Tag: relationship coach


Episode 03: What does a Conscious Family mean?

You may be wondering why I have named my podcast the conscious family. So lets break it down a little bit. Conscious means having some kind of awareness. Many of us go through parenting pretty much on autopilot, unaware. We are doing the things that are parents pretty much did unless it was the few things we swore never to do that they did. Hence we may find ourselves many times saying WOW I sound like my mother!!! or Yikes I’m turning into my Mother!

Becoming a Conscious, Intentional, Mindful Family. Requires effort. Denay Barahona goes over 3 characteristics of being intentional which I loved and went over in my podcast. Go check out her blog and podcast at simplefamilies.com, she has some awesome content. The 3 Characteristics that she describes to becoming a intentional parent are: Reflection, Education and Strategy. As soon as she said these things I was like YES YES YES!!!! It just strung some positive vibes in my body so I decided to do a follow up podcast of how I apply these three aspects in my family.

Reflection: Always asking yourself where can I improve? What can I do better? Why do I think this way about this? Why do I do this in this particular way? Reflecting is a wonderful skill to develop. My husband and I do it regularly every week. We set a time aside to look at what went well during the week what didn’t and where we can improve.

Education: If you are a regular reader of my stuff this is definitely the ongoing learning that is not just done in school but forever and ever. Its the desire and thirst for knowledge. Whenever a problem arises I love to research. We are way blessed and have a million different resources at our fingertips. Lets use it and learn what we can and be empowered by education with all our choices.

Strategy: I called this implementation. There is no point in having a ton of knowledge on a certain subject and there is no application involved. In order to really learn something application is needed to have it embedded in you especially when it comes to learning new parenting strategies.

We need to be conscious about what we do with our families because we are always teaching and influencing them all of the time, whether we know it or not. Lets take some time to reflect on our parenting and family practices and see where we can improve on.

You are amazing, beautiful and awesome

 

xo Tracy


The Conscious Family – Episode 2: Setting Family Goals

 

  1. Find Problems or things that can be improved in the family. Identify the Goal
  2. Ensure everybody is on board with the Goal or has a say in the Goal
  3. Steps to achieving it & Identify obstacles that may prevent from achieving it
  4. Date to accomplish this  goal by. Or if it’s an ongoing goal how often you will revisit it.

Goals for Mummy and Daddy

  • Date Night Monthly
  • Temple Night Monthly
  • Quarterly Night Away
  • Weekly planning session

Goals for the Little Kids

  • Make Bed before breakfast
  • Pick up toys before dinner

Goals for Mummy and Daddy and Kids

  • Dinner or Breakfast Together 3times a Week
  • Morning and Evening Prayers and Scripture Reading
  • Pick up the house before Bedtime
  • No Electronics between 6-9pm
  • Family Vacation 2times a year

Budgeting for Family Vacations

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(photography by Conner and Tracy at the Grand Turks Island 2016)

We love going on family trips therefore we always need to factor in family vacations into our budget. We love going from the simple overnight camping trips, to staying at a bed and breakfast to going half-way across the world to visit my family in New Zealand.

My husband and I live a pretty simple life with one car, one phone and occasionally go out for a pizza or thai food once a week. We also live on a pretty tight budget since he is the only provider right now therefore we may have to scrimp at times but we never lack. We also have pretty strict rules on debt and the only debt we have is that of our house. We will never do trips or purchase anything if they put us in any financial burden. We maintain a good emergency fund of 6 months and find other ways to invest the rest. (So let’s say we scrimp on daily spending so we can enjoy more fun family vacations.) So there’s some background for you. Today I thought of sharing some ways that we budget for our family trips.

