Effective Communication And Healthy Relationships

Effective Communication And Healthy Relationships For Parents And Couples

Effective communication and the connection to healthy relationships: I was recently chatting with a friend who shared a frustration I’m sure many parents have felt on their parenting journey.

She gripped her coffee cup and exhaled, “My parenting just feels like I’m running damage control. And my husband and I don’t seem to be on the same page about things a lot of the time.”


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Effective Communication And Healthy Relationships For Parents And Couples

Written by guest writer Corinne of HealthyJoyfulParenting

I had recently finished a course in emotional health, and a tool we were given to use is called a Community Temperature Reading – or CTR.

I showed it to my friend, who agreed to be a test subject for it with her husband – covering parenting.

When she checked back in with me, she was encouraged by the results.

Just taking one hour over the course of a week to go over it with her spouse had a positive effect on their parenting.

She felt more in charge and supported by her husband. 



The CTR is part of an emotionally healthy spirituality course and was developed by Pete and Geri Scazzero (FYI: I pulled this image off of Google; that’s my disclaimer that this is not of my own creation) but I share this because I think it can be an extremely useful tool in your parenting life.

The CTR is not to be used to resolve major conflict, nor is it a place to air grievances.

It is meant to be a check-in, used as needed (probably weekly) to share information. It’s not a space for discussion, conversation or response.

Each person takes their turn sharing in a back and forth. Make it as concise as possible, starting at the bottom.

Effective Communication And Healthy Relationships For Parents And Couples

Examples of effective communication for couples:

“I appreciate that you took the garbage out on Tuesday and I’m excited for little Johnny’s school play on Saturday.”

“I am puzzled by what you meant yesterday when you said X.”

“I notice that you keep leaving your shoes strewn across the front hallway, and I prefer you put them on the shoe rack.”

“My dentist appointment has been moved from 1 pm Thursday to 11 am.”

“I hope that this upcoming week we can get a babysitter and go on a date.”

This back and forth can really open the doors for clarity and understanding, and can be a helpful tool for discussions about parenting.


Related: Navigating Motherhood And Chronic Illness


Effective Communication And Healthy Relationships For Parents And Couples

I have also used elements of the CTR to practice effective communication with kids.

Examples of effective communication with children:

“I noticed that sometimes I ask you questions and you ignore me; I would prefer that you answer me.”

“I notice that you didn’t wash your hands after you used the bathroom, and I prefer they be washed before we eat!”

“I notice that you made a huge mess in your room, and I prefer you clean up before you watch a show.”


Effective Communication: A Simple Shift In Words

This simple shifting in words can really help avoid some conflict and control your child.

I recommend using the CTR for weekly parental check-ins to avoid parenting conflicts and to stay a united front and a team for your kids.

The CTR is just one model, therefore, feel free to use your own system of checking in with each other.

This can be expanded for use in your family as your children grow and you want to check in.

Remember, my goal for parents is having them build a deep and lasting connection with their children’s hearts and to see that reciprocated with the little ones as they grow up.


Related: 9 Positive Affirmations To Build Your Best Self


Furthermore, parenting should – and can – be more than just “putting out fires” and running damage control but thriving as a family unit.

To that end, I have also created some questions of my own for you to use with your spouse.

Above all, remember to approach these check-ins with humility, grace and knowing that no one has it all figured out.

Feel free to use these questions, share them around and add to them. They are by no means exhaustive!


Effective Communication And Healthy Relationships For Parents

Effective Communication: Questions for Parenting

“What have I done well this week as a parent?” (This is an opportunity for each partner to affirm the other).

“How do you feel about our kids this week?” (Mad, Upset, Happy, etc.)


“Do you have a favorite child right now? Why?”

Now I understand this could be a prickly question, but we all know it happens from time to time. Different life phases prove more challenging that others, and often personalities may clash with a child in the season.

Certainly, this doesn’t mean you don’t love your child, but it can help to be honest with your spouse about what’s going on; it can allow them to step in and help in overly vexing moments and can help prevent resentment or bitterness towards a child.

“Have you noticed something I did towards our kids this week that frustrated you? How can I grow in that area?”


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Effective Communication And A Healthy Relationship With Yourself

Similarly, effective communication extends inward, too. Take some time to express yourself and ask:

“I’m feeling stressed about X – can we create a solution?”

“I found myself getting really annoyed when you did X and I wanted to let you know”

“This week I really made progress in this area and I want to celebrate with you!”


In Conclusion

I hope that this guide will be a good starting place for reclaiming your parenting and working with your spouse for the benefit of your children.

Above all, practicing effective communication is a key foundation element to a healthy relationship. 

Let me know what you think, and what effective communication tools you use for emotional health by leaving me a comment below!


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