Are the kids getting out of control? Do you feel like you're struggling with the demands of parenting, work and personal life? Do you wish everyone in the family would Just. Get. Along? Maybe you need a Family Constitution!
In his book, "Your Family Constitution", author Scott Gale introduces a great parenting tool to open up family communication and improve family relations. He starts with an honest personal account of a huge family argument that opened his eyes to the need for change, and goes through the steps he and his family took to create their Family Constitution, which, like the US constitution, contains a set of guiding principles to become the kind of family they want to be.
The book contains lots of useful tips and advice, as well as a lot of funny cartoons to remind us parents that we should all look back and have a laugh now and then. Throughout the book he refers to his 3 principles -- Clarity, Consistency and Commitment -- which helped them formulate their constitution, and he shows readers how these principles can work for their family. At the back of the book you'll find the Gale Family Constitution, which I loved reading because it was a concrete example of what Scott was talking about in the rest of the book. I'm glad he shared it with everyone because it's a great starting point to come up with your own family constitution. Scott's website, http://www.yourfamilyconstitution.com/, also offers a wealth of resources.
I received a copy of "Your Family Constitution" to review, and I've been really inspired to take a step back from all the nagging and yelling and punishing that has been going on, and get our own set of goals and rules written down. I think my 5-year-olds might be a bit too young to help decide what sorts of consequences there should be for behavior (good and bad), but I've been talking with The Pea (who's 8) about it, and she has been really reasonable about it. I'm really very hopeful that she'll understand why Alfie and I do the things we do as parents, and even more important, understand that she has to do her part as well to keep the family running. We've got a long way to go, but thanks to this book, we've got some ideas going and we've the conversation started!
Win this book! Scott has generously offered to give away two copies of "Your Family Constitution" to two lucky Bonggamom Finds readers. To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me one item you would like to include in your own family's constitution. Don't forget to leave your email address or some way I can contact you.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following (please leave a separate comment for each extra entry):
1) For THREE extra entries Register for a free account at the Your Family Constitution website and get started on your own Family Constitution (leave 3 separate comments here with your user name).
2) Leave a comment on any of the blog posts on Scott's Family Constitution blog (leave a comment here with the link to the post that you commented on).
3) Leave a comment on any of my blog posts on Finding Bonggamom (leave a comment here with the link to the post that you commented on).
4) Join any of the other giveaways currently running on Bonggamom Finds (leave a comment here with the name of the other giveaway you joined).
5) Tweet this giveaway (leave a comment with a link to your tweet). Here is a sample tweet you can copy and paste:
Win a copy of "Your Family Constitution" from @bonggafinds http://tinyurl.com/m4eyry
This giveaway ends at midnight PST on August 8, 2009.; I will draw two winners at random on August 9 and post the winner's name on the comments section soon after. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!