Posts Tagged ‘communication’


(Date Ideas) Q & A

A date can be romantic, fun, and refreshing. It provides a time to focus on the two of you as a couple, your dreams, your goals, your relationship.

When all of the demands of life and kids are removed, though, sometimes we can find ourselves at a sudden loss for conversation topics. What do you talk about other than kids and work?? Here is a fun way to get the conversation rolling.

Take turns asking each other random questions. What is one place you would like to work if qualifications weren’t an issue?  What is one book you want to read this year? What is your favorite outfit that I wear? Where is one place in the world that you want to visit? Tell me one thing I did this last week that made you feel really loved? What character trait do you most want to be known for? No topic is off limits. The only rule is that you cannot reask a question that you have been asked.

Conversations don’t have to be deep to be significant. By asking simple questions like these, you will be amazed at how much you learn about your spouse of so many years…and how much you laugh.


(Parenting) Counting to 3

We have all witnessed or experienced first hand the classic parental warning of counting to three. While I have sometimes seen it to be effective, I have more frequently seen the child try to push their limits as far as possible (i.e. waiting until “3” to do what has been requested) or the parents displaying increasing emotion as the count goes up. The rapid “1, 2, 3″ warning gives the child only enough time to feel either panic or rebellion, but not enough time to truly reconsider their actions. Ultimately, these behaviors usually do not produce the desired or effective response and the cycle continues.

Adding a simple twist to your count can introduce clearer communication and a calmer, more effective response.

If your child is not responding to something you have asked of them, simply state, “That’s a one.” Give them a moment to respond. If they still do not respond appropriately, give them a second warning with a calm, “That’s a two.” Give them a moment to respond. If they still do not respond appropriately, calmly state, “That’s a three”, immediately followed by the parental action you judge to be fitting in correcting the behavior.

This approach keeps the spirit of the interaction calm, yet clearly defined. The clear plan keeps the parent’s emotions low and the effectiveness up. For the child, it gives them defined and predictable guidelines as well as a brief opportunity to reflect on their action and change course.

*Tip – Give you and your child an adjustment period as the new count and expectations are established. Changes can take a little bit of time before becoming truly effective. Before long, you will find your child changing their behavior at the count of 2, and often even at the count of 1.


(Living Love) Patterns of Relating

Patterns of relating are developed, learned, and created. As much as we sometimes wish that we could simply will healthy patterns of relating into existence, it takes time, love, and repetition.

We could all pretty easily come up with a lengthy list of improvements we would like to see in our spouse and ways we wish that they would show us love more often. Yet sometimes the things that we wish they would do for us the most, we ourselves withhold from our spouse. Maybe it feels as if the wishes we hold closest to our hearts are threatened if we release them or admit them?

In all relationships, patterns of relating become habit. They are repeated and, when we do not oppose them, we in fact affirm them. Do not sit and simply wish that you spouse was more physically affectionate or complimentary.  Most likely, you have been a part of the cycle. If you want to see a change, you reach out to your spouse. Touch them, compliment them, pursue them. The desires in your own heart can be a reflection of relational shortcomings in your relationship.

Break the cycle. You can be the one to start the learning and development process of integrating new patterns of relating into your relationship.

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(Breath of Life) Jeremiah 29:12-13

“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:12-13

God is not unreachable, elusive, or untouchable. He is ever-present, waiting for you to simply talk to him. Here he promises that if you talk to him and seek him, he can always be found. Don’t over-complicate your relationship with God. Seek him; talk to him. He’s there.