Intentional Parenting: 8 ways to be intentional with the time you have to spend with your family

Many people make resolutions around their own lifestyle changes that will improve their quality of life. While we tend to make unobtainable goals, many people still have a go, and some succeed. Researchers call this feeling the “fresh start effect”. They have found that we tend to motivate ourselves into good habits by using a new beginning (like the start of the week, month, year, season, etc.) as a marker to put past behavior behind us and focus on being better. It brings opportunity to reflect on the previous year and anticipate what you want the New Year to look like.

Here are a few ideas which may get you thinking of how you can do “small things often” and turn towards your partner to show them you are loving them intentionally. In turn these small things will add to your emotional bank account, deposits that create a stronger bond in your partnership.

A goal for you might be about the quality of time you spend together versus the quantity.

We have come up with 8 ways to be intentional with the time you have to spend with your family. Try using these motivations in your own household.

  1. Spend 1:1 time – If you have more than one child how can you make them feel special and loved? Spend time with them individually! Kids crave one-on-one time with their parents. It makes them feel special, you get to connect and catch up with that child, and it can strengthen your bond. Make sure both parents take turns. Some examples: have one child run errands with you, take a walk around your neighborhood, do your chores/projects together, play a favorite game with them, use your time in the car driving your child to activities.

By setting intentions for family time, it takes pressure off of you and your family to accomplish those unreasonable resolutions. Use this year as an opportunity to create a fresh start. Be intentional with your family.

Remember that these motivations aren’t all or nothing. Some days you will succeed in some areas and lack in others, and that’s okay. The purpose of setting intentions is to make your goals obtainable for you and your family.

References

  1. Hengchen Dai, Katherine L. Milkman, Jason Riis (2014) The Fresh Start Effect: Temporal Landmarks Motivate Aspirational Behavior. Management Science

#PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

For more information on PREPARE/ENRICH or to simply set up a couple on the tool, please contact: www.prepare-enrich.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #prepareenrich #strongerrelationships

Advertisements

Managing relationships at work: Policies to ensure employees behave in the best interest of the employer

A recent US study reported that 10% of married couples meet as colleagues. With the amount of time spent in the office this number is unsurprising. However, office romances can cause problems for employers – this can range from a drop in productivity, to conflict of interest or a costly harassment claim.

As an employer, you must remember that it is not just the romantic and emotional relationships (spouses and friendships) that you need to be alert to. Platonic relationships can still cause conflicts: immediate family, other close relationships such as cousins and in-laws, or financial relationships between staff members and clients.

Your staff should carry out their duties to the best of their abilities and certify that they avoid any conflict of interest where possible. It is important that personal relationships do not influence business decisions and interactions with other staff or clients.

How can policies assist in a situation where a relationship needs to be managed?

It is vital that you clearly outline your position on managing relationships in a policy that is distributed to all staff. These policies need to showcase the kinds of relationships that might create a conflict of interest and the situations in which conflict may arise.

It is important to state that the staff must behave in the best interest of the employer and that processes, such as recruitment, must not be affected by the relationship. In line with this expectation, you should clarify in the policy that a relationship, its status and any real, perceived or actual conflict of interest is disclosed. It is also essential to have a robust harassment policy and grievance procedures so that matters can be investigated impartially.

These policies need to set the expectations of conduct in the workplace for all employees and include possible consequences of breaching the policy. Recruitment and disciplinary procedures are also important to reduce the risk of claims of bias or discrimination.

Relationship policies can be viewed as a bit heavy-handed but no business is too small not to be worried by potential issues. While office romances are a fact of life, they shouldn’t come at a cost to your business. These policies can help prevent conflict of interest issues, and will set expectations for staff to help them work with people who are close to them.

Reference:

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Managing relationships at work: Ensure that there is no actual or perceived interference with procedures like recruitment, disciplinary processes and development opportunities

A recent US study reported that 10% of married couples meet as colleagues. With the amount of time spent in the office this number is unsurprising. However, office romances can cause problems for employers – this can range from a drop in productivity, to conflict of interest or a costly harassment claim.

As an employer, you must remember that it is not just the romantic and emotional relationships (spouses and friendships) that you need to be alert to. Platonic relationships can still cause conflicts: immediate family, other close relationships such as cousins and in-laws, or financial relationships between staff members and clients.

Your staff should carry out their duties to the best of their abilities and certify that they avoid any conflict of interest where possible. It is important that personal relationships do not influence business decisions and interactions with other staff or clients.

What are my duties as an employer?

It’s your responsibility to make sure conflict of interest does not arise out of relationships at work. Areas that are often affected include decision-making and the boundaries and the maintenance of confidential information. In particular, you need to make sure that there is no actual or perceived interference with procedures like recruitment, disciplinary processes and development opportunities. These processes must be done in a transparent fashion to avoid an accusation of favouritism. Get this wrong and you can be on the receiving end of a discrimination claim.

Relationship policies can help mitigate any issues should any relationships develop or a relationship cause a conflict with any persons of interest to your business.
Relationship policies set a criteria for conflicting interests, for example they ensure the ability to remove an employee from the decision-making process should there be a particular relationship which could potentially result in bias.

