Balancing Initiative in Family Life

Balancing Initiative in Family Life

Finding the Right Balance for Successful Families

Initiative is originality and creativity in action. With initiative, you make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen to you.

With clarity about our values and priorities as parents, we can instill initiative in our family by setting clear expectations and goals. By defining what is important to us and our family, we create a roadmap for action, encouraging our children to take initiative in pursuing their passions and interests.

Keeping initiative balanced helps us be proactive in dealing with challenges so the family can be creative and disciplined, living the values of the family. 

Picture this: you’re the captain of your family ship, steering towards your goals with grit and determination. Whether organizing the chaotic kitchen cabinets or working towards a grand family adventure, the initiative is the spark that propels us forward. It’s about seeing the vision—the bigger picture of where we want to go as a family—and taking the reins to turn that vision into reality. That’s what initiative is all about in family life—it’s the kickstart we need to make things happen and trust me, it’s worth diving into how we can balance it with everything else on our parenting plate.

Overdeveloped Initiative:

In a family, an overdeveloped initiative can sometimes manifest as overbearing parenting. Parents with excessive initiative may become overly controlling, imposing their ideas and ambitions onto their children without considering their needs and desires. While well-intentioned, this can stifle the individuality and growth of the children, causing stress and resentment.

Underdeveloped Initiative:

On the contrary, an underdeveloped initiative within a family can lead to indulgence. Parents who lack initiative might fail to set boundaries, discipline, or guide their children effectively. This can result in undisciplined and entitled children who struggle with self-motivation and personal responsibility.

Balancing Virtues:

Patience: To curb overbearing parenting, the virtue of patience is invaluable. Patience encourages parents to listen attentively to their children, allowing them the space to express their own ideas and aspirations. It fosters a nurturing environment where children can flourish at their own pace.

Responsibility: To address underdeveloped initiative, the virtue of responsibility comes into play. Parents should instill a sense of responsibility in their children by setting expectations, providing opportunities to make choices, and giving them more autonomy. This helps children learn to take initiative and be accountable for their actions.

Wisdom: Balancing initiative within a family necessitates the wisdom to discern when to lead and when to step back. Wisdom guides parents in making informed decisions regarding their children’s education, extracurricular activities, and life choices. It encourages open communication and adaptability, allowing parents to adjust their approach based on their children’s unique needs and personalities.

Courage: Courage is the strength to confront challenges and take action, even in uncertainty. By cultivating courage, individuals can break free from complacency and embark on new ventures guided by their own convictions and ideas.

Initiative in the family context thrives when tempered with patience, nurtured through a sense of responsibility, guided by wisdom, and strengthened with courage. By embracing these virtues, parents can foster an environment where their children are encouraged to express their creativity, take action, and grow into responsible and independent individuals while maintaining a loving and harmonious family unit.

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Initiative is originality and creativity in action. When we have initiative, we boldly express new ideas, discover a new method, or find a different way to solve a problem. We lead our lives responsibly. We don’t wait for others to remind us or pressure us into action. We accept responsibility as an engaging opportunity to apply our own ideas. We call on discernment to forge a new way. We use our creativity to bring something new into the world. With initiative, we dare to be original.

In Family Life

The virtue of Initiative within a family is exemplified by a proactive and enthusiastic approach to contributing to and participating in various aspects of family life. It’s demonstrated through actions that go beyond mere responsibilities, where family members take the lead in identifying needs and opportunities within the household and take steps to address them without needing constant guidance.

This could manifest as a teenager organizing a family game night, a child voluntarily helping with chores without being asked, a spouse planning a surprise outing to strengthen familial bonds, or a family member initiating open and honest conversations about important matters. In essence, Initiative in a family context involves a willingness to step up, show leadership, and create positive momentum that benefits the entire family unit.


Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. 

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 The Practice of Initiative

  • I have the courage to be original.
  • I solve problems creatively.
  • I see challenges as opportunities.
  • I am confident in initiating untried ideas.
  • I engage in tasks with enthusiasm.
  • I am a pioneer.

Balancing Initiative

Initiative is a trait that propels us forward, enabling us to positively impact the world. To keep it in balance, use these virtues:

      • Moderation: By practicing moderation, individuals can channel their creative energies more thoughtfully and avoid the pitfalls of impulsiveness.
      • Courage: Use courage to break free from complacency and embark on new ventures, guided by their own convictions and ideas.
      • Wisdom: Wisdom helps individuals make sound judgments and evaluate their actions’ potential risks and rewards. It encourages us to seek counsel, learn from past experiences, and adapt to changing circumstances.

With the balance of these virtues, individuals can confidently forge new paths, express creativity, and make a lasting impact on the world, all while maintaining the equilibrium that allows their initiative to shine in its fullest and most constructive form.