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Same Page Technique

Communication within a family can often breakdown for a number of reasons and I am sure we have all experienced this at some point of our lives.

When parents are busy and feeling stressed out, conversations can quickly turn to squabbling so it is a really good idea to take some time out together and focus on finding a way to move forward and support each other - individually, as couple, and as parents. This can often help you re-establish goals and understand each other’s thoughts and feelings.

The “Same Page Technique” is one I have often recommended over the years. It is a useful activity with teenage children and parents to assist when relationships change as children get older, but today I would like to focus on how the “Same Page Technique” can help you and your partner to open up communication, align priorities, and get you exploring what you feel each of you does well in the relationship. It also helps identify the important areas where you may need to work at to achieve a good family dynamic.

Once the children have gone to bed, grab a cup of tea (or hot chocolate) and sit down with one another somewhere quiet. First of all, each have a piece of paper and a pen and write down what you admire most about your partner’s approach to the family and what you would like to see change or improve. When you are done, swap papers and read through together. You should aim for 5-10 points in each category, but make sure that you have a fairly equal number in both.

Next, write down and discuss what you both see are the issues within the family. It may be something like agreeing on (or abiding by) house rules, how to discipline the children or how to manage sibling rivalry.

Once you have identified the issues, discuss how you might be able to work on them together. How might you address it and what rules need to be put in place? For example, ensuring you are a united front and backing each other up when dealing with an explosive situation within the family.

Finally, write down what you both feel you need from the relationship to feel supported (this may well overlap with the points about what your partner does well from earlier) and how you will both support each other.

Having good communication within the family creates an atmosphere where people feel they are listened to, appreciated and individual needs are able to be addressed before they snowball.

Following on from this blog, we will be soon be discussing how to encourage teamwork within the family - so watch this space!

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