  1. Get a Vacation Calendar – This isn’t always the easiest when sometimes we end up going with other family members. But at least getting out a yearly calendar and slotting in the times when you want to go on vacation especially the big ones that you know for sure. Seeing the different times you want to go and where you want to go will help you allocate a budget to each vacation
  2. Budget – Now you know how many times you are going out of town and roughly estimate how much you will be spending at each place. Once you know how much you are spending at each place divide that by weekly or bi-weekly however you get paid to know how much you have to put aside each week for the trips.
  3. Get Creative – I am a firm believer if you don’t have the money for it and you want it then go out there and get the money for it. Life’s too short to go without! (to a certain degree) If the vacation is out of your budget then don’t just end it there, get creative!!! If this is something you really want you will make the money for it. Whether you pick up extra hours doing something on the weekend, sell extra things out of your house or start up a new craft to sell.
  4. Research – So for me I can go pretty extreme. I don’t care about where we stay…Just as long as I am there I will hitchhike to get around or sleep in my car if necessary . (it’s all part of the fun adventure for me) But do your research into all the free activities and all the discounted places you can find to eat, sleep and activities to do while there. The more research the better idea you have and how much money you will need to allocate to this place.  Many times they will charge you for having a tour but if you walked around yourself it would be free. Some people enjoy living luxuriously and that’s great every now and then but if I can save enough for another trip I am down for that!!
  5. Scale – If big trips are just out of your budget just opt for smaller trips around your hometown or a few cities or state away! These vacations are just as fun, they don’t need to be elaborate or fancy. The most important thing about vacations is dedicating extra time to be with the people you love the most and strengthening those bonds.

Vacations and Holidays are times for us to build family memories and to bond on a closer level. Therefore we value this time together as something extra. Yeah the photos are fun and posting it on social media has it perks but it’s no fun if you are going to be in debt for it. So be smart!

If you have any questions or comments feel free to message me at info@ourhappytalk.com. I would love to talk to you about strengthening your marriage and family and creating a vision for your family that you have dreamed of and making it a reality.


Am I ready for Marriage?

Lets face it we will never be completely and fully ready for anything in life? How many of us were ready to go to school for the first day? Or start a new job or college or anything. I know I wasn’t ever ready but I did it and I became better because I jumped in it with faith and hope and an attitude to work at it. Marriage is a big step and although we may never be completely ready for it there are some things that we can do to better prepare ourselves for this lifelong commitment. Here are some general questions to ask yourself if you are wondering if you are ready for this marriage thing!

Is my relationship with God priority above all else?

If you do not have solid foundations you will not be able to stand. Do you feel your relationship with God is superficial work on it? Your relationship with God is the foundation for any marriage if it is strong you will be able to withstand whatever trials that may come your way.

Have I fallen in Love with Myself?

One of the worst things a girl can do is going into a marriage being self-conscious, jealous and emotionally unstable. We need to love ourselves first. We need to have a deep knowledge and understanding and love of who we are wherever we are at in our life. When we can find love from within us we don’t need to compare ourselves to other women and feel insecure about ourselves. Many women break down and fall apart when their spouse isn’t there for them but as we know how to love ourselves wecan handle these situationsWe enjoy love from others but also know that we don’t heavily depend on it because our love from inside is greater and we know that we have a greater source of love which is God and His love is unconditional.

Am I willing to be Selfless in all aspects of my life?

Marriage is selfless. You need to be doing things for the sake of the marriage not for your own personal gain. From the children to your sexual intimacy marriage is doing things for each other.

Am I willing to be open and vulnerable in my marriage?

When we are open and vulnerable this is where REAL TRUST is built. When we communicate our true feelings and emotions it builds strength in your relationship. Some people may look at this as a sign of weakness but know that when you do this your partner will be able to confide in you as well and you start building true foundations of trust, love and commitment all because you were willing to be open and vulnerable.

Am I humble enough to admit fault and learn?

Humility is big if you are humble enough to know when you are wrong and also willing to admit fault this will take you a long way. Communicating is vital to let your partner know how you are feeling and expressing it in a loving and calm way.

Am I committed to being with this one person through thick and thin and accept where they are at?

