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Five ways to check your family temperature

January 10, 2013

What is the temperature of your family? Is it a happy place to live? Is it safe for everyone? Is loving concern being modeled often? Is forgiveness readily available and given often? Is anger the definition of the family relationship or is cooperation and shared responsibility at the forefront?

Each family creates variations of temperature (otherwise known as emotional quotient) by how it interacts with one another. So often, our homes reflect what has been taught to us by our parents. We don’t stop and think about how we would like our homes to be; we simply acknowledge that they are what they are and there isn’t much we can do about it. This is not true! Every day determines how our family life expresses itself. It may be angry today, but that does not mean it needs to be angry tomorrow. We can do something in the present to change the dynamics. Here are a few suggestions on changing the temperature of your home to something more positive:

1. Get your courage up and ask your spouse or your child to forgive you for the most recent time you have unloaded on them in anger (even if you were right).

2. Start a family night where the entire family gets together, turns the television off, and plays games.

3. Ask the family how they would like to be family, ie., ask for advice from even your youngest about how they would like the family to relate to each other.

4. Take time each week to be one-on-one with each family member ¨including your wife or husband.

5. Stop saying “You are­” and start saying “I feel­”.  This way, you convey that something is not working for you without accusing or attacking someone you love.

Good luck. Try it right this very day. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.

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