Plan for time to communicate openly and honestly. This is the foundation of any good relationship. Set aside time for a "walk and talk" or "a sit and chat." Talk to your partner about your thoughts, feelings, and needs. Be honest and use a regulated tone with each other, even when it's difficult.
Make time to connect. Make time for each other, even when busy. Set aside 10 minutes a day for an "upload and download," giving each other five minutes of uninterrupted listening! Regularly, go on dates, take walks together, eat lunch alone together or just cuddle on the couch.
Be supportive of each other. Be there for your partner when they need you. Listen to them when they're going through a tough time. Offer your support and encouragement. Remember to check-in and follow-up. Empathize.
Be willing to repair and forgive. Everyone makes mistakes. If your partner does something that hurts you, let them know and offer a repair opportunity. Try to forgive them. Holding on to anger and resentment will only hurt your relationship long term. Address things as they arise and avoid letting things build up.
Be patient. Relationships take time to build and grow. Don't expect everything to be perfect all the time. Be patient with each other and with the process of building a strong relationship. It also allows each other to have time to reflect and initiate a repair, if needed.
Be grateful. Share appreciations frequently. Let your partner know how something made you feel, such as "I felt supported when you emptied the dishwasher." Or, "When you cooked dinner for us, I felt loved." Let your partner know how much you appreciate them. Gratitude will help to keep your relationship strong and healthy.
Join us for our monthly couples skills workshop, to keep your relationship strong and connected. Learn more here.
Find JOY in being a parent. Parenting is a rewarding experience. Enjoy the joyful moments and the frequent milestones that your child reaches. Celebrate them together.
Empathize. Empathize with children when they need support. When children make mistakes or have a hard day, remember it is an opportunity to connect. Connect before you correct.
Set limits and be consistent. Children need to know what is expected of them and what the rewards and consequences will be if they follow or break the rules. Use a "when/then" approach. Be consistent, so that your child knows what to expect.
Use Role Modeling. Children learn by watching the adults in their lives. If you want your child to be a good person, be a good role model for them. Model values you want children to adopt. If you do not like something your child is doing, think about how you handle yourself in that same situation (i.e., do you yell when upset? do you apologize when you do something to hurt someone?). You can always change a negative habit to a positive one, by working on it and modeling how to do that for your child!
Make time for your kids. Spending time with your children is important for their development and well-being. Make sure to set aside time each day to play with them, read to them, or just talk to them. Quality over quantity, be present with the time you do spend together.
Boost your child's self-esteem by teaching skills! Children need to feel good about themselves in order to grow and develop. Take the time to teach children how to do things independently, at their developmental level. Be willing to break down a task, teach the steps until your child masters their new skill (i.e., making a bed, folding their clothes, packing their school backpack). Praise your child's effort often and let them know that you are proud of them for their growing abilities!
Catch kids being good. When your child does something good, be sure to praise their effort. This will help them to feel good about themselves and to continue to do good things.
Be patient. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs on the planet, raising another human being! It takes patience. There will be times when you are frustrated or angry, but it is important to remember that your child is still learning and growing. You can get through messy moments with patience!