Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Not so long ago, the family business was the farm, the shop or the store. It was more than a business. It was a major family bond where members worked together. The income is what sustained the family. Money was working to preserve family cohesion.

Now business and money separates family members. Parents go to their own jobs – for most today that keeps them very busy. Children go to school where success means good jobs and money. All this are combining to fragment the family.

The old family business had a bigger job than money. There, the rules and values of life were shared in their daily relationships. Now those rules and values come more from the school and the jobs. This makes fragmentation
much more serious.

So what is the business of the family? Its job is to raise kids and provide a safe place for relationships that build character and prepare the members for a good life. That preparation includes discerning what is healthy and what is not. Today’s environment gives plenty of examples of both.

The experts in strategic planning know that when there is a complex muddle, one clear, practical goal can make a success and clear away a lot of fog. How would our daily family problems look if we were targeted on getting kids ready to be parents? If we were clear about our main purpose, our problems would look smaller and very different. In fact, we could use them as practice for parenthood.

The Family Cybermall, www.familycybermall.org, and its New Hope Covenant are designed to help families decide what their real business must be.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Our family of four lives in North Durham. Mom and Dad both work. The son and daughter go to grade school. Mom struggles with depression; Dad struggles with being grumpy.

A call from the school tells them their son, age 11, is coming without his homework done. Mother finds time to talk to the school and discovers that there is a daily sheet from the school for homework. That sheet has not been arriving home.

Mom is upset by this and wants her son back on track. Grumpy Dad gives the boy a blast then retreats to his newspaper. Mother is left wondering what needs to happen at home to ensure homework gets done on time. She’s feeling stranded with not much energy.

There are some big questions here. Should the son be grounded until he’s bringing home the sheet and doing the homework? Is the school paying enough attention to this or do they just have a system? Do these folks need some professional help?

And finally, who is responsible to help this family if it can’t deal with this?

Do you know someone who has this FAMILY CHALLENGE? There are resources out there, they can be found at www.familycybermall.org. Have a look, maybe you can find some help for your family or friends there.