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In today’s hectic, fast-paced home life, sometimes politeness toward our family members inadvertently gets overlooked. You’ve got to be at the soccer field in 10 minutes and you’re already running late, so you yell up the stairs for your daughter to hurry. Dinner is on the table and your teen is still on the couch across the room staring at his device. Your spouse walks in the door without a greeting, still absorbed in her call from her drive home from work.
Sound familiar? Sounds stressful! Treating our family members with respect and courtesy helps for a more calm, peaceful and loving home life. And much less stressful. Try these strategies with those those you love the most:
- First thing in the morning or when you walk into a room give a greeting – a “Good Morning…” or “Hello…” instantly sets the tone for pleasant and positive conversation.
- Listen with courtesy, intent and use positive non-verbal language. No eye-rolling when your parent is telling you something you don’t want to hear, and turn to face your spouse when he’s asking you a question.
- Keep the volume down throughout the house. Get in the habit of walking into the room where your family member is and delivering the message personally in a quiet voice; in other words, no yelling from room to room. Be considerate of the volume level of the TV, your music or your device. Better yet use earbuds while watching your favorite Netflix show.
- Knock, knock. Always knock on a closed door, and wait for your family member to invite you in, or tell you she’ll be right out. Even if the door is ajar, give a little rap and wait for the “come in”.
- Treat your home with respect. Have your family members help with their share of easy daily tasks. There’s nothing like that “aaahhh” feeling of a tidy home – especially when it’s a group effort to pitch in a few minutes each day.
- Ask first. If you want to borrow or use something, ask first and put it back where you got it when you’re done. What a great show of respect (not to mention saving frustration, hence creating peace) if you ask to borrow that belt or use the stapler from your parent’s desk.
- Share your day – a funny story about work, school, the basketball game or dinner with friends. It is an opportunity to be a wonderful listener or confidant, and have a real down to earth conversation.
- Be responsive, engage and don’t ignore those around you. Being in a face to face conversation is much more important than what’s on your Twitter feed on that perfect Snap filter.
Practicing these simple yet important courtesies to your family members will help set a tone of peacefulness, and show love and respect to each other each and every day. Have a great one!