Keeping everyone happy at this time of the year can be an enormous challenge, whether it is the kids, your visitors or even your partner. This can result in irritability and tempers getting frayed. Now I am not saying the following advice will circumvent all your parenting and relationship challenges but it really can help.
The advice is very simple. Remember the old adage of two eyes, two ears and one mouth. Instead of it just being about hearing no evil, seeing no evil and speaking no evil. How about focus on observing and listening twice as much as you speak.
It really is a good rule to follow and also remind other family members of as well.
Listen and understand before you engage your mouth
Listening and understanding before engaging your mouth can really save a lot of disputes and misunderstandings. A lot of the time we speak and make judgements about a situation before we have had time to take on board all the facts. This can be with friends, family or even our children.
Children are masters at making you engage
My children discovered early on they were a lot smarter and sharper than me, consequently I often fell foul of not engaging my brain for long enough before I opened my mouth.
The outcome being that I was continually shooting myself in the foot, either by volunteering my services, without having the full facts available. Or even worse, saying yes to something that with further information I would have said no to.
Two eyes, two ears and one mouth
So when a good friend told me, remember you have two eyes, two ears and one mouth I decided I would try to take on board her advice. Think before you speak. As at times I am both over opinionated about things and also like to please, this has not come easy.
However taking longer to listen and understand the request or situation I am confronted with has made a real difference. I also try to buy myself time with phrases like “Can I think about it and get back to you”.
Whether it is a request from a well meaning relative or a child who is pushing the boundaries, these words have saved me from awkward and even potentially confrontational situations more times than I care to remember.
After all it is always more difficult when you have agreed to do something and then later to have to tell that same person you have changed your mind.
Remember the two eyes two ears and one mouth rule. Think before you speak. It really is powerful parenting tip.