Wednesday, 23 April 2014

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Date One-On-One (DOO) with Your Spouse


According to Stephen R. Covey, author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families," besides Weekly Family Meeting Night (WFMN) and Weekly Family Fun Night (WFFN), Date One-On-One (DOO) with your spouse is very important.

According to Stephane Covey, "The greatest you can do for your children is love your spouse. The strength of this bonding in the marriage creates a sense of security in the entire family. The most significant relationship in the family is by far the husband and wife. The quality of that relationship truly governs the quality of family life. And even when there have been problems and a breaking of that relationship, it is very important taht the parents are civil toward each other and that one never attacks the other in front of the children or even behind the children's backs. The "vibes" get out, and children will take it personally.

"Children get much of their sense of security from the way their mother and father treat each other."

According to Stephen R. Covery, "DOO give you the opportunity to build that relationship, the Emotional Bank Account, so that you can teach."

Key:

1. Privacy - place with privacy
2. Be Present - physically, mentally and emotionally present
3. Listen

Benefits:

1. That rich communication, that bonding, builds the marriage and provides a tremendous sense of unity that helps us pull together instead of apart.

2. It reaffirms why you are together, why you fell in love with each other, why you chose each other.

The opposite is also true, according to Stephen R. Covey, when out of a sense of time pressure, one attempt to teach, discipline or correct when others are present, you will be amazed how ineffective you usually are. I quote from Stephen R. Covey:

"I am convinced that many children know what they should do, but their minds are not made up to do it. People don't act on what they know; they act on how they feel about what they know and about themselves. If they can come to feel good about themselves and about hte relationship, they are encouraged to act on what they know."

Ideas:

1. Make it a point to spend some time together every day.

2. Go for a ride up the foothills and just talk.

3. Walk barefoot on the beach, see sunrise together.

4. Share what's going on in your life, discuss any issues or concerns, role-play situations in the family that need to address and resolve.

5. Every Friday night, arrange for your children to be cared for while you spend several hours together just focused on building your relationship. Go out to dinner, to a movie.

5. Once a week, let your kids tuck you in. Go to bed an hour before the kids go to bed. Simply just unwind and talk together. Share your experiences at work. Talk through the issues in the family. Help balance each other out. Sometimes listen to music or watch TV. This may work better than going out on a date where there are things that interfrere with your private time - a waiter, people you run into, and so on. Stephane Covey did it 3-4 times a week.

6. Go on a "retreat" together once or twice a year. Review your marriage mission statement together. Work on goals for the coming year and mentally plan your future.

According to Stephane Covey, "planning isn't easy. It requires thinking, and many of us are so busy following hectic schedules, being tyrannized by the telephone, and meeting small crises that we go for long periods without any deep, meaningful communication with our husband or wife. Yet planning is of overwhelming significance in any endeavor: successfully raising a family. It must play a vital, central role because it brings enormous benefits. When a couple comes together to work through matters in their shared stewardship - particularly in dealing with children - it opens the floodgates to synergy, insight, and strengthened resolve. The insights are more profound and the solutions more practical and workable - the entire process is enormously bonding and unifying to the relationship." (p. 153)

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