While family issues are often the source of comedies and dramas, in real life, we can tackle tricky issues and keep the peace.
1. Getting the Family Organized
It’s hard enough getting yourself organized. Through a partner and possibly kids into the mix and chaos can quickly ensue. Several apps can help you set up a routine, share a calendar, and manage chores. The key—and tricky part—is to get everyone motivated to help the whole family stay organized.
2. Poor Communication
Try setting aside an “honesty hour” for better family communication and using meals, cooking, and other activities as times to model healthy communication for kids and otherwise catch up with each other. If family members’ communication styles don’t match, everyone will need to learn to be patient and actively listen. (Everyone could probably stand to improve their communication skills.)
3. Family Issues
Sometimes it’s all a matter of how we argue, not what we’re arguing about. Use a more rational (rather than emotionally charged) approach when you argue and offer the solution first to help keep the peace in your family. Fighting in front of your kids isn’t a bad thing, either. When the whole family is arguing and no one is listening, one person (probably you, since you’re reading this) will have to step back, stay calm, and help everyone come to a resolution.
4. Balancing Work and Home Life
Remember that work and life aren’t necessarily competing against each other, as if when you spend time working it detracts from your personal or family life, and vice versa. You’ll still have to juggle family tasks, personal ones, and work ones, but if you can find a way integrate these areas of your life, you and your family might be much happier. Remember, it’s quality time that matters most—those micro-moments of connection we share every day, rather than quantity.
5. Staying Close Knit
It’s all too easy for family members to drift apart, whether you’re all living under the same roof or not. That’s why regular family meals (whether it’s breakfast or dinner or even weekly meals if members are living apart) are so important; ask basic questions at dinnertime (e.g., what went well this week and what we’re looking forward to next week) while you’re all still living together. Keep up important daily and weekly family traditions, such as weekly game night—even when everyone gets seemingly too busy for everything else.
If you can’t make time for a nice meal together more than once or twice a year, then do breakfast.
Personally I always make sure to have coffee with my husband at least once a week. We sit down, relax, and talk about our day. We’ll also do the occasional beers together in the evening. Just make sure you really connect rather than talk about the things that annoy us in life.
What are the most important times in your family? Please contact us.
Oliver & Kim