The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Toward Better Parental Relationships

Monday, October 10, 2011

Toward Better Parental Relationships

Much of my focus for this blog has been on interactions between adults and children.  However, just as important are the interactions between the adults who care for those children.  This blog focuses on the married parents who may need a little help staying married so their children don't have to deal with the problems associated with separation and divorce.
  1. Ask yourself if you'd rather be right or would you rather be happy?  The key here is acceptance.  If your spouse doesn't load the dishwasher the way you would, accept that he or she actually does load the dishwasher!  If your spouse doesn't take the trash out until five minutes before the truck arrives, which annoys you that he waited so long, accept that he actually remembered in time!
  2. Communicate, communicate, communicate.  Don't simply say, "The kids need to be picked up at 5:00 from soccer practice."  That's not communication.  Instead, ask, "What's one thing I can do to make your life easier?"  Wow!  What bomb just dropped in that household?  The bomb may drop but the silence may be deafening on the other end! Remembe to add one thing to the question so you don't get a laundry list of improvements.
  3. Romance is important.  That doesn't mean you need wine and flowers every week (which may become overwhelming and redundant!).  It means the you truly care about the other person and see when he or she needs a boost.  In other words, be alert to your spouse's needs and respond accordingly with a simple hug, kiss, words of appreciation, or those flowers on a non-occasion.
  4. Never assume that you know what the other person is thinking.  His or her body language may be misleading.  Ask what's bothering your partner.  Only then will you be able to respond to the problem.  Remember, men, if you ask and your wife says, "Nothing," it usually means "Everything!" Probe deeper. Just sayin'!
  5. Put family first.  Many families totally ignore this rule as they go about their everyday lives.  The parents work, which builds stress into any family.  The kids have school, activities, and homework.  But if you all work to put the family first, you will all see ways to help each other through the good times and the bad.  One of my previous blogs recommended that you have a family dinner at least once a week.  What other ways can you consider that will bring your family together?
Happy Parenting!

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