Friday, May 13, 2016

5 Ways to Make Your Home a Soft Landing Space for Your Family


Make Your Home a Soft Landing Space

Soft landing spaces in your home have less to do with what's in your home (furniture, pillows, material trappings and the like) and more to do with the people who inhabit the space and how they all relate, communicate and support one another.

Family is the heart of the home and while you might be working on doing some spring cleaning, you might also wish to spruce up how your family operates, so things go smoother and people feel more connected and home is a haven from the outside world.

Home is Where Your Heart Is


It's often been said that home is where your heart is. That seems to make sense...and our hearts are associated with our feelings, so it goes to follow that home is a refuge from the outside world and it's a place where we can "be ourselves", share our feelings and feel safe and secure.

 Here are 5 ways you can make your home a soft landing space for everyone in your family.

Redesign Your Soft Landing Space

1. Listen up! Make your home a "safe" space by making sure each family member feels listened to. Make eye contact with each other. REALLY listen. Check for understanding..."so, you're saying that you feel:...or "you've mentioned that you want more"...or "it sounds like it would be helpful to you if..." This reflective listening is really deep listening. It means you were paying more attention to the speaker, rather than crafting your comeback or response. When our kids and partners feel truly listened to and understood, it deepens bonds and increases a sense of safety. This doesn't mean the speaker will get his/her way, or that their demands will be met...it just means you hear what they are saying and understand what they are trying to communicate.

2. No judgment zone. Make your home a "no judgment zone". When people share something authentically, thank them for sharing. Refrain from saying, "You shouldn't feel that way," or, "that's silly...you need to stop thinking about that." These are pitfalls all of us fall prey to and those kind of responses create chasms between people.

3. Validate. Validate that things may be tough, difficult or challenging for a family member that is sharing their heart. It takes courage to risk sharing what's in one's heart and people will often test the waters to see if it's safe to share their true feelings. Create psychological safety by validating, "That's really been hard for you," or, "I can see why you've been so upset, this is a tough thing to deal with," or, "I'm here for you. I will listen to you anytime things are tough...and I'll celebrate the good times with you, too."

4. Make feelings a daily part of family conversations. Some families naturally do this and others have to work really hard at it. Which category do you fall into? No matter how your family currently operates, there is ample opportunity to make improvements. Be intentional with how you talk about feelings. Poke around our website for tons of ideas on how to talk about feelings. Get our Feelings Finder , it's FREE, to start talking about feelings with your family. Have fun with it. If you have baggage related to dealing with feelings from your own family of origin, be sure to read Dr. Shefali's The Conscious Parent. {affiliate link} This book can help you explore and resolve your own issues from your family of origin, and free you up to become the best parent you can.

5. Build a Bridge. Keep finding ways to communicate, even and especially when the going gets tough. If talking is too difficult, start a "family journal" {affiliate link} that is left on the kitchen counter or a desk, with some nearby markers or colored pencils and allow all family members to write about their feelings and concerns. Plan a regular time to have a family meeting to go over these feelings and concerns. Teach your kids to engage in reflective listening. They'll be better partners and parents some day because of it. If you need more help in being an empathic, reflective listener (ie, you just don't know what to say sometimes or how to respond to your child's difficult feelings) get BLOOM: 50 Things to Say, Think and Do with Anxious, Angry and Over-the-Top Kids.

Need More Help Dealing with Feelings?


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