When all is said and done, what do you want for your marriage, your family, your home?

Better communication.

Deeper intimacy and connection.

More understanding and empathy.

Less conflict.

More joy!

These are common statements made whenever we, as a counselor or coach, ask the miracle question of a client: what would be different in your home if you had a magic wand?

This year propelled us all into more time together with our families, with little to no prep on how to better relate to one another. We received time (and more stress!), yet no manual on how to best navigate the time together.

So we created cheat sheets for you: communication cards!

Click the images above to download the cards (PDF)

These can be used to simply and gently help you practice healthy communication in your marriage and with your kids.

I know… sometimes simple (new? different?) means feeling a little cheesy.

But, if you want a different outcome for your closest relationships, you have to learn new skills to get there. Like any skill, you have to practice in order to grow and improve. Though we all think we are great listeners who show empathy at every turn, the data (and likely your spouse and children) says differently.

And there are just no shortcuts to anything worth anything.

The same is true for communication and intimate relationships. Empathy is the gold to closer relationships. Everyone loves to be heard. We all want to be understood. We even hope our kids learn how to show empathy in a world of disagreements, differences, and opinions. The fact of the matter is that whether in healthy or unhealthy ways, we all learn how to communicate and do conflict from the home we grow up in. So, if you are leading kids in the home, you are modeling communication and conflict resolution in real time to your kiddos – whether you know it or not. What better time, than now, to lean in and set your kids up for a life-long skill?

Even this seasoned therapist (who spent thousands of dollars on a grad school education to learn how to listen well) needs practice in her own home!

Give these communication cards a try.

If you want more tools, check out the Living Wholehearted Podcast (episodes 1 through 5) or register for the Perfectly Imperfect Parenting Conference sponsored by Christian Parenting. Jeff and I will be coaching you through better communication and conflict resolution so we can prepare our kids for the road of life.

We got this! Now, what did I just say? I’d love for you to “mirror” so I know you caught it all.

Terra A. Mattson, M.A LMFT, LPC
Co-Founder of Living Wholehearted & Courageous Girls
Author, Clinical Director, and Executive Coach