Who you decide to marry is not going to change overnight. Too often we want to change them but the fact of the matter is we can’t change anybody. It has to come from within themselves. We as partners need to love them for where they are at and how far they have become. It does not mean we lose sight of their potential but we love them along this journey.

What would you add to the list? Would love to hear your thoughts? If you are working on some of these and would like to get some more personal advice I would love to talk to you. Email me at info@ourhappytalk.com.

xo Tracy


7 Topics to Discuss while Dating

Some of these topics may be hard to bring up especially during dating. But create an environment where you can discuss this openly and honestly. The more open and honest you are with these topics before marriage or serious courtship the less headache and heartache it will be down the road. Keep in mind that this is not the end all be all, opinions and views can change over years of being together.

Childhood Upbringing/Previous Relationships

How did your parents handle arguments? How did you communicate with your parents? How long before issues were solved in your home? What would you do different? What did you love about your upbringing? What were some difficulties in your previous relationships? Whether you realize it or not your upbringing has a massive part to play in how your relationship will unravel. Talking about what your families did and what you liked and didn’t like will help you and your partner know why you do the things you do and what things you want to change. Previous relationships also play a part if you came from a emotionally abusive relationship you may bring these emotions to your current relationship which may hinder your progress together. Talk and discuss ways you can start fresh with each other and not let the past affect what the bright future is able to hold for you both.

Faith and Core Value Beliefs

What church or congregation you want you family to go to? What values you want to instill in your children? What traditions you will be bringing into the home? What morals you wish your children to learn? Are you okay with your spouse having a different faith to you? With different cultures talk about the differences in beliefs and ways of thinking. Find a good mix between the two but don’t feel like all has to be set in stone right now.

Previous or Current Addictions

Have you viewed pornography? How often? To what extent? Have you been addicted to any drugs or alcohol or any form of medications? Knowing this may be able to help you understand your spouse a little better. If they seem to be going back down that track you have already discussed it previously and your partner may be able to help and give support during these times.

Finances

Do you have debt? How much debt do you have? How much are you willing to spend on a car? or shoes? How well do you save? Are we going to have a split or separate bank account? Talking about your finances in the beginning can save a lot of assumptions and headache down the line. Be open about where you are at financially so you can be there for each other and keep each other accountable as you both set goals together.

Autonomy & Boundaries

Do you like your independance? Do you enjoy doing hobbies alone or together? How often do you want to do your own thing? How often do you want to do things with your friends? Do you want a shared FB account? Do we share passwords for all email and social media accounts? Do we have a date night once a week? Do we go to our in laws one every other week?

Children

Do you see yourself having children? What if we can’t have children? Are you wanting or open to adoption? Who will be the stay home parent? Will you both be working? What kind of day care or education do you want your children to have? Will you be paying for college tuition? Children are a massive part of marriage and family life so let’s iron out some of the bigger topics.

Dream Life

Where are you living? What are you doing? Where do you see yourself? How do you vacation? What kind of home are you living in? What are things you want to accomplish? What things can you not live without? What things are you willing to compromise on? What things can you not stand in your current life?

Discuss these topics on a date night? Go through one each day take it slow and go into as much detail as you like. This exercise may take several weeks but as you do enjoy learning about each other and your views on life marriage and family.

 

 

 


Is this TRUE LOVE?

IMG_1400The million dollar question! When we are dating somebody and things have been going steady for a while figuring out if you are truly in love with this person can be a complicated question. For some people can be an ongoing question for years and years on end. There are many types of love, the love of a parent and a child, self love, love of humanity as a whole, superficial love and the list goes on. Today I wanted to focus on the most truest and purest Love ever known to humanity which is the True Love of God.

One of my favorite verse that talks about Love is that which talks about Charity in Corinthians. Charity is the pure love of Christ. We know that Christ had the purest form of love for us as shown by his sacrifice at the garden and on the cross.  Therefore as we try and evaluate our love for somebody we are free to compare it against this definition of Christ. Of course we will never reach his level of perfection but we can try to emulate his love.

