When my children come back home I am sometimes greeted with a huge hug and a torrent of information about what they have been up to; other times they seem a bit distant, reluctant to answer my questions. It can feel like I’m intruding. I want to respect their space, but it also feels important to reconnect with them after time apart, otherwise that feeling of detachment can drift into the rest of the day. Then when it comes time to ask them to help with setting the table, clearing the toys, or settling down to some homework, I am met with frustration and outrage – as if they are no longer part of the family team. But hey, my husband can be a bit the same.
I have learned that to greet anyone with requests or chores is not very welcoming or very effective.
My tendency would be to demand the shoes/bag/scowl be put away on arrival. I am known to fire off a list of things that need attention. Sometimes I communicate how over-taxed I am by barely looking up from whatever I am engaged in.
Instead I am learning to put the relationship first.
* Pausing for one minute when someone arrives home.
* Offering something – a drink, a cuddle, a shoulder massage…
* Think of ways to demonstrate to the home-comer that you are happy to see them.
* Some people need five minutes alone on returning home, but then seek them out.
Sometimes a small change makes a huge difference….