To make things more complex, it’s worth remembering that it’s possible for employees and potential employees to make a claim of adverse action on the grounds of not being appointed due to their relationship, for example an employee’s marital status, so employers need to tread carefully.

Reference:

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Encouraging Intimacy: Couples whose relationship lacks intimacy may benefit from being encouraged to engage in constructive emotional disclosure

It has long been proposed that self-disclosure and empathic responding form the basis of good quality intimate relationships.

A study by Alexandra Mitchell and her colleagues in 2008 examined 102 couples who completed intimacy measures following videotaped discussions about relationship problems and crises occurring both within and outside the relationship. They reported that “…men’s own disclosure and empathic responding predicted their feelings of intimacy, whereas women’s intimacy was predicted by their partner’s disclosure and empathic responding.

Self-disclosure and empathic responding appear to be important behavioral determinants of intimate feelings, but the manner in which they influence intimacy differs according to gender.”

This suggests that aspects of empathic responding may influence intimacy in men and women differently. The authors summarised these differences as follows:

  • Men’s caring predicted their own intimacy, whereas their understanding and validation did not. Men may feel more effective in responding to their partner’s vulnerability and, therefore, closer to their partner when they express affectionate concern for their partner rather than just understanding and acceptance of their partner’s disclosure.
  • Women felt more intimate when their partners exhibited understanding, validation, and caring.

One practical implication of this finding is that couples whose relationship lacks intimacy may benefit from being encouraged to engage in constructive emotional disclosure discussions more frequently, particularly as a means of regaining closeness after relationship damage has occurred.

Men will feel a greater sense of intimacy from responding to their partner and expressing caring towards their partner, and their partners will feel a greater sense of intimacy because of this.

Reference:

Mitchell, Alexandra E, Castellani, Angela M, Herrington, Rachael L, Joseph, Jana I, Doss, Brian D, Snyder, Douglas K (2008). Predictors of intimacy in couples’ discussions of relationship injuries: An observational study. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 21-29.

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Balance: Clarify values and your commitment, dedicating time to study, faith and/or meditation

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

4. Spiritual.

Focus on clarifying values and your commitment, dedicating time to study, faith and/or meditation.

Focus on getting better, rather than being good. Think improvement rather than thinking that you ought to be perfect. If you appreciate that change is inevitable, therefore focusing on getting better through enhanced awareness and careful exploration of issues and by developing and improving skills to deal with those issues we remain flexible and allow for error and therefore alleviate anxiety.

Enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Balance: Participate in community events and work on at least one area where you can give service to benefit others

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

3. Social
Enjoy a rich private life, give service and show integrity. Participate in community events and work on at least one area where you can give service to benefit others. Be it via a volunteer organisation or individual seeking support (i.e. mentoring), connect and assist others.

From 21–27 May 2018, thousands of events will be held across the country to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer their time. National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. # NVW2018.

Many organisations draw upon the generous support of many who give up their valuable time and share their knowledge and resources..This year theme is Give a little. Change a lot represents the millions of volunteers who make a profound impact in their communities and on society, through giving a little time.

Participate in a community event or work on at least one area where you can give service to benefit others.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship

Balance: 15 minutes a day being creative makes a huge difference to your well-being

We are all in a state of entropy and only consistent and continued refinement and attention to Physical, Intellectual, Social and our Spiritual selves is vital to retain balance. To ensure an upward spiral of growth, change, and continuous improvement in ourselves and our relationships, learn to take care of yourself.

2. Intellectual
If we appreciate that change is inevitable, therefore focusing on getting better through enhanced awareness and careful exploration of issues and by developing and improving skills to deal with those issues, we remain flexible and allow for error and therefore alleviate anxiety.

Consider reading, meditation, visualising, planning and writing. Stimulate the right side of your brain, engage in create endeavours and take time out to think outside the everyday. Research suggests that 15 minutes a day makes a huge difference to your well-being and can stimulate the brain to learn in new and different ways. Enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

Reference:

  • Covey, S, 1989: Principle Centred Leadership

Tune in for more tips and tricks next week… or contact me Shane Smith shane@intentional-relationship.com or @ www.workofheart.net.au

More tips at Intentional-Relationship.com

Take the Couple Checkup

Take the Couple Checkup

Simply click on the Register button below relevant to your relationship – it couldn’t be easier. Once you have finished the questions you should receive your comprehensive personalised report in about 30 seconds.

Take the Couple Checkup

The Couple Checkup generates deep and productive conversations that couples would not otherwise have about their relationship. These conversations restore insight and understanding about one another. The Couple Checkup can help to revive a relationship and increase intimacy.

The Couple Checkup is an online couple assessment based on the PREPARE/ENRICH couple inventories. The Checkup assessment and Checkup report are designed to go directly to couples at any stage of their relationship (dating, engaged or married). The online system allows for dynamic customization of the assessment to each couple based on how the couple answers background questions. The goal is for the Couple Checkup to reach a more diverse group of couples, to empower couples to deal with issues on their own and to emphasize prevention over remediation.

For more information on the use and analysis of the Couple Checkup or to simply use the tool, please contact: www.couplecheckup.com.au or call today (02) 9520 4049 #couplecheckup #relationship