Charity is the pure love of Christ. It is the love that Christ has for the children of men and that the children of men should have for one another. It is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love and the most joyous to the soul

Charity suffereth long

When you love somebody you are patient with their flaws. We are patient in all aspects whether they are suffering emotionally or physically. We see it through to the end. You understand they are not perfect but you are with them every step of the way in this journey.

Charity is Kind

Being around your boyfriend or husband may mean that they see sides of you that no one else sees. They get the tired you at the end of the day. They get grumpy snappy you. But this is no excuse they don’t deserve to be treated this way. Our spouse is the one we love the most, therefore we need to be our kindest self towards them.

Charity Envieth not

In marriage this can also be referred to as resentment in marriage. Sometimes we resent that our husbands get to go to work all day while we stay at home cleaning cooking and watching the kids. Sometimes we are envious that our wives stay home while we have to go make the money. Envy in marriage can come up in so many ways. So let’s try and appreciate what our situation brings. Let’s not be envious and play the score card game.

Charity seeketh not her own

Marriage is definitely not a selfish road. If that’s what you want you obviously should be looking elsewhere. Marriage is all about serving and loving and giving of yourself. Both husband and wife give of themselves to each other. One is not above the other we are looking to put their interests first always.

Charity is not easily provoked

Oh how easy is it to get bugged at the smallest little thing that your loved one does. It’s way too easy to get caught up in the weeds and not be able to see the bigger picture of the flowers blooming around. Sometimes it’s just easier to let things slip by, pick your battles my friends.

Charity thinketh no evil

Our imaginations are king at this. We love imagining up scenarios that we play in our minds that are seem totally true but in fact our a mere creation of our imagination. Let’s not assume that our partners are always trying to flirt or find someone new. Let’s not assume of the worst possible scenario. Let’s assume the best in our spouse and let them assume the best in us. That is where trust begins.

Charity rejoiceth in truth

Communicating to your spouse can be the hardest but the most rewarding thing you can do in a marriage. When you are open and honest with each other about all areas of your marriage, physical, sexual, financial, emotional you will be able to grow and excel to greater levels of intimacy and trust.

Charity Beareth & Endureth all things

Similar to the first, in marriage we work together to solve and workout whatever trials that come our way. Having charity which bearth all things means that we are there till the end when the going get tough, that is not our time to call it quits we will see it through together until the end.

Charity Believeth & Hopeth all things

Marriage means that you believe and have faith in your marriage. You have a positive and optimistic hope in your marriage that things will work out. You have faith in each other and help see the great things that you can accomplish together. You set a wonderful vision for where our marriage is heading and you have hope and faith in what the future will bring for your marriage and family.

If you can tick these off in the ways you feel for your partner you can know that you working towards true love. As husband and wife or partners this is our goal and our aim to develop this kind of love for our spouse. The same kind of love that Christ has for us. His love is perfect and it never faileth!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this piece. If you have questions or thoughts comment or message me at info@ourhappytalk.com.

With Love xo


When your spouse doesn’t show affection

IMG_3479smallDepending on how long you have been married you are probably so sick of trying to get your husband to remember anniversaries, birthdays, mother’s day or even just to be spontaneous and bring you flowers one day. When I first married my husband he was not very affectionate in those ways. When we took the love language test his top 3 were, words of affirmation, time and physical affection while mine was time and acts of service he started to realise what I loved and started to direct his actions towards my love language. But it didn’t happen immediately and I couldn’t force him anything against his will no matter how much I wanted to. The progress was slow and it took effort from the both of us, it required patience and understanding from each of us.

Evaluate Media Intake

How often are you watching movies and shows that show all the fairy tale relationships. While you and your spouse are trying to improve your relationship it would be helpful to decrease your intake of this type of media so you are not holding up crazy fairy tale expectations of your spouse. Even with social media when you see all your friends constantly posting all the fun things that their spouses do for them and there you are getting even more annoyed that your spouse isn’t doing the same thing! Until you are comfortable with where you are in your marriage have a media diet and limit your intake, it will be better for both your marriage and plus you will have more time for each other!!!!

