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Tribal Family Leadership Week 4: Duck Duck Goose

Wednesday, 8th September 2010

picnic

An important skill in any leadership is to sense what is not working and to adjust.  I have to say it didn’t take a genius to get that my kids did not like the idea of going to the storytelling festival.  Messing with their Fridays, especially when there was school events on that night, would have been shooting myself in the head.  So, being the brilliant leader I am, I decided not to do that. I did have to put some thought into determining the balance in leading a family.  Teenagers are not really interested in family bonding time.  Surprise!   Yet it is important, and will benefit them for years to come.  There is a balance between agency and honoring their free will and helping them do things that they wouldn’t do that will grow them as leaders.

I talked with my other tribal leader, my husband, than we talked with the teenagers.  I announced that I got that they really didn’t want to do the storytelling festival and told them that if we as a family didn’t do that then we needed to do something different so that we can still come together as a family.  After all that is my stake, that they have a sense of community as a family and that won’t happen unless some time is put in.  Notice I went back to our common stake and my vision.  This is always a good thing to do when things aren’t going as well as liked.

Bam.  It is amazing when they have some motivation how fast they are at problem solving.  “Mom, let’s do a picnic in the park.  Or we could play a game together as a family.”  Well, since I am not the normal type of mom, a smile came across my face because I do like to watch them squirm.  “Great on Sunday we will do both!”  They, of course, with much energy tried to talk me into doing only one, but I was strong.  “You have such a great ideas we will do both!”

Sunday came and I did our new tradition of pot roast.  This time I bought two since one wasn’t enough.  Well, with a college boy home for the weekend, two wasn’t nearly enough either.  It going to be fun buying four pot roasts next time to see if that is enough to feed the hungry vultures.  Hours later for dinner we had the kids make sandwiches and we all bundled up and walked to the park across the street in the midst of hollowing wind.

The little ones were excited to be going somewhere with whole family, but the older ones dragged themselves onward without complaint.  My husband pointed out some picnic tables that were in a grove of trees that formed a circle.  I was thrilled to be sitting in a circle that protected us from the wind and to have the chance to talk about the importance of gathering in a circle where everyone is important and equal.  We got to notice the strength it gave us.

I have to admit we had nice conversation around the table as we munched on sandwiches, grapes and strawberries.  My younger son decided hotdogs needed to be part of the food for next time.  The idea of chips, cookies, and pop got vetoed by of course their tribal leader who told them that wouldn’t support their poor health.  One of my kids managed to get his ball stuck in an underground pipe and also managed to find a dead tree that he carried across the park.

When we returned, everyone was in good mood and we actually did feel more together.  Then came the vote for the game.  My husband really didn’t like the idea that Duck, Duck, Goose won, preferring Taboo.   We were all surprised at how much fun we had playing that little kids game.  My 18 month old laughed and laughed as people carried her as they chased the other kids.

Moral of the story: when there is a lot of resistance, change the plans.  Hold firm to the vision, and try things out.  Even if it sounds lame to play Duck, Duck, Goose, you might be surprised what happens.  The important thing is to hold firm to quality family time.  Yes, that does mean the teens have to give up their phones and friends for an hour or two, but truth be known they will survive and might like mine did forget the time and actually enjoy it.

4 Comments to 'Tribal Family Leadership Week 4: Duck Duck Goose'

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  1. ‘;: I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information ‘:`

    Fri 28th January, 2011 at 6:44 pm
  2. is miss Arkansas 2011 African erican said:

    in games the reason is u feel good that all the story is focus on u…u r the hero of tht game and in movies u feel jeoulous of the heroes girl frnd…… ha a ha

    Tue 8th February, 2011 at 9:04 am
  3. Lisa said:

    What part of it did you find most helpful?

    Mon 14th February, 2011 at 6:17 pm
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