Academy Advice

LA Family Support--November

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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 with Your Kids

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

  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?
  7. 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?

Family Dinners

It isn't always easy to eat dinner together as a family. Research from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse has found that when they asked teens and parents why they didn't eat dinner more often together, the two groups of people blamed each other.

Research studies continue to highlight the power of family dinners. Now a new study from CASA at Columbia University has been released , and it says that teenagers who don't eat dinner frequently with their family are:

  • twice as likely to use alcohol
  • almost twice as likely to use alcohol
  • more likely to use marijuana

The same is true with grades in school:

  • Teenagers who have five to seven family dinners/week are more likely to get As and Bs in school.
  • Teenagers who have fewer than three family dinners per week are twice as likely to report receiving mostly Cs and lower grades in school.

Use this "captive" time to strengthen your family! Ban the technology from the table, and enjoy being present with one another! Here are some conversation starters!

  • What was the nicest compliment you ever received from an adult?
  • What does it mean to have personal power? Are you born with it, or did you grow it, gather it, or discover it?
  • What is your favorite family tradition? Does it involve an activity you like to do?
  • In your opinion, how important is it to dream and set goals?
  • Would you rather live in the country, a tiny rural town, a suburb of a city, or an urban city center? Why?

Contact Us!

We'd love to know what you think of these resources! Did you try them? How did they go? How else can we help?