Academy Advice

LA Family Support--Full Content for Share Power

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Developmental Relationships: Share Power

What does that look like?

  • Respect me: Take me seriously and treat me fairly.
  • Include me: Involve me in decisions that affect me.
  • Collaborate: Work with me to solve problems and reach goals.
  • Let me lead: Create opportunities for me to take action and lead.

Bottom Line: Treat me with RESPECT and GIVE me a SAY.

Discussion Starters to Grow How You Share Power

Families are stronger when they respect each other, negotiate through conflicts, and give others a voice in decision making.

  • How do different members of your family influence others in your family? (Think of at least one way each person influences each other family member.)
  • What are easy topics for making decisions in your family? What areas are harder?
  • Think of who makes decisions in your family. (This could include schedule, money, activities, cooking, or chores.) How might these parts of your family be different if another family member made those decisions?

Developmental Relationships: Share Power

Getting Started: Ideas for Parents

Here are some ways moms, dads, and other parenting adults share power with their kids:

  1. Let them pick shared activities. They can sometimes decide what you’ll do together and what you’ll talk about. Don’t jump in too fast when they don’t make quick decisions or think of things to talk about. Sometimes it helps to let them pick from two to three choices that work for the schedule and budget.
  2. Offer choices, rather than always giving instructions. (“So, what could you do differently to tackle this problem?”)
  3. Learn from your kids—and show it. They often have a lot to teach us as adults. Let them know when you’ve learned something from them that you’re excited about.
  4. Take time to understand each other’s point of view when you disagree. If you can, reach a consensus or compromise. If you come to agree with them, admit it and celebrate their persuasiveness!
  5. When you need to make a decision that your kids disagree with, explain your final choice to them. Thank them for taking time to share their perspective.

Discussion Starters with Your Kids

  1. What does the word power mean to you? What attracts you to the word? What worries or turns you off about the word?
  2. What are the ways each member of your family influences others in your family? This can include personal preferences (such as fashion or music preferences), how your family spends time and money, and core beliefs and values.
  3. Look at each of the areas of sharing power, including the ways family members respect, give voice to, respond to, and collaborate with each other. When are some times when you’ve done some of these things well in your family? Which are particularly hard for your family?
  4. When is a time you’ve been thankful someone has used their “power” to help you? When is a time they’ve shared their power with you that you’ve really appreciated?
  5. How are the “power dynamics” in your own family similar to and different from previous generations in your family or other families you know? What might be some of the reasons behind those similarities and differences?
  6. If you were to identify one area of sharing power that you’d like to work on in your family, what would it be? Why?

Discussion Starters with Other Parenting Adults*

  1. How does the idea that sharing power is an important part of family relationships strike you? What parts of it make the most sense? What doesn’t make sense?
  2. When have you found great satisfaction as a parent by sharing power with your child? What gave you that satisfaction?
  3. What’s hardest for you about sharing power with your child? How have you managed the hard parts?
  4. What are some ways you’ve seen families effectively share power when their kids are different ages, from infancy to adulthood? At what ages can it be most challenging?
  5. What advice would you have for parents of younger kids when it comes to sharing power in the family?

* These parenting adults may include your spouse or partner, extended family members, friends who are parents, or a parent group or class.

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