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Adopting a Family-First Philosophy

Topics: Family

When family members take time to be together whether it is part of a daily routine, planned activities, or just hanging out, they feel valued and connected. Sometimes, particularly in busy households, PSP families need to recalibrate and think about what is important. Focusing on family values and adopting a family-first philosophy can help families stay on track.

How do you let your family know that they are a top priority?

Things to consider…
  • Having a family conversation about the nature of the PSP family member’s work, why the job sometimes takes precedence over family time, and the various feelings that might result.
  • Making sure family members who are not able to attend activities are not left out (e.g., videotaping a school play so the family can replay it later).
  • Leaving notes or texts to let each other know you are thinking about each other when you can’t be together.
  • Telling family members that they are the most important people in your life (sometimes we neglect to say the words that express how we feel).
Do you want to know more about this?
meeting family requirements – planning leisure time

Families who live together in the same house spend time together, but it may not always be quality time. When family members make a choice to do things together, there is an opportunity to build mutual trust and commitment. Consider the following exercise to connect and strengthen family relationships and demonstrate the importance of family.

This is a list of several types of activities (for couples or families with children). Each family member checks the type of activities they want to do more of in the next 6 months. Look for matches. Two or more family members must be involved in the activity and make a commitment to participate. Each family member commits to participating in one activity and can participate in more than one activity. Family members work together to determine what the activity will be, when, and how it will be done.

Start small and aim for success! Consider the time and resources that you have to commit to the activity that you choose. Making a special dessert might be more achievable than preparing a four-course meal, though that might be your end goal. Keep in mind the time that is needed for preparation before you actually start the activity (e.g., deciding on games you want to play, buying the games, understanding instructions).

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Download: Planning leisure time

References for this page (click to expand)

Carrington, J. L. (2006). Elements of and strategies for maintaining a police marriage: The lived perspectives of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers and their spouses. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. https://central.bac-lac.gc.ca/.itemid=NR18860&op=pdf&app=Library&is_thesis=1&oclc_number=289058279

Witman, J. P., & Munson, W. W. (1992). Leisure Awareness & Action: A Program to Enhance Family Effectiveness. Journal of physical education, recreation & dance,63(8), 41-43. https://doi.org/10.1080/07303084.1992.10609949

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