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Agile in the everyday life of families

Is agility the solution to the challenges of family life? The agile method can be applied to parenting and has an astonishingly positive impact.

The family is the most intimate, the most defining unit in a person's life. It is not surprising that the difficulties and situations we face in the family are critical for all of us, and often overwhelming. This is particularly true for parents during the period of intensive life periods of their children. They are constantly faced with new and surprising challenges, while maintaining the impression that they are in control of the situation. Let's face it, the latter often fails. 

Introducing agile into the family may seem strange at first, but it can actually be a very effective way to reduce stress and bring family members closer together.  

In the agile method, small groups carry out their tasks quickly and efficiently, which are not assigned by leaders (as in 'waterfall' projects), but are undertaken and carried out in an interactive, self-organised way. Instead of large-scale projects that take years to complete, they break down the deliverables into little parts in small time intervals (two weeks) and present them to the client, and then quickly find out what works and what doesn't work, based on client feedback. 


What does agility look like in the family and what are the key elements? 


Tip one: keep adapting! 

Rather than a set of rules that are set in stone and then consistently followed, let's build the possibility of change into our lives, so that we can react in real time to what is happening around us, to changes in our family members. 

We should not just consider suggestions we have read or heard from family experts or psychologists. There are many new ideas and methods for making groups work more effectively. It is also worth looking at them to see if they might be useful for us.


Tip two: Give your children autonomy!

In the traditional family model, parents control their children (the waterfall strategy), either on the principle of authority or to protect the children. 

The agile method gives children a role in their own upbringing, with the opportunity for self-regulation. Research has shown that children who make weekly plans and then evaluate their own work, develop intelligence and they are more in control of their lives.


Tip three: Let's tell our story!  


Agility is a great way to develop, but it is also very important to define and preserve core values. 

Let's define our family "core value". What is it that we all appreciate? What values are we most proud of? Knowing our values helps us focus on positive outcomes and knowing our values can help us through difficulties. 

Tell the children about our family history. Tell them about the successes and how their ancestors overcame the difficulties. Young people who see themselves as part of a family story are more confident.  

In the case of families, the conclusion that many have already drawn for companies holds true: success does not depend on circumstances, but on our choices. 

Happiness is not something we find, but something we create.  

Bruce Feiler has come a long way in his search for the secret to a successful family. He has travelled, interviewed families, sought out experts ranging from elite peace negotiators, to Warren Buffett's bankers, to US Army Special Forces. He summarised his experiences in this video, which is also the source of this article. 


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