Family can be so complicated. Relationships change over the years until you don’t even recognise them. Friends can become as close as family and some family become like strangers. But, this doesn’t always mean that you should do less for the people that you do have around. It can be tempting just to watch everything roll by, but you will regret that - eventually. Sure, some family members can hurt you a lot, and they say that time heals all wounds but in the meantime here are some suggestions about things you might like to do for your family.
There is a difference between talking and listening and real conversation. Let’s start with listening. Have you ever had your child or even another family member has been talking to you, you might even feel they are talking at you. So you don’t pick up on everything that they say, but you nod and smile. You make all the correct encouraging motions. But what did you really take in? Active listening means that you genuinely engage with what is being said. You pick up on the tone, the small nuances of what they are saying. You’re present and engaged.
And the way to show them that you were listening? Repeat back some of what they have said so that they can expand on it.
Communication can get messy sometimes, so approaching it by being as open as possible is critical. One mouth, but two ears so use them that way.
When the time come, you might find you are needed to care for a relative. Old age, disabilities and accidents can happen to us all. When it comes to the crunch how would you manage? It can be a struggle to split care between many family members, and unfair that only one might end up with the biggest call of all. Leaving work and caring full time can be costly. But, places like FreedomCare can help you with all of those questions.
Remember the last time you got a gift that you weren’t expecting? How did it make you feel? Imagine how good it feels to be the one to give the gifts. And, it doesn’t always have to cost money. It could be a letter, it could be a thoughtful text message or email. Or if you are good with your hands, maybe you will make something.
It just shows that you were thinking of them without a prompt, without being asked. It was simply because you thought of them. And that is rather wonderful.
We’ve touched on talking, giving and caring. All of those require you to give time. Time, and how you choose to spend it can make a real difference to the people in your life. It’s free, we all have the same amount of it, but what matters is how you spend it. It’s more precious than money, and you can’t earn more. So use your minutes where they count.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.