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Creating Unity in the Home

Family life in an undiscerning home can be riddled with squabbling. Unity can be difficult. What is the biggest culprit for family arguments?  It is not the actual disagreements but it is the way or the process in which the family disagrees.  John Gottman at the University of Washington teaches couples and families working on unity in relationship to listen carefully for what he calls, “the dream” that each person is saying.  For example, a husband and wife are fighting over how much candy their kids can eat.  The mom really values eating healthy plus she is the one who takes the kids to the dentist. The father values freedom of expression. He was raised in a home where he wasn’t allowed to eat sweets until he was 18.  His wife’s ‘No sweets rule’ feels like a reminder of his sweets deprivation that he hated as a kid.  The mother and father find it tough to come to an agreement on how much sweets to allow.

Gottman would help this family navigate this seemly unresolvable disagreement by telling them to listen to the dream.  The dream for the mom is healthy kids and healthy teeth. The dream for the dad is the opportunity to celebrate the joy of choice around sweets.  Instead of starting with how they disagree, the couple should focus on where their dreams align – in this case, healthy happy children. Then they should articulate a plan that allows for both dreams and the most optimum option where both people can participate fully. How this gets derailed is that the couple most likely uses language that accuses and attacks the other person’s point of view.  Using statements that welcome and appreciate the valued perspective of the other instead of immediately attacking and foreclosing will allow the couple to come to a good solution and the best option for their kids.  Diversity of thought is very important to a good family . Being open to finding the best and most wise options come from listening and respecting “the dream” each one of us is seeking.  Unity in homes makes us stronger and it is worth the hard work to live in unity.


About NBC Camps

NBC Camps began in 1971 with the mission to build stronger players and better people.  This focus was on intrinsic quaities such as grit, mental toughness, and the will to forgive. NBC  stands for Nothing Beats Commitment and the message that our commitments reveal our future self.  For more information about NBC Camps visit  NBC Camps have basketball, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, computer, fine arts and other camp options.  

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