Being parents can be overwhelming, time-consuming and stressful. Do you remember the last time you had a meaningful conversation with your spouse? Here’s a guide to refresh your communication:
- Set regular ‘talk’ times: Make it a routine to have conversations with your spouse at specific times. It can be during daily meals, before sleep or other times when you both can stay focused.
- Equal opportunity & time: Every conversation is a give and take. Do not monopolise the conversation and listen to what your spouse has to say too.
- Listen generously: Being a good listener is part of an effective conversation. It means listening without interrupting and being able to reflect back what your spouse said accurately.
- No complaints, just requests: Instead of complaining, “I’m doing everything myself and you’re not helping!”, ask him, “Can you help prepare dinner while I give the baby a bath?”
- Ask questions: Do not assume you know each other inside out. Get into the habit of asking questions before you decide what it is your spouse is really trying to tell you.
- One at a time: Several problems can plague a couple at any one time: baby, money, work or in-laws. Do not try to resolve everything at one go. Tackle one problem at a time.
- Share the good and the bad: Being parents is not easy and you both need encouragement and support, not criticism and blame. Share concerns and accomplishments, reaffirm each other’s strengths and find ways to overcome weaknesses together.