean that the “rest-time” session starts. No, it just means that the foundation was prepared properly, and now we need to fill up all the means and methods to make this foundation ready for future steps.
It looks complicated, and actually it is, when we are not trained to do so. But after sometime of getting familiar with these methods, it is becoming easier and promising.

This is the first in a series of blogs by Yiftach Sagiv about how we can raise happy and powerful kids.

If want to know more about the program than go to the Essence website for more info.

What is the balance between – Freedom, Empowerment and Discipline?

Am I empowering, or, am I demanding ‘too-much’ from my children?

It is the never-ending argument between me and my partner: I think I am empowering our children, and she says I am expecting too much. She claims that I am dictating the ‘family-life’ when I demand too much from the children, and I find that she is ‘too-easy’ on their behavior in the family.
Then – sometimes later, the whole family goes on a ‘roller-coaster’ of frustration and disappointments from all sides – through questions like: How come they do not understand? Why don’t they keep their agreements? Why is the house looking like after a ‘revolution-war’ and when will they grow-up?!
We want to empower our children, to be independent and free. But when they take actions, which we find that contradict our expectations – we ask them: ‘who allowed you to do so?’ ‘Why didn’t you ask permission?’ ‘Why didn’t you understand by yourself?’ No wonder that what our kids start to avoid us. And then, we start to ask ourselves – Why aren’t they sharing with us openly? There are several keys that are necessary to solve these complications:

  • Family vision and agreed mutual platform of the family. Family vision will create a platform for all family-members, to identify themselves, and thus ‘will put all noses in the same direction’.
  • Agreed boundaries of the freedom amongst the leaders of the family – in most cases – the parents. These boundaries are not set to limit the freedom, but to clarify the boundaries of the ‘play-field’ named – family.
  • Coordination of diversity of solutions in specific events. This coordination will leave every parent in a functional effective zone, without necessity to be the copy of the other parent, and yet will create a platform of agreed differences.
  • Simple and supportive ‘house-rules’. House rules are important for all members of the family to create mutual clarity for ‘family-unity’.

All these are quite simple to achieve – once there is clarity how the process is worked out. After being ready with all those – come the next step – launching these keys in a wise way into the reality of the family.

This is the second in a series of blogs by Yiftach Sagiv about how we can raise happy and powerful kids. If you want to know more about the program than go to the Essence website for more info.