Quality Quick: The Duggars's Strategy for Family Communication
April 9, 2012
Recently I attended a mom's conference called Hearts at Home, where I was able to share with other moms how Jim Bob and I manage our home life. One of the questions that came up is how Jim Bob and I spend quality time with each of our children.
One of the best decisions we made in our family early on was to be able to have a lot of time together. I think we probably spend more time together than the average family that may have two or three children just because we're home day in and day out homeschooling and doing all our things that go along with that.
We just sit and talk with different kids throughout the day while we're doing math or spelling tests, and sometimes we'll use this time to ask questions about how they're doing, like, "What's going on in your life? Is there anything that you want to tell Mom? Is there anything on your heart that you want me to pray for you about? Is there any secret that you haven't shared with Mom and Dad that you really want to share with us? And are there any temptations or struggles that you've had that you want to share with Mom and Dad so that we can pray with you about those things?"
We just go straight to the heart and try to let them know they have a safe place to share and they don't have to bear a burden on their own -- that once Mom and Daddy were their age, too, and we know how it is. After all, we've been there before, and we want to be there to hug them and to love them and encourage them all through this time.
So I think it's a purposeful connecting with their heart that we do on a daily basis; we make it quality quick. We get in there and just ask the questions at the beginning and don't beat around the bush, and it's important as parents to be able to have those heart-to-hearts with your kids.
We also try not to be perfectionists in our ideas of how we expect things to be. Kids need to be praised and lifted up instead of always put down or felt like they never can measure up.