Lily Tirone, and the Tirone Family Meetings

I talk a good game about being a family man, but a few months back, my wife (Lily Tirone) and I were put to the test …
I was attending a conference, and a presenter (Warren Rustland) said that if a person’s family culture is weaker than all the other cultures surrounding the family (school, neighborhood, church, etc.), then the kids could learn more from other cultures than from the family’s culture.
It makes a lot of sense… If your family’s culture isn’t strong, your children will be pressured by their peers, coaches, and teachers—and they might end up adopting the wrong values.
A second presenter (Greg Baer) then said that the amount of time parents devote to molding their kids will be in direct proportion to their happiness and success.
A lightening bolt struck.
See, I realized I was spending more time trying to build my company’s culture than I was trying to build the Tirone family culture.
So nine weeks ago, Lily and I implemented daily “family meetings,” which we will continue as long as the kids are in the house.
Lily and I want to create an extraordinary bond with our children, and we want them to have great relationships with their siblings.
So when we considered the structure for our Tirone Family Meetings, Lily and I discussed the answer to this question: What do we want to instill in our family?
1) We start with a prayer.
2) Everyone tells the rest of the family what they are excited about. (My three-year-old son is excited about his water balloons—every day!)
3) Then we review the day and what will happen over the course of the day—Daddy is coming home for lunch; Grandma is taking the kids to the zoo… that sort of thing.
4) Next, we talk about the Tirone Family Value of the Day.
It’s important to note that Lily and I let the kids choose which value they want to discuss. We want our kids to feel important and respected, so we give them choices, and then we follow their lead.
We cover everything—from sharing to being kind to finances.
Our kids are young (the oldest is five), so the lessons are geared to their age.
For instance, we bought the “Savvy Pig,” a piggy bank that has four chambers and four coin slots instead of one. These four chambers represent the four things we want our kids to do with their money—save, tithe, invest, and spend.
As they grow older, we will build on these lessons by discussing credit, investment tools, and vehicles for savings.
Regardless, Lily and I are spending each day building a culture that will allow our kids to thrive.
What do you think? How do you teach your children important values and skills? I’d love to learn what you are doing. Also, share how you are teaching your kids about their finances so that they can learn from their parents’ mistakes and experiences. Share your thoughts here…
P.S. For the first four or five weeks, we struggled to stay committed to having daily Tirone Family Meetings. In fact, one day I started to leave the house without having a meeting when my youngest, Luke, came running to the door to stop me.
“Daddy, Daddy!” he said. “Family meeting?”
At that moment, Lily and I realized that these meetings are a game-changer. Be sure to let me know if you have any ideas for making family meetings stronger!
Philip Tirone