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« Great Families Seminar Outline (Part One) | Main | The Smiles of June »

Great Families Seminar Outline (Part Two)

An example of a CHR session

(Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter sitting in comfortable chairs in the family room.)

Mom: Okay, I’ll start it out. I was really hurt the other day when I spent all day cleaning the family room, rearranging the furniture and hanging new pictures and nobody said a word about it. It seems like I am just taken for granted and I am just everyone’s slave. I feel unappreciated and ignored.

Daughter: I’m sorry, Mom. I noticed the room, but you weren’t around when I saw it and so I just got busy with my art project and forgot about it. It looks really nice.

Dad: It looks beautiful, honey. I’m sorry I didn’t say anything. And I’m sorry if I make you feel unappreciated. You’re not my slave. You’re my wife and I’m very glad about it, too.

Mom: Thank you, Dear.

Everyone: I love you, Mom.

Dad: Okay. (pause) So, I’m supposed to tell you how I feel about things?

Daughter: That’s the idea, Dad.

Dad: I’m okay. I feel okay.

Mom: About everything?

Dad: Well, maybe not everything…but I don’t like to talk about stuff.

Daughter: You and Jack sure talk a lot when he comes over.

Dad: Yeah, but…we’ve got a lot in common. It’s not a problem talking to him.

Mom: Just try it with us. Do you get mad at us for anything? Tell us.

Dad: Well, I get tired of working my tail off every day and bringing home the paycheck just so everybody can run up to me and ask for money or things and run off to do their own thing. I don’t ask for much, just a little respect and some thanks. Actually, I feel like I am just a piece of furniture around here. There. Is that what you wanted to hear?

Mom: That’s it. It’s called sharing. At least now we don’t have to guess how you feel.

Everyone: I love you, Dad.

Daughter: Dad, I want to challenge you on what you just said. You said you don’t ask for much. I think you do ask for a lot. You make us tiptoe around when you don’t want to be bothered. We don’t dare touch any of your tools or you jump on us with both feet. You threatened to take away the car keys if didn’t get my grades up. That was fair, but when I brought home three A’s and two B’s, you just said, ‘It’s about time.’

Dad: Wait a minute, I---

Mom: Honey, you can’t answer back for twenty-four hours.

Dad: But I didn’t say---

Son: The rules, Dad. You can’t break the rules.

Daughter: Anyway, Dad, I thought you should have been happy about doing better in school. Now, as far as my feelings are concerned, I feel really happy because I finished my art project today and I really like the way it turned out. I worked on it for three weeks so I had a lot invested into in. But, I also feel a little bummed because I won’t be able to enter it in the contest because we have a choir concert the same weekend and I have a special part so I can’t get out of it.

Mom: Your project was wonderful, Sue. It made me proud of you that you have so much talent.

Dad: Well, after your challenge, I don’t know how I feel. I’m just teasing! I didn’t see the end result, but I’m sure it is beautiful. I am looking forward to seeing it.

Everyone: I love you, Sue

Mom: John, you’re next.

Son: I don’t have anything to say.

Dad: How about your new job?

Son: It’s okay.

Mom: Do you like the people you work with?

Son: Yeah. They’re okay.

Daughter: That’s not what you told me.

Son: Shut up.

Dad: Hmmm. Sounds like we have something going on here.

Son: I don’t need to talk about anything.

Mom: Courage, honesty, respect. John, we will respect you whatever you share with us.

Son: (long pause while everyone waits patiently) A guy was smoking weed on break yesterday. He offered me a puff.

Dad: Did you take it?

Son: (Almost inaudibly) Yes.

Dad: Did you say yes?

Son: I said yes.

Mom: (Pause) Did you like it?

Son: No. Well, yeah, but it wasn’t like I got stoned or anything. It was just a little puff. The guy said I didn’t do it right. It takes practice to really get high.

Dad: (Irritated) Have you ever studied the effects of marijuana on people? Do you know the trouble it can get you into? I can’t believe you did something like that.

Son: Here we go. This is exactly why I didn’t want to talk about it. I’m not going to be a drug addict or anything. Thanks, Sue. (Gets up to go to his room.)

Dad: John, I’m sorry. Don’t leave. It’s not going to help. Sit down and let’s talk about it.

Son: (Sits back down.) I just don’t want to get harassed.

Mom: Why do you think you smoked it?

Son: I don’t know. I was just curious, I guess. I know a lot of kids who smoke weed. It’s cool. (pause) Maybe I wanted to look cool. (pause) That’s not a very good reason. I know I shouldn’t have done it. I’m sorry.

Everyone: I love you, John.

Mom: Are you glad you told us?

Son: (Slight smile) Yeah. At least I got it off my chest.

Dad: John, I want to affirm you for confessing to us tonight. It was the right thing to do.

(Music closes scene.)


What just happened in this family?

Everyone was made aware of real feelings that had been suppressed.
Inaccurate statements and feelings were challenged.
Intimate feelings of self-worth and purpose were shared.
The family endured a shocking confession and responded with love and support.
The family just diffused possible sources of tension, anger and conflict.
Everyone was more secure in their love and concern for each other.

Possible statements in CHR:

Daughter: Mom and Dad, I really don’t like it when you guys fight all the time.
Son: Dad, I feel like you don’t care about the family when you come home so late.
Daughter: Mom, I really get mad when you nag me so much.
Mom: Sue, it bothers me that you don’t let me look at your cell phone call history.
Son: Dad, I wish you would take a few minutes to ride bikes with me.
Daughter: Mom, all you ever see are the negative things I do.
Mom: John, you frustrate me when you just throw you clothes down anywhere you like.
Son: Mom and Dad, why don’t we ever take a vacation?
Dad: John, I have a real problem with some of your friends.
Mom: Sue, it’s not fair for you to run to Dad after I say no and get him on your side.
Daughter: Mom and Dad, I feel like you give John more attention than you do me.
Son: Dad, I feel like you yell at us all the time. I wish you would stop.
Dad: John, you were late for curfew last night. Want to talk about it now or later?
Daughter: Mom, you don’t seem to care about our schedules when you want us to do something.
Mom: John, it really hurts when you talk to me so disrespectfully.
Son: Dad, I don’t like it when you spend so much time over at your buddy’s.
Mom: Sue, you worry me when you spend so much time in your room by yourself.
Son: Mom, it makes me feel really bad when you say I’m stupid and I can’t learn anything.
Daughter: Mom, it bothers me when you let yourself get overweight.
Son: Dad, I have a hard time respecting you when you don’t go to church.
Mom: John, when you lie to me I feel that I can’t trust you.
Dad: Sue, it doesn’t make me feel good when you keep asking me to buy you things that you know I can’t afford.”

Let Jesus rule your family.

He is your peace.
He is your strength.
He is your joy.
He is your life.

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