Entryway: Family Agreements
How to Use Family Agreements in the Entryway
An agreement is an overarching commitment that individuals make within a group. It indicates the individual’s responsibilities within the group and reflects the group’s values. Research indicates that making a commitment activates the prefrontal lobes, increases the likelihood of success, produces serotonin and promotes mindful attention.
Conscious Discipline guides you to incorporate commitments into your family’s day in many ways. You might create a longstanding Family Agreement like the one the Bug Family has created for when someone leaves the home and goes out into the world. You might also employ a commitment that changes on a daily or weekly basis and contributes to the wellbeing of the family like the one the Bug Family uses in the hallway.
For this longstanding commitment, have a family meeting to decide what your family values when you venture out into the world each day. Is it important for family members to be safe? To practice kindness? Choose the most important values your family is willing to commit to and print them out along with a family photo. Post the commitment by every door your family uses.
Now create a small ritual that signifies your family’s commitment to uphold the values stated on the printout. The ritual requires family members to read the statement and commit to upholding it through a physical gesture every time they leave the house. A tap, a kiss, or a high five are common gestures for this ritual.
Your Family Commitment focuses you on the types of behaviors you want to see more of (what you focus on, you get more of), activates the higher centers of the brain, produces serotonin, promotes mindful attention and increases the likelihood of success with the commitment.