Share Power: Talk About It

How Do You Influence Each Other in Your Family?

Mother looking in direction son pointingFamily members have a great deal of influence over each other—parents influence kids, kids influence parents, and siblings influence each other. Families are stronger when they are intentional in the ways they share power with and influence each other. Use these discussion prompts to start those conversations.

Discussion Starters with Your Kids

  1. What are the ways each member of your family influences others in your family? This can include personal preferences (such as fashion or music preferences), how your family spends time and money, and core beliefs and values.
  2. Look at each of the areas of sharing power, including the ways family members respect, give voice to, respond, and collaborate with each other. When are some times when you’ve done some of these things well in your family? Which are particularly hard for your family?
  3. How are the “power dynamics” in your own family similar to and different from previous generations in your family or other families you know? What might be some of the reasons behind those similarities and differences?
  4. If you were to identify one area of sharing power that you’d like to work on in your family, what would it be? Why?

Discussion Starters with Other Parenting Adults*

  1. How does the idea that sharing power is an important part of family relationships strike you? What parts of it make the most sense? What doesn't make sense?
  2. When have you found great satisfaction as a parent by sharing power with your child? What gave you that satisfaction?
  3. What’s hardest for you about sharing power with your child? How have you managed the hard parts?
  4. The ways families share power changes as kids grow up. What are some ways you’ve seen families effectively share power when their kids are different ages, from infancy to adulthood? At what ages can it be most challenging?
  5. What advice would you have for parents of younger kids when it comes to sharing power in the family?

* These parenting adults may include your spouse or partner, extended family members, friends who are parents, or a parent group or class.

Next Steps

  • Learn about what it means and why it is important to share power.
  • Try activities for sharing power in your family relationships.