I consider exercise to be a physical medicine. In the same way, communication can be a mental medicine. Sparking meaningful conversations with your children is like starting an exercise regime. It might feel forced, like a struggle or even painful but communication is like a muscle; The more you use it, the stronger it will become.
And when you get stronger at communicating-just like your anatomical heart muscle- your relationships will feel better and last longer.
In order to get physically healthy, we have to commit to an exercise regime. We have to do a few hard things today so that we can live in a stronger body that lasts longer. To get emotionally close, we have to commit to a a regular dialogue of communication today, so that our relationships last longer and stay stronger.
I know that I don’t want to live to be 100 if my kids don’t want to come see me or won’t pick up the phone if they see my number on Caller ID.
Silence in a family will not bring you closeness. Not talking to each other in a home and expecting to feel connected is the emotional equivalent to laying on the couch and expecting to be ready to run that 10K. If you have had your fill of one-sided conversations with the lump on the sofa or if you are the lump on the sofa, consider this.
The Huffington Post is launching Talk To Me, a video series intended to inspire parents and children to have meaningful conversations, to begin to delve deeper into our relationship with our families.
When you rally in tennis, instead of playing to score against your opponent, you aim to keep the ball going back and forth as long as you can. With these Talk To Me conversations, your goal is to engage in a dialogue, not to win a point.
And just like in tennis where the match begins with “Love-Love” meaning that neither side has a score and no one’s being defeated, connecting with our parents or children can help us rally with our family.
My own daughter Tori helped me make this Talk To Me Interview where we allowed ourselves a rare moment to be vulnerable with each other. She asked me about my happiest memories of her. She asked me if there was anything that I’d always wanted to tell her. So I did.
Just like in fitness where the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep, becoming a family that feels closely connected begins with these words: Talk To Me.
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