Here is February’s installment of “Ask Shelby” from Chester County’s own Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Shelby Riley.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, I realize I feel very disconnected from my husband and kids. I try to talk with them and spend time with them, but I never feel like I’m really connecting. Sometimes I think my efforts actually annoy them! What else can I do?
Signed, Done with Disconnection
Dear Done with Disconnection,
You are already one step ahead of many women! Finding the time to connect with your husband and kids is half the battle and it sounds like you’ve already conquered that problem. Now, the second problem needs an answer: how to make that time worthwhile.
My advice to you is simple: meet them on their terms. Many moms share with me that it is so hard to get their kids (especially boys) to open up and talk. They say they ask more and more questions to try to connect with their kids, only to find their kids irritated, surly, and rude in response. The mistake you might be making is trying to connect with others in the way YOU most like to connect. Try paying attention to who your loving other is, and how THEY like to connect.
Shelby Riley, LMFT is the owner of Shelby Riley, LMFT and Associates, LLC. She is currently the President of the Pennsylvania Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (PAMFT). Remember to check out Shelby’s website www.shelbyrileymft.com for useful information about therapy for individuals, couples, and families.