I was stressed and running late, and my mood was tanking fast. “Who moved my wallet?” I screamed angrily at my kids as they ate breakfast and got ready for school. My face red, my fists clenched, the room was suddenly silent. My wife and kids all froze with looks of surprise and uncertainty on their faces. I felt the wallet in my pocket and realized—I had never lost it; I just forgot it was already on me. I left hurriedly, not thinking of the ramifications of my actions and my final words to my family in anger before hitting the road.
Words are powerful and have a significant impact on our families every day. My words were accusatory and jarring and I regretted them on the commute to the office. I had set a negative and uneasy tone for my family that day in just one moment. But there’s also a way to make a day much better just as quickly. Here are 4 things you can say in just one second for a better family life and more peaceful moments at home.
1. I love you.
Many of us say this to our wives and kids often, but it’s always meaningful and the most powerful reminder to your family members that they matter. Growing up, I was lucky my mom and dad said it often and set a great example. The more we say it with meaning, the more those around us feel loved. Making sure your family members know they’re loved shows them how we’re always on their side and they can count on us no matter the situation.By modeling humility, you help your family do the same, leading to increased understanding and harmony.
2. You’re right.
Nothing frustrates others like seeing you stand your ground when you shouldn’t. By telling your wife or kids when they’re right, you exhibit humility, express trust in them and their judgment, and support their points of view. If it’s during a disagreement, admitting when we’re wrong or conceding a point shows that we’re actively looking for a solution. By modeling humility in everyday situations, you help your family do the same, leading to increased understanding and harmony.
3. I’m sorry.
Despite our best intentions, we sometimes choose the wrong path and make decisions that negatively impact our families. When we do it and recognize it, nothing’s more influential than a genuine apology. We set a tone of reconciliation and cooperation in our families by simply and sincerely apologizing. Just two short words can help resolve and start toward family healing.
4. Can we talk?
It’s a simple question that allows for open dialogue, not a lecture. We often keep things to ourselves even if they’re bothering us. Instead of allowing these things to fester, asking to have heart-to-heart conversations on any subject is vital to better family life. This also ensures families talk more and sharing becomes the norm to help sift through and solve problems in and outside the home.
Sound off: Are there any other things we could say as dads that will make a better family life?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some things I’ve said to you that have meant a lot to you?”