Show 37 – Collaborative Family Living with Angela Harms

Living collaboratively with children and adults is possible. Angela Harms, a mom of 4 boys ages 6, 15, 18, and 21 years, shares her experiences and the joy of living with teens.

When we demand compliance, what’s motivating our behaviour? What does it take to live collaboratively? Is working together always possible? What do we do when we hear that dreaded word “no” when we ask for help?


Collaboration doesn’t necessarily mean we’re nice with each other all the time. Instead, as I understand it, it’s a way of valuing all of our voices and speaking up, if you will, about how each of us wants to contribute to the family. Collaboration involves tapping into our innate passions and motivations to live together. All our opinions matter.


“Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse?”  Jane Nelson


What does collaborative living look like? Life isn’t always easy and joyful. We discuss learning from mistakes, reconciliation, and sharing our vulnerability with each other. Our openness and honesty invites openness and honesty in others. Collaboration can be as simple as sharing what’s involved in caring for the house and the people in it so that everyone is aware of what they can do to help out. It can involve difficult conversations where we share our fears and trust our kids can make informed decisions. Angela describes how much she loves and enjoys her family.


Aired: Sunday, August 8, 2010 || 8 to 9 AM Eastern on CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph, Ontario, Canada


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