Yiasas! Welcome back for your monthly dose of KIKI KEFI with Kiki Vale! This time, let’s reflect on KEFI-Family and 4 ways you can cultivate KEFI in your household.
FAMILY is an institution that is universal, essential for birth and one that is at the heart of every matter. Let’s talk about family and fostering a positive KEFI-family.
The first family
I’m not talking about the one in the White House. Let’s go way back to the very first family ever –– beginning with Adam and Eve. The family was a beautiful institution as it grew the love between a man and a woman. Have things really changed over the millennia? What have we learned? Are we strengthening our progeny so that we each can go out into society and make a positive difference in our lives and the community?
Family and KEFI
My KEFI is always high when my own family is thriving, healthy, and happy, but let’s not be foolish enough to think family life is easy or always jovial. I’d like to share a story about my family.
Technology vs. family time
One night during dinner, about halfway into the meal, all of us were clicking away on our smartphones. It dawned on me that we were all physically in the same place, but we were emotionally in a different place. My positive energy started to dissipate. I decided to be proactive: I went to my office to type out new rules for our family — to be implemented, effective immediately.
This distraction was creating chaos in our ability to communicate and relate to each other. So I gave copies to my husband and all 4 kids to memorize.
Cell phone use
We have easy access to technology. Did you know that “there are almost as many cell phone subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people on this earth (seven billion)? In 2013, Time magazine reported a sobering statistic: according to a study by the U.N., more on earth have access to cell phones than toilets. What?!
While I use my phone to communicate for text, calls, social media, and email, my preferred, most effective and comprehensive form of communication is done “face-to- face” and in person. Technology has opened up the world to us, but, at what cost?
Our relationships with our families affect everything we do. When there’s a conflict, it not only affects our KEFI, it adversely affects every aspect of our lives. Let’s look at some ways to foster our family connections without technology, so we can bring that KEFI meter back to high.
Virginia State University, released a study about the importance of family communication.
“Communication within the family is extremely important because it enables members to express their needs, wants, and concerns to each other. Open and honest communication creates an atmosphere that allows family members to express their differences as well as love and admiration for one another. It is through communication that family members are able to resolve the unavoidable problems that arise in all families. Families’ first keys to functioning happily and successfully are within communicating.”
When communication breaks down, so does the family unit. We must be as active communicating with our families as we are with everyone else.
My extended family, as well as my children, love to talk, talk, talk. We’re Greek! Fortunately, for me, my parents always listened to my problems and they never judged me. Now as a parent, I constantly make an effort to listen more than I talk. When you take time to listen without interruption and without the urge to rapidly comment, you can discover so much.
To listen is to learn; to listen is to understand; to listen is to care.
We all need nurturing. It helps us thrive.To nurture is to encourage, cultivate, care for, grow, teach, feed, cherish. Nurturing your family helps them develop into a whole, confident and well balanced person who can function with prosperity.
In a groundbreaking study, John Hopkins University researchers followed nearly 800 Baltimore school children for quarter of a century, and discovered that their fates were substantially determined by the family they were born into. It stated that a family’s resources and the doors they open cast a long shadow over children’s life trajectories. These kids weren’t nurtured.
Nurture your family with love, faith, guidance. Teach them respect, good self-care, gratitude, responsibility, honesty, comfort and compassion. I see the difference when I place emphasis in these areas.
Remember, it starts at home.
Though the family unit is the smallest in society, it’s magnitude is immense. Think about this: the very first concepts we learn are from our families and those mold us into the person we are. However, a person who should continually strive to grow into their potential. The role and responsibility of the parents should be priority number ONE, and simply put — parenting is the most noble job on the planet as it builds a family that will go out into the world and hopefully positively impact mankind; that is a mark of #KEFI!
Cultivating KEFI in your family
Remember, our kids are with us for such a short time, and then they independently enter society. What can you do to cultivate KEFI in your family? Start with the above ideas and adapt them to your household. You’ll see the difference.
Share in the comments below how you cultivate KEFI-positive energy in your family. We’d love to hear about it!
Now put down those smartphones and enjoy some quality, KEFI-filled family time!
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Like KEFI-Family? Read other articles by Kiki Vale:
She was a prevalent force at WMAQ & WBBM radio where she was the first female airborne news/traffic reporter.Kiki’s voiceover work has garnered her Omni awards for Evian water and Coca-Cola commercials.
These days Kiki enjoys energizing audiences on stage during motivational speaking engagements, and through writing. Her highly regarded “Kefi-That Life Force” column, was published previously in The Greek Star. She’s currently working on her first non-fiction book.