- Welcome your loved ones with an enthusiastic ‘Welcome home, I missed you!’ Add hug if possible. Seriously, even if you just do this first step, your children and spouse will feel more loved. I know your hands are full of groceries, or your hands are soapy, or you’re on a conference call with Paris. Whatever it is, drop it for two minutes and welcome the most important people in your life home.
- Say to each of your children and your partner: “You are so loveable. I really enjoy spending time with you.” It is critical to say, “you are so loveable,” instead of, “I love you.” Why? It isn’t that I am gifting you with my love, it is that you are so loveable I can’t help but adore you. There is a big difference as to how people respond to the two different phrases. Go on, give it a try and see for yourself.
- Give them a big hug or snuggle with your loved one on the couch for a few minutes just the two of you. If you have time, read to your small child for a few minutes, or play a board game with an older child. Teenager alert? Turn off all electronic devices. Don’t answer the phone it if it rings. Be 100% present to sit next to them and listen to what is going on in their lives. They don’t want to talk? Sit side by side and just enjoy silence together. Yes, they may tell you it is dumb. Yet they will appreciate that you wanted to share their company, free of all distractions, for a ten minutes. In the mean time you will be giving them a break from the constant stimulation our world throws at them everyday.
- Compliment effort and express gratitude to each of your children and partner each day. Example: “I am proud of you for playing so nicely with your brother and doing your homework without being asked. I am so lucky to be your Mom.” Or “Thank you for being such a great Dad by practicing swimming with the kids every week.”
- Take a break to reconnect with yourself. A calmer, more patient and empathetic you will be better able to love. Try my favorite ten minute meditation, lay flat on your back on the floor or a bed with elevated legs and read for ten minutes, or try this ten minute yoga sequence.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to deeply connect with those we cherish the most in our lives. Life can throw us curveballs. Daily stresses can cause nerves to fray. Relationships can quickly deteriorate under the pressure of too little time and too many negative emotions. Try completing these five steps with me and see how it improves the quality of your relationships.
Wishing you the full joy of connection and love! Heather