Communicate

This is not a nagging session and finding fault session this is a time to to loving tell your spouse how you feel. Begin the conversation by saying things that you love that your spouse does. Show him that there are awesome things that they do! Then bring up that which are your personal concerns. If you set a time to regularly meet together to talk about deep relationship topics this may it be easier to express your concerns so your spouse knows this is something that you are both working on together and that there is consistent accountability on a weekly or monthly basis.

Give Credit for the Small

Give credit at every opportunity you can. We all work this way when somebody recognizes a good behaviour of ours we are like little kids and we want to do it over and over again. Try and spot those times when your spouse has made the effort big or small. If it was a phone call or even a text message let your spouse know you appreciate them thinking of you during the day and sending that thoughtful message.

5 Love Language Tests

Last but definitely not least!!!! Do this test learn what rings with each other, what makes you and your spouse feel loved. If you have even more time, take some time to read the book if you want to get in depth into it. Understanding each other is so important so you can be a lot more empathetic and loving and understanding to how each other does things and why they do things.

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11 Ways to Improve Intimacy in Marriage

DISCLAIMER: If posts like this make you blush feel free to skip this post and check out all our other posts to help strengthen your marriage and family. For those wanting to learn how to increase intimacy in marriage read on!


Intimacy is beautiful when able to be expressed in the bonds of matrimony. But like all beautiful things it does take effort, work, understanding and love.

At the beginning of any relationship it is completely normal for intimacy to be on a high. But just like all things in life the fun begins to wear off therefore we need to put more effort and work into it. We get comfortable and sometimes end up putting intimacy on the back-seat. We all need to realise that intimacy is a vital part of marriage where at the beginning it was more a physical thing but as you grow together intimacy becomes more about connecting and showing deeper emotional love for one another. You do have to bear in mind different phases of life that your spouse is going through, whether it is pregnancy, nursing, stress at work, or illness and be understanding and accommodate to these different circumstances! All couples go through cycles of highs and lows and sometimes lows last longer than we want. Today I have compiled some ideas to help you increase you sexual desire.

Pray Together

Never underestimate the power of prayer! Praying together with your spouse over improving your sex life is just as important as praying for school, work, family and whatever else there is.

Say No!

Ladies we take too much on! If what you are doing is taking putting too much stress on you and your family that by the end of the day you don’t want to do anything with your spouse you may just need to prioritise! Say no to things that will take your attention from the things that matter most! And don’t put your sex life at the bottom of the list!

De-stress

Too much stress increases the stress hormone cortisol, which causes testosterone to plummet. Find a way to tune out for 15 minutes a day, whether through meditation, yoga, chilling to music, or chilling with a friend.

Clear the Clutter

Clearing the mess in your bedroom will help you for sure get in the mood. You are not stumbling over kids toys or things all over the floor to romance your spouse. Having your room in order will allow you to focus on your spouse and not worrying about the load of laundry you are needing to do or any other things on your to do list in the upcoming days! Let’s hide the overwhelm for at least while you are in the bedroom!

Experiment

I can’t stress this one enough, experiment and try something new on a regular basis. Try new positions, new locations, music or anything to spice up your intimacy level. Experimenting allows you to feel more excited about getting into it and about what else you can do.

Fantasize

This can be difficult at the beginning and requires a lot of trust between the couple. But once you can express those desires to each other in a safe and loving environment it can boost your sexual desire big time! Remember that you need to respectful of each other’s boundaries and comfort levels. It is also vital to know fantasies are kept between both of you and inviting no one else into the fantasies is a big NO NO!

