It can a struggle sometimes to make sure your family has a roof over their heads, food in their tummies, and clothes on their backs. However, while you are dealing with all that, don’t forget that your family members have emotional needs too, and these should not be neglected. Here are some tips to help you to support them.
People often make the mistake of thinking that talking is the most important way of supporting the emotional needs of their family. However, if you are all talking over each other, this doesn’t help at all. The most important thing you can do is listen and actually hear what is being said. That way they will be able to say all they need to. Don’t jump in with advice or a solution straight away but listen to everything they have to say before you respond.
If you are not getting a lot of information from your family member then it is ok to ask questions. School or work is very rarely ‘fine’ for eight hours a day; a lot can happen in that time. Ask your children what lessons they have had and what they are learning about or ask your partner to tell you about the gossip at the water cooler.
Create family time so that you can come together and discuss what is going on with the other family members. This can constitute a part of your day and you don’t necessarily need to take time out of your lives to do it. For example, are there a couple of nights per week when you could all sit down and eat as a family? People may have busy lives but setting aside that twenty minutes of dinner time where you all sit down as a family will help you all to support each other.
If you find that you have more time, then a board game or film night can be a great way to bring the family together. You might want to make it a rule that you can’t argue if you are losing though.
Don’t forget yourself
Don’t forget to include yourself in your family. You need to be listened to as well. If you find yourself doing all the listening and none of the talking, this can lead to frustration and depression, and it won’t help your family life at all. Make it clear that you have the right to an opinion and to offload your emotions too, and don’t forget about your own needs.
If coming together doesn’t seem to work for you, it might be time to see a family therapist. They can help you to communicate more effectively with your family and bring you closer together. This could work wonders for your family, especially if there are specific issues you need to deal with.
Follow this advice to help you support your family emotionally and create harmony and understanding in your home.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.