Guide to Relationships 101 and Some Lagniappe for Summer Travel

  1. Actively listen to your child/spouse. Give them your undivided attention as much as possible when they speak to you. Give them eye contact.
  2. Minimize conversations on your cell phone/use of your iPad while with them.
  3. Ask for your child’s/spouse’s opinion: “What do you think about…?”
  4. In appropriate circumstances, ask how something makes your child/spouse feel. Be sensitive to their emotions.
  5. Don’t negate a child’s/spouse’s feelings, but be a listening ear. You might want to follow up with, “Why do you feel that way?” or “Why do you think you feel that way?”
  6. Tell your child/spouse how much you love and value them. Don’t assume that they know. Don’t assume they are clairvoyant!
  7. Tell your child/spouse that you will consider their point of view and then do so. Follow up with them about how you factored their viewpoint into your plans/decision. Children learn a lot by this type of discourse.
  8. Don’t embarrass your child/spouse in public by making fun of them at their expense or chastising them in public.
  9. Spend quality time with your child/spouse, giving consideration to what they want to do. Don’t underestimate the value of the amount of time you spend with your child/spouse. It is very important as well.
  10. Walk next to your child/spouse, not ahead of them or behind them.

Lagniappe:

If you are traveling on an airplane with your child, always bring something for them to eat or drink while the plane is ascending and descending. A young child doesn’t always have the understanding that they should swallow to decrease the pressure in their ears when a plane takes off or lands.

If your child is traveling by plane to visit you this summer, be on time to pick them up at the airport!