Exercise

Aerobic workouts (running, biking, swimming) not only improve blood flow to sex organs but can also boost your mood, pumping up “feel good” brain chemicals called endorphins. An increase in testosterone levels about one hour after working out can also leave you feeling sexier. Do avoid overstraining yourself, though, since extreme exercise actually lowers testosterone levels.

Abstain

Dr. Beiter says he encourages couples to “move away from a performance-based sexuality, where sex is typically defined as intercourse and mandatory orgasms.” Instead, he suggests taking up “pleasure-based sexuality, where the focus is on pleasure, fun and intimacy.” This allows you both to get excited and have some time to work up to the actual thing.

Date Nights

Plan a date night, of course! In fact, go ahead and e-mail this article to your spouse right now, asking him to make reservations at your favorite restaurant tonight. But really you need some alone time so find a babysitter and schedule this time out. Make it a regular occurrence at least 3 times a month minimum.

Health

If you feel there is a health issue that is preventing you from enjoying your sex life then visit a doctor. Also keep in mind that birth control pills and nursing also affects your desire for sex. Your doctor may be able to prescribe certain medication to help you solve issues you didn’t realize were there.

Timing and Schedule

If it really is difficult to get in the mood schedule it in!!! Schedule it during the time of day when you have a little more energy than usual. Leaving it right to the end of the day means that you will for sure be exhausted and you will for sure have the least desire. If at all possible to do a quickie in the morning or midday if you only have a limited amount of time.

New Hobbies

Recent research shows that partaking in new and challenging experiences with your partner can boost the brain chemical dopamine, which helps fuel sex drive. These don’t even need to be in the bedroom. Enter a race together, on a tandem bike. Get a little lost on a wilderness hike—without a map. Host a game night with friends where each couple kicks in $30 and the winning pair takes all.

For additional resources, consider reading any of the following books:

  1. The Sex Starved Wife: by Michele Weiner Davis
  2. Why Men Stop Having Sex: by Bob Berkowitz
  3. And We Were Not Ashamed: by Laura Brotherson

More couples than you realize consist of partners with varying sex drives. With open communication and the setting of attainable goals and expectations, you and your spouse CAN find happy medium in the bedroom!

If you would love more info or have questions on this topic I would love to talk to you! Feel free to message me at info@ourhappytalk.com to schedule a free mini coaching call!!!

xo best wishes


Marriage Interview: Kaufusi Family

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Pauline and Maverick Kaufusi met in high school they were in the same history class. She goes to say “We stayed good friends. I went to BYUH and returned as a BYUH intern to Tonga in 2013. We hung out again. And he randomly asked me to marry him. I didn’t know if it was for real and so we ended up playing it out like he was just playing around. Long story short i didn’t finish my mission papers and we got engaged and got married oct 2014”

  1. What was your top qualities in looking for a spouse?

So my top qualities i was looking for in a spouse was someone who I could see myself as close to him as I my mum am to my dad. I wanted good conversation, someone I could just be myself with and it wasn’t a chore to try make conversation or try and pretend like I wanted to hang out. I don’t know if that makes any sense. Also it was top priority that i got married in the temple, if it wasn’t the temple then sorry mate you’re not for me! I wanted to make sure he would always treat me well in public as well as behind closed doors. He needed to respect me as well as other women regardless.

  1. What has been the biggest adjustment for you being married?

I think the biggest adjustment for me was having to consult someone about my decisions big or small. I moved out of home at 14 and boarded then went on to university and flatted so I was always used to making my own decisions, spending time/money on whatever I wanted. So adjusting was a learning process. Simply remembering to include my husband in decision making. It was also difficult for my husband too because he felt I was independent and I didn’t need him enough so I had to balance and include him in our decisions

  1. What was the best advice someone gave to for marriage?

My young women’s president in youth told me “Don’t give up an eternity of happiness for a few moments of satisfaction” this helped me in the dating stages to hold my standards high and wait for someone who is ready for the temple.

