By: Jacqui Shive
We are a busy world. Most of us are go, go, go from the moment we wake up to the moment our heads hit the pillow that night. Our days are planned by “to-do” lists. We have things to do, places to go, and people to see!
For some families this means that the small amount of time we get to see each other during the day is filled with “getting down to business.” It is easy to slip into this mode with one another and to end up staying there. It should come as no surprise that this can put a strain on even the strongest relationships.
So what to do?
The key ingredient to happier relationships is to be kind. If you can focus on kindness, everything else will slip into place.
Think about when you see your significant other after a busy day of work and errands. If you have been going from one task to another all day you might greet your significant other with “Did you pay that bill?”, “When are we going to mow the lawn”, “We forgot to take the trash out last night.”, and I’m sure you can think of a dozen more! While these things are necessary to talk about, they don’t have to be the first things you talk about.
Start practicing kindness by making the first 5 minutes that you see a loved one all about being kind. Ask how they feel, how their day was, what made them happy today? Hold on reader!!! I can read your thoughts…if you ask these questions, they will just start complaining. Is that what you were thinking? Well, then change your approach until it works. Instead of opening the door for negative conversation, give them a compliment, thank them, or share something from your day that made you think about them.
Imagine how your child would feel if the first thing you said to them after they had been at school all day was “You didn’t make your bed this morning and now we have to hurry to get to soccer practice and then we need to be…”? Geesh! Before you launch into what was supposed to have happened and what should happen, pause and be kind for a few minutes. It will seem like you have more time and if you surrender to being kind you will be happier and feel calmer. The opportunity to talk about what you expect from your child will happen. When it does, your child will be more open to what you have to say because they will feel happier and calmer from your kindness.
This may seem silly and might not work right away but if you stick to being kind the other person will come around.