What are you bringing home with you?

This video explores the impact of the first few minutes of reconnecting with family members and introduces the "3-minute rule." The 3-minute rule involves making a conscious effort to connect positively with your family, setting the tone for the rest of your interaction. The video shares insights from a group of men working to change abusive behaviors and emphasizes the importance of leaving the day's baggage at the door. Viewers are challenged to practice the 3-minute rule to improve family dynamics and foster more respectful and supportive relationships.

A man speaks:

Have you ever come home and things have turned really messy? We've probably all had that happen, which leaves the rest of the evening pretty much shattered. Now once we were talking with a group of men who were working hard to disrupt abusive behaviour. They realised that when they reconnected with their partner, or whānau (their family members), the first few minutes usually set the tone for what would come next.

They recognised that if they came in with an aggressive or disrespectful attitude, that it usually ended up in arguments and fighting. They knew this was often what kicked off their use of abusive practices, so it was important that they tried to change it. As a group they decided on a 3-minute rule. The aim of this was to make an effort for the first 3 minutes, each time they came together with their whānau (families), whether it was in the morning, lunch, or evening, to listen, support and be available to their partners and kids.

At first they found it hard to put their own stuff aside, especially when they were triggered, but with practice they were able to regularly provide quality time for their family, and they started seeing that what they had brought into the family mattered. Some men didn't think it would work, but the others in the group that had started using it encouraged them to give it a shot. Over the next few weeks, they all started reporting that they noticed some big changes in how their household felt when they arrived home, or when they went around to their whānau’s places. Not only were they able to have better, more respectful interactions with their whānau, but they started noticing changes in how their whānau reacted to them. It was as if their behaviour was rubbing off on them.

Your challenge is to use the 3-minute rule every time you reconnect with whānau members. Make sure you let the people around you know what you are trying to do. Before you walk in the door, check how you are. If you have baggage from the day, be careful to leave that outside. Remember this is about connection. So... give your partner a hug. Ask them how their day has been, and let them know how your day has been. A key thing to remember is that the first 3 minutes of any interaction sets the tone for the next 3 hours.