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.


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!