Message Received: Communication Tips for Families
Every family has its arguments. If you repeatedly have the same arguments, however, your family may be experiencing a breakdown in communication. The following tips can help you achieve healthier communication and conflict resolution.
Don’t try to “win” the argument.
In order for one person to “win,” another has to lose. This leads to feelings of resentment rather than healthy resolutions. True communication requires all parties to listen with the desire to work toward a resolution together.
Respond, don’t react.
During heated moments, you may find yourself reacting from an emotional place rather than responding thoughtfully. This can be hurtful, and it’s better to pause, take a breath, and consider your response before speaking.
Know when to walk away.
It’s okay to table the conversation for another time. If one party is experiencing intense emotions, the conversation may be unproductive. Try distancing yourselves and taking a break to cool down and gather your thoughts.
Practice empathetic listening.
Listen with the goal of understanding the other person and how they are feeling. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something rather than assuming you know what someone meant to say.
Use “I” statements.
Speaking to how a situation affects you rather than accusing the other party can be more productive. Try leading with “I feel…” instead of “You did…” as blame tends to make people defensive, which makes it harder to have a productive conversation.
The Dog Days of Summer
The four-legged members of our family enjoy summer outings just as much as the rest of us, but sometimes the sun can be too much for them. Here’s how to tell when a dog is overheated and how you can help.
Signs of Overheating
Excessive panting. Panting is normal, labored and frantic breathing is not.
Abnormal salivation. Puddles of drool and foamy lips are a sign that your dog is in distress.
Vomiting or diarrhea. Dehydration can lead to upset tummies.
Disorientation. If your dog cannot stand, sways when he walks, or seems “out of it,” something is wrong.
Loss of consciousness. In extreme cases, your dog may experience seizures or pass out.
Treating an Overheated Dog
Move them into a cool, shady area immediately.
Spray cool (not cold) water over their body. Cold water could send him into shock.
Take them to an emergency clinic as soon as possible.
Pay close attention to your dog. If you’re sweating, remember that your dog has to work harder to cool himself down, and he will likely be uncomfortable as well.
Come prepared. Bring cooling towels, ice packs, plenty of cool water, and a spray bottle to keep your pup cool while you’re out.
Do not leave a dog in an enclosed space without adequate ventilation or air conditioning.