One simple mindset change will help you to develop strong family relationships!
We married before hash tagging a wedding was a thing. Well, actually before there were hashtags. Back then we called # the pound or number sign 😉
But several years ago, sweet friends of our’s used #TeamCastro for their wedding and continue to use it as their family grows. And I love it.
Before they even married, they wanted to remind themselves and others they were a team, facing the world together. When I asked my friend about it she described it this way,
“Team Castro” provided us a grid with how to handle things in marriage. 1) That we are teammates, not opponents 2) [Her husband] is designed and called to be the “captain” and lead our family 3) God is our ultimate authority or “coach” who sets our game plan in life as we do our best to follow it.
Isn’t that a beautiful way to think of marriage? And now that they have doubled the size of their team (twins!!!!), that picture takes on an even richer meaning. More players, more positions, more love, more teamwork required.
What would it look like if we had that same team mentality in our families and homeschools? How would it change the way we interact with one another? When things are difficult, how might it help us get through the hard times?
6 Characteristics of Good Teams Your Family Can Adopt for Strong Family Relationships
1. Teams follow and trust their coach.
The Head Coach
For the Christian homeschool, we know the Head Coach is God. But do we really know it in a way that affects our homeschool? Do we pray to Him for wisdom? Do we make our relationship with Him a priority so we have something to give to our kids? How do our curriculum choices and teaching methods reflect this belief?
You can think of parents as the assistant coaches. Assistant coaches are there to make sure that the head coach’s plans are carried out by the team. Good assistant coaches are all about the head coach.
And you can feel confident in the role He has assigned you because He equips you with everything you need. He has given us the playbook, His Word, to help. His wants us to have strong family relationships so we can reflect His love to others through a beautiful picture of His relationship with His people.
The Importance of Trust
Trust is the key component. We need to help teach and guide our children to trust God, and one of the primary ways to do this is modeling it in the way we live. When difficult times come, do they see us living a life of trust?
We trust God because we know His character. He is sovereign and good. He if faithful, righteous, and just. Our trust is based on who He is and not who we are.
We trust God, and our children need to be able to trust us because of our character. Because they know we love them and want the best for them. Let me share an example. I recently saw a post on FB where moms were applauding another mom for tricking her child into doing some online work at a certain time. And the majority of people were praising her for her creativity.
But what happens when the child discovers the truth?
And even if she never does, we have to remember character is who we are when no one else is watching. If we expect that of our children, how can we expect less of ourselves? Lies are never “little” because they break trust.
So let me ask you this. Are you trustworthy? Children naturally trust their parents, but that trust can be broken just as our trust can be broken with our kids. Good teams operate in an environment of trust. Trust is essential for strong family relationships!
2. Teams buy into the same goal that pushes them to excel.
What is your ultimate goal as a family? For homeschooling? I can’t really separate the two because homeschooling is a life-style, not just an educational choice. It is discipleship. I encourage you to really think about what you want your family to look like, to dig deep into the the desires and motives of your heart.
When it comes to homeschool, do you do it so your kids will be the smartest ones? Are you homeschooling out of fear? It may surprise you that there are reasons we shouldn’t homeschool.
Related: 5 Reasons NOT to Homeschool
One thing you can do to make sure you are all on the same page is to come up with a family mission, or purpose, statement. There are a couple of great resources to help:
Resources to Help
- Focus on the Family explains how to write a family missions statement, and it is so good!
- Tsh Oxenreider of The Art of Simple calls it a family purpose statement and shares a step-by-step process for determining yours.
3. Teams discipline themselves.
Team discipline begins with self-discipline, or self-control. As adults we often struggle with this, so how do we help our children? One way is for us to create habits as a family.
By creating habits, we make it easier to do what we are called to do. Everything isn’t a decision we make. Will we go to church this Sunday? Should we do school today? Can we skip this difficult subject?
Habits are formed through repetition. We make the choice to do all the things until it doesn’t feel like we are making choices anymore. Instead we just do it.
If you struggle with discipline, consider asking a friend to be an accountability partner. You can help one another as you intentionally form the habits that will lead to strong family relationships.
Resources for Helping Our Kids Develop Self-Control
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4. Teams study the opponent.
You may not think of homeschooling as having an opponent. But the truth is there are many who oppose it. It could be a family member, or a neighbor who wants to know why the kids are playing outside in the middle of the day. It can even be the curious lady at the checkout who then gives her opinion that kids need to be in school so they can be socialized.
And it can be those who make the laws of our states and countries, which is why we must be vigilant in protecting our rights. There are both national and state organizations to help.
But do we recognize our biggest opponent?
Your Biggest Opponent Doesn’t Want You to Have Strong Family Relationships!
As a Christian homeschooler I can tell you this: Satan opposes you. He wants to destroy families. Or at least make us ineffective. Does this mean we need to live in a constant state of fear? No, but we do need to be watchful. To be aware so that we can be prepared. Remember that “he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4b)
Just consider how Scripture describes what Satan does:
- Prowls—1 Peter 5:8
- Schemes—Ephesians 6:11
- Lies—John 8:44
- Deceives—2 Corinthians 11:3
- Steals, Kills, and Destroys—John 10:10
And listen to what Peter says,
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:8–10
Be sober-minded, watchful, resist, and know you are not alone. Many have gone before us, our brothers and sisters in Christ are experiencing the same things.
And we have one another: Our family team.
5. Teams suit up for the game.
When a football team gets ready for the game, they know that they have to put on the right uniform. One that identifies what team they play for, and one that protects them from the opponent’s attack. What’s our uniform?
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. (Ephesians 6:11–18a)
We are to put on defensive armor: truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, and salvation. We also have one offensive weapon: The Word of God. And this is all wrapped up in prayer.
6. Teams know success comes when they work together.
Each team member has a unique role to play. And when each person embrace’s their role, and does it to the best of their ability, the entire team benefits. Why? Because every person, every role is integral to the team’s success in reaching their shared goal.
That is why building strong family relationships is so important in our homeschools. Strong relationships are both the foundation and the goal of a team mindset. Enjoying and loving one another helps us when the times get tough and we want to quit.
A Team Mentality Makes Our Relationships and Homeschools Stronger
Seeing our families as a team has the power to change the way we approach life together. We are not adversaries, but teammates. Teams that look to see how they can make one another successful, who cheer one another on instead of tearing one another down.
As a family we can know that when failure comes, we can work together to overcome it—whether it is an individual failure or one shared by the whole team.
And when our children are struggling in an area (or we are), we can lock arms and tackle the problem together. Because we are better together.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12)
How would it change the way we approach our children when there is an area they need to work on? When we admit to our children, “Hey I struggle with _______ too. How can we figure this out together?”
Cultivate a Team Mentality in Your Home
I want to challenge you to start cultivating this team mentality in your home. Build strong family relationships. If you need some help, you can download the Family Team Building Challenge. Create a plan to start building strong family relationships today!
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Subscribe to get the Family Team Building Challenge.
How are you creating a team mentality in your home? I would love to hear from you in the comments below! And if you take the challenge, let us know how it goes!
Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.