I was born into a family comprising of a father, mother and younger brother. My father was a reserved, analytical man and my mother was very driven, with a classic rescuer personality. My brother was the easy going, blonde-haired boy with a big smile on his face.

Family is an interesting entity. As you are born into it, you find yourself in a family without even really being aware of what it is, or should be. And so, we tend to take family for granted. Just like the nose on your face, you don’t question your family’s presence, it’s just there.  I was in my family without ever making a choice to be ‘in’.

However, one day I stopped to take a look at these relations of mine. For the first time I consciously evaluated these humans who made up my family and I asked myself, “who are these people? I know they are labelled family, but what does family even mean?”

I used to believe we must accept our blood relations simply because they are family. But now I have changed my view. I now believe that once we are grown, we have the right to (in fact we should) consciously ask ourselves whether these family members are people we want to surround ourselves with. In other words, are they on your team?

Just because someone is family, doesn’t mean they automatically get a spot on your team.

Your team should be people who believe in you, support you and help you achieve your goals, and vice-versa. This is a team.

This is why I tell my children that one day I will stand before them to be judged. One day, they will choose whether I meet the requirements to be on their team. This works because it makes me accountable for the way I treat them. It also makes them aware, they have the power to make choices about who they want to have in their life.

If we approach parenting in this conscious way, we will create a better relationship with our children: one that is built on love and mutual respect. I am now in a conscious relationship with my family; my parents and my brother. I have chosen them as members of my team. And one day my girls will choose whether I qualify for their team. I hope I do.

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