After I trudge into my house, I drop my backpack that’s weighed down on me all day and find my sister. She asks about my day. I pour out my frustration on my English paper, tell her the funny thing my friend did, and ask her advice on problems with my friends. As we talk, my aching shoulders relax, and my mind slows its panicked state as I hear her words of comfort and advice.
I believe in having daily conversations with family.
Holding a conversation with family can relieve some of the stress that builds throughout the day. In my family, talking together is the glue that unites us.
I remember following my siblings who gravitated together to a room to talk. We sat comfortably and had a lengthy conversation. It consisted of more than one topic; it was a smorgasbord of subjects that ranged from grammar to my sister’s love life. During the conversation, the anxiety I’d accumulated from school lightened, replaced with contentment that my family cared about me enough to share their life experiences with me, whether or not I did well on my math test. I heard the fascinating views of each family member. Age barriers dissolved as we heard one another’s ideas and perspectives, giving us a better understanding of each other, ourselves, and the world. Suddenly someone saw the time, and regretfully we said goodnight and wandered to our beds, enlightened and uplifted by each other.
As I have grown into adolescence, I’ve gained wisdom and insight that I wouldn’t have received if I hadn’t conversed with my family every day. With the wisdom of their experiences added to mine, I’ve been able to avoid many things that could have brought me unhappiness. Many times I’ve wanted to follow the crowd, but chose differently as a result of family advice. They encourage intelligent individuality. I sometimes feel they know me better than I know myself.
Because of all the family conversations, we understand each other’s fears, aspirations, and personal struggles. As a result, we have more empathy and compassion when we’re dealing with each other’s problems, and communicate more effectively. Many times I’ve chosen to hang out with family instead of friends because my family members are my best friends.
I rarely see bonds of friendship ‘in other families now. There are so many other things to do rather than talk with a sibling: TV, homework, sports, friends –you name it and it’s a distraction. Yet I believe a conversation between family members is one of the most effective ways to prevent and overcome problems. It has built unity in my family and is teaching me how to communicate with my future family as a spouse and parent. When my kids drop their backpacks at the doorstep, I’ll make certain a discussion is around the corner.
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