From Dr. Jane's Notebook

How to Beat the Autumn Rush

As autumn descends upon us with its busy schedule, it becomes increasingly difficult for family members and couples to stay in rapport. As such, it seems appropriate to identify a few techniques for staying connected during this time of great transition.

Get on the same wavelength by paying attention to your partner first, and give them time to pay attention to you in return. It takes practice to establish the habit of intentionally getting into rapport with each other, but even after short periods of time away from each other, we may feel an emotional distance that needs to be bridged.

When parents ask, "what did you do in school today" and receive the disquieting response of "nothing" can be fun to help kids retrace their steps through the day, starting with... "Who did you talk to on your way to school?" or "What was the first thing you did in class?"... and take it from there.

Often, we think that our loved ones aren't interested in a retelling of our day, so we leave out the details. But those details might be the most important events to us; and if well-received, may help us develop a comfort and trust in sharing our thoughts.

"Re-telling of our day" can also be a fun bed-time ritual that gives everyone in the family a chance to tell about their day, and may even include our plans for tomorrow.

At a time when life feels rushed and days feel hectic, we can lose sight of the people around us who really count. But by taking five minutes of quiet-time for concentrated listening and concern, we can rejoin our families in a way that shares concerns, relieves stress, and reunites us.

ęCopyright 1995, Jane Rosen-Grandon, All rights reserved.

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Last Updated August 30, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.