Family Shapes Children's Minds For Life
Family is the foundation of a child's life. "The child looks into the eyes of Father and Mother and sees God," says Covey, who helped write the national bestseller, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, with his brother Stephen Covey. "The family shapes the mind of a child for life!"
Covey brings up significant research on child brain development. "95 percent of a child's brain develops by the age of three. When children are neglected, abused or ignored at an early age, their brain development is 25 to 30 percent smaller."
Covey speaks about the importance of restoring the role of family in today's society. He explains that in the family friendly culture of the 40's, the top disciplinary problems reported in the school system were chewing gum and running in the halls. Today, we have drug abuse, pregnancy, suicide and assault.
"The family is in tremendous turmoil worldwide. If you let today's culture raise your family, it will destroy it."
Covey explains that families need both quality and quantity time together. "The average father in America spends five minutes a day with his children, and the average mother, 20 minutes. Much of this can be watching television." Covey stresses the importance of fathers. "Children need their fathers. 70 percent of incarcerated adolescents come from fatherless homes."
Like airplanes, families need a clear destination, a flight plan and a compass to make it through turbulence. These are your principles, your values and your mission. "Every family has challenges. Even the best families are off-course a big percentage of the time. The thing that makes the strongest families effective is that they apply principles in their decision making and living."
Covey bases his work on four important principles: to live, to love, to learn and to leave a legacy. "These principles help balance body, heart, mind and spirit. They are universal. We know it, because we've sold more than 12 million books in 25 countries."
Covey also champions a family mission statement. "The most effective way to unite your family is to create a family mission statement where everyone gets together to write about what kind of family you want to be."
Other tools Covey suggests for family renewal are regular family events, one-on-one bonding times with each family member and family traditions like special meals and vacations. "Show your love for one another," he said. "Love is always what is missing. And it's what will keep your family together in good times and bad."
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families
Highly Effective families:
1. Are proactive. They act based on principles and values and accept personal responsibility instead of reacting and blaming.
2. Begin with the end in mind. They have a clear purpose and work together to accomplish their shared vision instead of being self-focused.
3. Put first things first. They coordinate and plan to spend quality time with each other instead of rushing past each other.
4. Think win/win. They appreciate each other and cooperate instead of competing.
5. Seek first to understand. They listen to others more than trying to be heard.
6. Synergize. They celebrate their differences instead of being frustrated by them.
7. Take time to sharpen the saw. They spend time for recreation and renewal together instead of watching endless hours of mindless television.
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