Do you have a busy household and need ideas on how you can communicate more effectively?
There are so many layers to this of course, but actually, when it comes to family life, I think this is largely to do with systems and routine.
Bear with me, this does make sense.
When we are stressed and living in chaos, our resilience is low, we lack patience and compassion And when we are trying to get a message across to somebody, it can often end up with snapping or shouting rather than delivering it in a way that is more helpful, by being more aware of your tone, body language and delivery.
There are a couple of strategies which I recommend that can make a huge difference.
First of all, identify one or two really tricky times in the day. For example, the morning routine before school and the bedtime routine are usually the two most stressful times in the day. We’re not talking about having a rota for the whole day, but you can isolate 30 to 60 minutes where you need to be more organised and have a tighter schedule. By doing this, especially if you can get the kids on board in the timings, you can alleviate a lot of the pressure and chaos that goes on around that time. So include the children in this, and that not only helps to get them on board but also helps them to be accountable. You can all be accountable together.
Another thing that I highly recommend to the families that I work with is to eat together as a family as often as possible, or at the very least, sit with the children while they are eating their dinner. All the best conversations happen around the dinner table. I’m almost certain that that is 100% fact. If you want to know what’s going on in your children’s lives, simply ask them, “tell me one good thing that happened today, and one thing that wasn’t so great“ This shouldn’t be an interrogation, this is simply an open invitation for them to share what’s been going on with them. I personally try really hard not to problem solve with my children but give them open space to chat freely. When we chat together, in general terms, whether it be without children or our partners, we solidify the bond that is between us. It’s not complicated. It’s really actually very simple. When we know what’s going on in each other’s lives, we are more connected, more compassionate, more understanding and more tolerant.
So you see, with two really easy steps, we can make a whole lot of difference. It doesn’t mean that life is not going to be without difficulty, but with a couple of systems in place, including a dinner time where you talk together and find out what’s going on in each other’s days (and you can share what’s going on in your day too) you will notice a really significant difference in the energy in your family home.