My husband and I celebrate 25 years of marriage this year!
What has enabled our union and our boys to thrive? The glue is called love, in its many spellings
Love as L.A.U.G.H.
My husband has an amazing sense of humor. When tension rises, he brings humor into the situation which enables us to communicate respectfully and productively once again.
Laughter gives us just those nanoseconds needed to let steam diffuse before we explode. Phew. It’s nice to be nice. I hate myself when I act and look like a raven pecking at my kids (or something worse)
Learn to laugh at yourself:
What situation gets you M.A.D.? Imagine you just landed from Mars and saw someone in that exact situation, what would they see, hear, and smell? Could there be something funny about that?
Love, love as L.I.S.T.E.N.
Soooo much easier said than done. Through my parent coaching I have become more aware of my own TOTALLY FLAWED behavior.
My most common blooper is to “listen” with my mouth open. The children call it “giving lectures.” Yet as tots become teens, connecting with our kids means giving them space to grow. When I speak less, they share more.When I (parent) speak less, the children share more. Love is spelled L.I.S.T.E.N. Click To Tweet
Learn to listen:
Write down some of the words you tell your partner and children. Hand the list to them and ask them to read these words out loud to you. Stand 2 meters (2 yards) away from them. Step forward if those sayings motivate you to closeness. Step back if those words aggravate you. Compare your ending position to where you started out.
Invite your loved ones to add to the list and try this again.
ONCE you have shown your loved ones how you listen, invite them to “hear with their feet” too.
Love, love, love as L.E.A.R.N.
Together time gets a boost during vacations. Our family thrives on physical exercise and some kind of discovery. It’s one of our values to embrace diversity, to move beyond our comfort zone, to choose being wonder-filled.
We ask our children all the time to stretch their knowledge (learn at school), to stretch their effort (one more bite of dinner, please), to stretch their patience (just one minute longer….)
Discovery as a family enables me to model the attitude we hope to grow in our kids. As I struggle through my own learning, I also gain in empathy with my kids.
Learn to encourage:
It is also encouraging to cheer someone on while at their side.
Haven’t you done or been in the situation where well-meaning people act like this: they advance faster than you and turn back to encourage. With the distance between you, they have to scream at the top of their lungs, “KEEP IT UP.” Their words shouted in the distance sound fumbled. Their body language looks angry (we shout better with feet apart and a certain facial grimace!)
When we are learning we are vulnerable. Encouragement through proximity truly passes on the message, “We’re together in this.”
Which L.O.V.E. will you apply today?