Isn't it ironic that in order to drive a motorcycle, or operate a car you have to go through a long process of reading instructions, practicing and training, but to learn how to "drive" a marriage or to "operate" children there is basically no training and certainly no instruction manual? Sure we can find help from counselors...at a huge cost when a marriage is in crisis or a child is out of control but why wait for that to happen? Spending the time to think about goals for our marriage relationships and to organize some specific, measurable family systems that will make it much less likely that we will need those counselors later is a crucial need!
Last weekend, in order to help with that problem, PowerofMoms.com held their first ever Retreat for couples. The Power of Moms has held many wonderful Retreats just for moms but as they get ready to launch a companion website - "The Power of Families" - it was exciting to see them get going on working with dads AND moms who want to be Proactive Partners and Deliberate Parents! An outstanding group of 80 parents arranged for grandparents, friends, neighbors and good samaritans to take their kids to soccer and baseball games, music lessons and choir practices so that they could feel the power of a lot of deliberate couples in the same room, figuring out how they can do their most important job as spouse and parent better!
The founders of Power of Moms, Saren Loosli (our daughter) and April Perry, along with their husbands Jared (who created their beautiful website with his magnificent mind educated at MIT) and Eric (a Harvard Business School graduate with ideas pouring out of his head) along with a little help from the Eyres had fun presenting ways to empower families.
On Friday night, attendees were given specific methods to get our to-do lists and goals, dreams and ideas in order through a program created by April called Mind Organization (based on David Allen's international best-seller, Getting Things Done). It was thought-provoking and freeing. Instead of feeling burdened by sometimes literally hundreds of projects, emails, calls and demands, April taught us how to feel the freedom of knowing what to do with all the opportunities, emails and papers that fly at us daily and how to prioritize in order to relieve the stress.
On Saturday, parents had the chance to discuss how to create better Partnerships in Parenting and were introduced to ways to set up Family Systems that work: A Family Legal System (laws and discipline), a Family Economy (so crucial in today's society filled with kids who feel entitled to have what they want right now without having to work for it) and how to create a Family Culture that helps kids feel pride in being part of something that is bigger than themselves and something that will last, even when they have left home.
It was an exhilarating weekend, not only for the attendees but also for Richard and I as we rubbed shoulders with so many good parents who are raising the next generation with power and purpose!
Eric and April presenting their ideas with Saren taking pictures in the background:
Saren, April and Tiffany Sowby, the event organizer:
Two generations of deliberate parents! Megan Stewart and husband Wes came with Megan's parents Bryce and Mary Croxford who still have young children of their own.