Since I’ve been working entirely at home, it’s forced me and my family to learn how to better work together. I thought I knew how to negotiate and delegate, and this experience has shown me I still have stuff to learn.

One son has returned from college, joining me, my wife, Leslie, our two younger sons and our dog, Hamlet. It can get crowded in my new home office. I’ve spent my career studying negotiation, and I’ve found myself at a loss many times these past few months while working from Casa de Culbertson. Leslie and I talked about this and we realized we needed to hold a family meeting.

Previously, even while living under the same roof, we were isolated from one another, involved in our own activities and friends. Now we have been spending a lot of time together and are learning to communicate better to figure out how to make things work as a family.

When my late sister, Ruth Samuelson, was in her final days, during one of our last conversations I asked what advice she would give me. She thought about it, and then said that I was a great father and spent a lot of time with my boys. She then added that she’d like to encourage me to spend a higher quality and more structured time together, where I was teaching my sons and not simply having fun together.

That struck me because my wife will often say that I’m the fun dad while she has to be the tough parent. I’ve heard similar talk among my friends, particularly with couples where one spouse spends more time out of the home than the other.

In the kid’s bathroom in our house, I posted the Culbertson Code of Conduct. It’s been there since before we’ve been staying home. But it has taken on new meaning now.

The Culbertson Code of Conduct reads:

  1. Do what you say
  2. Be on time
  3. Finish what you start
  4. Say please and thank you

It’s more important than ever to not forget these seemingly simple characteristics.

It’s been bumpy, but we’ve also learned a lot, and the Culbertsons have grown stronger together as a family unit.

Do you want to write your own code of conduct and have a sign made for your kid’s bathroom? Send me an email and I will tell you where I got it made.

Are you curious where the inspiration for the Culbertson Code of Conduct came from?