7 Phrases to Create a Peaceful Family
Get in the habit of using these expressions to infuse calm into your home.
We are always looking for ways to make our homes peaceful in this modern, chaotic world. Here are some phrases that can instantly infuse calm into your family’s life.
1. “Let’s take a break.”
Whether you’re running around doing errands, doing some marathon cooking or cleaning, everyone needs a bit of a break. Using these phrase helps kids learn that it is important to stop, relax and regroup. This phrase is especially important when kids are having a tough time with their homework. A drink, snack or some play-time can help them get refocused. This phrase is also great to use when kids are getting on each other’s nerves. Siblings can find different areas in the house to take their breaks from each other.
2. “I need to think about it…”
When children ask us for that expensive pair of sneakers that all their friends have or the new fashion craze that doesn't meet with your standard of dress, your instant “no” can quickly morph into a fight. Using this phrase helps us press the pause button, giving us some time to think about the request or come up with a solution (I can pay half for the sneakers.) It can also give us time to formulate the “no” in a way that our children can hear us, (“I know how badly you want that shirt; can you think of why it wouldn't work?”)
3. “We don't accuse; we focus on solutions.”
This phrase tops everyone from pointing fingers and teaches kids to move towards finding a solution. When the milk spills they can grab a rag to clean the milk. Instead of yelling at their sibling for taking their prized toy without asking, they can ask for it back. As for parents, instead of getting angry that bikes were left outside, they can calmly request that they be brought back in.
4. “Since having a peaceful family is our goal, how can we work this out?”
This phrase is a bit corny and is best used with younger kids. It’s brilliant because it presupposes that having a peaceful family is and should be our goal and that it is our children’s goal as well. So when everyone is arguing over where to go out for dinner, what to do for a Sunday activity or who should take out the garbage, this is a great phrase to use. Also, if you start using this phrase early, you might still be able to use it when your kids are teens. It will definitely come along with some eye rolling, but it will still work.
5. “When will you be able to….?”
Instead of telling a child straight out, “Take out the garbage” or “Set the table!” preface the request with “When will you be able to….?”. The phrase engenders good will and respect. It also implies that you know that the task will get done. If your child is known for wiggling out of doing their chores, or is forgetful, you can add on, “Can you give me a time when it will be done?” You can also say, “If it is not done by 5 PM, how would you like me to remind you?”
6. “Is this a good time to talk?”
When you need to have a serious conversation with anyone in your family, you need to gage their mood. I find this to be especially true with boys who have a harder time talking. You can also say, “When would be a good time to talk?” or
“I need a few minutes of your time to talk about...when will you be available?”
7. “I guess we had a miscommunication.”
Miscommunications occur a lot in families, “I thought you were picking up dinner!” “Your science fair is tomorrow? I thought you said it was Thursday!” The phrase can smooth things over and teach kids that mistakes in the form of miscommunications are part and parcel of life and can be managed with equanimity. It should be followed with, “Oh boy, sorry for the miscommunication.” And some way to rectify the inconvenience of it, “I’ll put up some noodles!” “Let’s all pitch in and help…”