The New Year is often a time for reflection for many of us, and a chance to rethink the ways in which we do things, an in our case we have hit on developing our family communication.
I know technically, as I am writing this, New Year’s Eve was a week ago but in terms of 2013; we are still at the beginning of it.
One of the things we have been thinking about as parents is communication, particularly with each other and with our most challenging child. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the frustrations and the recriminations which pile on more and more negativity and don’t actually help build stronger relationships.
What do you like about yourself and each other?
We do always try and eat our evening meal together, but often in the week Daddy comes in part way through. At the weekend, we do eat together and last weekend as we sat around the table we took it in turns to say one thing we liked about each person and one thing we liked about ourselves.
We have done it before, but not for a while, and after a lot of giggling the children got into it. It was lovely to hear them say nice things about one another and realise deep down they do like, and even love their siblings. In turn, they all looked delighted to hear what we all liked about them.
In fact, I think that it was such a confidence boost all around, that we will do it every Sunday.
Make time to communicate to your partner too
As parents, we have decided to have a couple of evenings where we can just unload stuff and say how we are feeling without looking for solutions as well.
It seems we can both get caught up in our different roles and work worlds which the other doesn’t automatically understand, and then feel resentful when things get tough in those worlds and the other doesn’t seem to appreciate what’s going on, even though sometimes we haven’t actually told them.
I’m not sure I have explained that too well, but we have found resentment can build quickly and perhaps just some ringed off, not to be interrupted talk time will help avoid that.
I also mentioned about communication with our most challenging child; by that I mean showing love in a way they can understand.
Tell them you love them and give them a hug
We do love them and we correct our kids because we love them, but they don’t get that as much as when you give them a hug, thank them for apologising or swallow your pride and admit you, the parent, got something wrong or over reacted.
It can be a challenge, but is so much more pleasant than feeling you are always telling them off for something.
What a great example to show all our children, but especially when we find them really difficult. We can demonstrate to them that we always love them, no matter what they have done, and we can always find something to praise them for however small.
Don’t forget to tell your kids you love them this New Year – its so important for them to be told as well as shown as sometimes they just don’t get it. Happy New Year everyone!
This is our regular Tips for Parenting guest post by Beckie Whitehouse from Be Confident Coaching.
Photos courtesy of Microsoft Clipart.