Crafting Family Policies
Element 2: Family Management | Rules, policies and procedures for living together. Or not.
“Let us nurture the practice of family values,
By embracing policies that value families.”
— Benjamin Todd Jealous
Many times families find themselves in situations with the need to discuss a ‘policy’ or ‘rule of the house’ only to find that the policy is at best marginally clear to the family members engaged in the situation, and worse it may be a moment of crises when emotions are running high.
It is at times such as this that family members usually find themselves left with nothing but the first thought or phrase which comes to mind. This is rarely adequate to solve a situation leaving family members bitter and angry instead of people who truly desire to live peacefully with one another.
Sometimes, things are better said in writing where each family member can individually refer to the policy in private and consider its meaning for themselves. Examples of sensitive family policies like this might be a family member’s sexuality, substance abuse, or financial trouble.
Sensitive issues for which the need to provide family members a dignified way of coming to terms with their situation might be better started on paper to help open the way for family members to sit down face to face.
Including sensitive topics in writing; perhaps in the form of a personal letter or greeting card also displays an open acknowledgment by the family that such topics have been thought about and are not off limits.
That they will be dealt with in a sensitive and respectful manner mindful of each family member’s dignity, and that they are a real part of human life. As Human Beings, family member’s may have to deal with any one or all of them some day in their own lives.
Policies and procedures will be different for each family for a variety of reasons, which will make a difference in their acceptance, or not. Take time to consider policies. This is difficult work. It takes thought, and skillful management to run your family ‘workshop’ smoothly. This is the Way of Craftsmanship.