16 Guidelines for a flourishing family

By Trisha Linton

Trisha Linton is a compassionate and passionate wife, mother, mental health worker and member of a team of socially responsible entrepreneurs. She was introduced to the 16 Guidelines as part of a coaching session where she bought the book and cards, and has been using them ever since.

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Here is what she wanted to share with us:

“I began using the 16 Guidelines cards with my family with the idea of creating a space where I could communicate better with my children and allow them to open up about  what is going on in their world daily, weekly and monthly.

So we started with a theme of family circle, which we do on most Monday evenings at 7 o’clock in our living room. The kids bring down their journals and so do my husband and myself, we lay the cards down flat on the table and they pick a card. The card they pick then serves to frame a conversation about what that guideline means in relation to what is going on in their lives, past, present and foreseeable future, including how they could use it at school either with friends or a teacher.

In the space of four weeks we have seen an incredible change in our children. The kids found it a safe space to talk about themselves. Although at the beginning it was more about the definition of the guideline, it has now expanded to include more about what is going on in their lives.

My older daughter shared with us that when she is depressed, and she takes her sadness out via food. This acceptance was a huge step for her. The next one down was able to share how she sometimes has low-self esteem issues, and how this influences her wanting to have a partner. The two smaller kids are just happy to be heard in a supportive environment and we as parents feel blessed to have an open conversation rather than trying to pull information out of them.

When circle doesn’t happen for a week or two the energy is low and we know we are missing something. My husband is always asking, “When are we going to have circle?” So it’s a part of our lives and it’s a part of our development as a family.”

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