  1. What has been the most enjoyable part of marriage?

The most enjoyable part of marriage is being over the “playing hard to get” stage. Once you are past that it’s all fun and games. Also the best is not have to say goodbye at night and he go home or I go home. That was always a pain when dating

  1. What have you done to get through your tough times in marriage?

Tough times in our marriage has been a learning process but when we can’t stand each other my husband would just say we are in this forever so either way angry or not I’m still the one you will wake up to in the morning. So we just take time to cool off I always want to talk about it but sometimes we just get over it and it’s easier that way. In the end it doesn’t matter who’s right.

Marriage is a fun and great experience, I thought I loved my husband when I was dating and when I married him. But I learn more and more about him every day and even after knowing his flaws I continue to love him. Like he says we are in this forever. There’s no going back!!!

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Environment for Open Communication

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Last month I talked about emotional abuse and the fear that this kind of behavior fosters in home and family environment. There are many ways emotional abuse can be rendered but today I wanted to touch on having open communication and creating this environment in our homes. Homes that are emotionally abusive can instill fear into members of the family which don’t allow for open communication to each other or even to people outside who may be able to help them.

I know firsthand how it feels to live in this fear as a child and how desperately afraid I was to say anything that would go against my parents beliefs. I was fearful of whether I would get the belt or a lecture lasting for several hours. In my parent’s defense they have been amazing to me and I am so grateful for all their sacrifices yet their parenting style was still of the old school ways. It was mainly my way or the highway and it was you listen to me because i’m older and i’m the boss and I know more than you. (Which in most cases when you are between 1-16years old proved to be right.) But as we got to be teenages we started pushing back and starting having our say, probably not the best way because all we did was try and replicate our views as forcefully as they did their views on us because that was the only way we knew how to communicate our views.

Fast forward to my marriage life I noticed me replicating many of these same behaviours. And it was hurting my husband emotionally especially because he knew there were better ways. I knew that I needed to communicate my views in a positive and more loving way. I knew that I had to create an environment in my home where my spouse would feel safe to communicate his feelings about our marriage and family without being afraid he will be teared down or that I will instantly lash out in defense. I also want my children to feel the same way to, that they are have a space to express emotion and be allowed to feel that emotion without ridicule or belittling.

From my personal experience here are 4 ways we can foster open communication in our homes:

Be Available

Schedule a time with your spouse and children when they know that you are there completely listening to them.  I know as a couple we need to have at least an hour of “marriage inventory” A week to have deep conversations about our concerns and goals etc. It’s not just the conversations of how was your day, but it’s the deeper questions that gets them to open up and express their true emotions. It’s great talking to them daily about their day but ensure at least once a week you can dedicate some time for serious alone conversations. If they know there is this time that they will get with you and it is consistent they will be able to develop this trust to open up to you.

Listen with Validation

Validation is allowing people to feel their emotions. I just read an amazing book by the lunds called I don’t have to make it all better where it talks about the power of validating others. Not trying to fix their problems but really listening with empathy. When your spouse say I have my boss is  controlling maniac!, don’t respond like my normal response  which would be don’t say that about your boss! That’s not a nice thing to say instead. we can respond with, sounds like he making your job harder, being told what to do is not pleasant at all. Allowing others to express their emotions allows them to feel through them and eventually be able to vent it out and can easily be led to finding their own solutions.

React with Understanding and Love

To often when we hear something we don’t like or disagree, we directly go into defensive mode or attack mode. In these times our family members need our love the most. They need our support at this crucial time as they are very vulnerable at these times. This is not the time to ridicule, teach or prove a point. This is the time to listen with empathy and love.

Be the Example

If you feel that there is terrible communication in your household BECOME THE ROLE MODEL. That’s all it really takes is one person showing how communication in the really should be. In my home it was my husband, he showed me how it was to have open communication with love. It took me awhile to get on the band wagon but it finally clicked and now our communication is a million times better than it use to be. (occassionaly I forget)   Our children watch us the most if they see the way that we communicate is through force, harshness, they too will do the same.

TC2013 (918)



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