What Are Your Non-Negotiables In Your Family? (Episode 73)
What are your non-negotiables? We believe in a family centered home - one person can shift the whole dynamic in a home, so what do you have as foundational “rules” in your home? We’ve whittled it down to nine powerful non-negotiables that help our family thrive.
In this episode, we share why we're continuing to travel, and what keeps us sane and connected.
Non-Negotiables in our home
This past week Meghann from the Mama Says Namaste community asked me,
"What are some non-negotiables in your home?"
What a great question! This can mean so many things, but for us, a non-negotiable just means it's something we don't even have to think about - it's just an automatic rule our whole family abides by.
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Where are we this week?
Ah, the joys of snuggle time and everyone piling on top of each other. Eleven days ago we were in Oregon. From there we’ve gone through NV, UT, CO, NM, and now TX! Moving so fast, this night we opted to not unpack and just squeeze in for a movie night.
This week we will hit our 2-year “Nomadiversary”. So now we’ve travelled to 48 states, are at two years…ready to settle back down, right? NO WAY! We are loving this life and choosing to continue it. If you want to learn more about the WHY and the HOW of our travels, check out these episodes!
Follow us on our journey on Insta as the FieldTripGypsies!
#1: Don't Be A Jerk
Just don’t be a jerk! When you interact with others, be sure to begin with the end in mind - ask yourself, “what is your goal?” What are you really hoping to get out of this interaction? It’s easy to check each other by simply asking that one question - what is your goal?
We physically touch every person in our family every single day. In our Laughter, Humble Pie and Lots of Sex series we talk about this even more.
Hello soapbox. This is a big non-negotiable for us. As kids grow, oftentimes this is when physical touch will start to dwindle. Girls grow boobs and no longer are just a child in their daddy’s lap, and boys become men who tower over their moms… It is so, so important for children to recognize positive, non-sexual touch and to recognize what that is.
Especially in light of the drama that is facing our country right now, go back to what positive, non-sexual touch is for your family. Just like babies have “failure to thrive” when touch is not present, we as adults can survive just fine, but to thrive…we need physical connection with others.
Life is going to happen to us regardless of whether we're behind the wheel.
So why don't you get behind it and drive that baby where you want to go!
#2: Zero Food Waste (and no-thank-you bites)
We do our part to eliminate waste. For our environment, our world, and…our fridge. It’s tiny! So we only serve survival portions to start. (side note - only fill up your child’s cup with as much liquid as you’re willing to clean up! We always do water for a reason as well).
When we go out to eat, do family-style meals. Order a mass of appetizers, a few entrees, etc and share.
Next - “no thank you bites”. My aunt pushed me to try new things by simply requiring one bite of new things. First off, it can take many, many introductions of a new food before tastebuds acquire the taste. Second, we did “no thank you bite boot camp” when our children were little, using a food we knew was a sweet treat that didn’t look so great. We wouldn’t force or beat them into submission; we simply only had one thing to offer. And eventually each one tried it, and discovered they really liked it! And it opened the door for them to try new foods, because oftentimes they end up actually liking it!
#3: Vegan Household and our 80/20 Rule
If we keep our home a sacred place away from the junk, it helps to keep us thriving most of the time. When it’s not in front of you, it’s not the same temptation. So we just flat out don’t bring it into our home. We eliminate the temptation for what things simply don’t do our bodies any good. It’s the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, we choose healthy options, and it’s so much easier if we simply don’t bring that 20% into our home.
#4: Tech Second
Technology will always remain second place to the relationships we have. We love the idea of purposeful technology time. When our kids are learning online, practicing their typing skills, etc, that’s fabulous! We fully support it.
Yet, a cell phone in the bedroom, at the meal table, or in our hands with our eyes glued to it while a loved one is trying to talk to us…this is where we draw the line.
The people right in front of you are the ones who will show up to your funeral…not all your instagram followers. Who do you want to respect? Who is right in front of you? They get top priority.
Turn off the notifications on your phone! Is it really that important?
#5: No Shoes in the house!
This is nice not just because it keeps all the dirt out, but that grounding is so important in our lives!
Just like Mr. Rogers would change out his cardigan and slippers, it creates a bit of a ritual to create “sanctuary” - to ground ourselves and leave the dirt of the world outside.
#6: Respect & Empathy
Give respect to one another. Validate one another - you cannot take credit for someone else’s emotions; they are theirs alone. Earn the right to ask for respect by giving respect…even between parents and children. Respect your kids!
You will get so much further if you model respect instead of demand it.
Hey Aunt Ashley, I just want to let you know how awesome it was to have you all here. It was so good to see all of you and reconnect. I also loved seeing your girls and am amazed by how respectful, considerate and just pleasant they are to be around. It’s rare for kids their age to be that way, and just to have the social skills and awareness they do. And I think it’s so cool the things they are doing, and all the writing and video stuff Clara does. I’d love to encourage her in all that because it’s so cool. It interests me too, and there’s such potential for what she could do with it. I feel like even at they’re young age, all three girls are just...good people.
Be careful about your teasing. Is it really in fun, or is it a harmful jab? Is this simply your passive aggressive push on something you don’t like? Is teasing really the way to address it? Don't put another down to build yourself up. It's a losing battle and you'll end up suffering as well.
#8 & #9: Always say "I Love You"...every night, and every time you're gone
We assume we have forever, but we don’t. In life, you don’t always come out on top. Life isn’t always a happy ending. So what memories can you hold dear? What can you keep alive by making those goodbyes a beautiful thing? Every moment we have with one another matters.
Your Weekly Challenge:
Lead and leave with love. Start everything you do with “what is my goal?” Every time you leave, make sure you let that person know how much you love and appreciate them. Do it intentionally.
Lead, leave, and live…with love.
The more we recognize those personality styles and those strengths and what triggers us, the more we can come back to how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.