Families benefit from learning ‘7 Habits’

NORTH SHELBY – Oak Mountain Elementary School students are familiar with “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and recently their parents learned how they could incorporate the 7 Habits for successful families.

Dana Martin, school improvement and federal programs supervisor for Shelby County Schools, led a three-session workshop that taught how to implement the 7 Habits.

“It’s a win-win for students, families, schools and community,” said Martin, who added that the workshop is valuable for Leader In Me schools such as OMES because parents can learn the same language their students are being taught at school.

On Feb. 2, during the second session, participants discussed Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind.

Groups of three or four parents answered a series of questions, including thinking of someone you admire, who will be the most important people in your life in 20 years, words that describe you, things you love to do, what would people say about you on your 75th birthday and describe a time when you were deeply inspired. Each group shared one of their responses with the class as a whole.

In response to another question—if you could spend an hour with any person who ever lived, who would it be?—Martin said she would choose Stephen Covey, who developed the 7 Habits.

“Every book I’ve read of his, every interview I’ve seen, it just permeates with him how important his family is to him,” Martin said. “I just wonder what other great works he would have created if his life hadn’t been cut short.”

Martin said the responses provide insight.

“You have just created a picture of who you are and what you value,” she said.

The class then watched a video to prepare participants to write a family mission statement.

“Your family is a masterpiece, and you are one of the artists for your family,” Martin said. “Ask yourself, ‘What do I want my family to stand for?’”

Martin encouraged the participants to focus on the process of creating a mission statement and then to live by it.

“Writing the mission statement is not the end, it’s the beginning,” she said.