Priya Parker, the author of The Art of Gathering, encourages us to enter into 2022 with conscious intention and in community. Recently, she discussed her ideas for a concept called “the great reset” on Brené Brown’s podcast.
Parker calls upon us to recognize the gift of our times: “We are in a moment of creation. And that is something that few generations get at this level…We are entering and building this new world…It is a radical time of makeover, of invention.”
How can we apply this concept of radical reinvention in our own families?
Welcome all feelings: Many of us grew up free only to express happy emotions. We were taught to ignore, hide, or feel shame about our real but difficult emotions. As a result, when we felt our worst, support was absent. One simple way to encourage kids to notice and express emotions is to observe aloud what you notice: “Hmmm, it seems you might be feeling__________ because _________ and you wish _______.” Your guess doesn’t need to be correct, but the effort to connect matters. It can be an excellent opportunity for conversation.
Encourage everyone’s voice and ideas: Invite your child’s thoughts and solutions when you have a challenge to tackle that involves them. Take their ideas seriously and use them as often as appropriate. Even if their solutions are not the same as yours, trying them out can be a powerful learning opportunity.
Share responsibility: You are in community together, as a family. Each person is responsible for the family’s care and well-being. Your family is your child’s first opportunity to contribute in meaningful ways to that community. Ask for help when you need it. Offer help when it seems necessary. Teach the skills kids will need to contribute at home. Promote and celebrate caring for one another as a family.
Listen without fixing: When we listen without fixing, we model empathy. Here are some more tips for effective listening.
Prioritize fun and joy: Even in a pandemic, in winter, when most of us spend more time inside our homes, we can still have fun. In fact, it’s more important than ever. Ask your kids what non-screen activities they’d like to do together as a family. Hide-and-Seek, blanket fort building, indoor freeze tag, cooking, craft.
Radical reinvention means small, simple; Like taking three breaths together. Bringing intention to this moment – even in small ways — is powerful and transformational.