Tuesday, January 17, 2023

I've Resorted To Talking To My Family Through Texts - And It Works

 Remember old fashioned family meetings? We would gather in the living room or around the dining room table. Mom and/or dad would make an announcement. Sometimes it was about a family vacation, or a job change, or an issue in the family. When the minis were younger, they would be thrilled because we would take turns yelling out "family meeting time!" Now those thrills are replaced by teenage attitudes.

You know the attitudes I'm talking about. The one where you are actively speaking to them and they begin walking away. It doesn't matter how many times I point this out to them, it happens daily. It frustrates me to no end because they always miss important things that I'm telling them. Then I have to deal with the meltdown that ensues because, "well I didn't know that!" or "you never told me that!" 

I've figured out a way around that though. I only need to speak their language. Texting.

I send out one text about whatever I want to tell them and suddenly everyone knows everything. Take for example cleaning day. I was sweeping the dining room and found nail clippings in my pile. I was genuinely concerned about why someone would be clipping their nails at the table we eat at. I had to curb my astonishment and concern, then calmly send out a family text.

Everyone now knows the appropriate areas of the house in which to cut finger and toe nails. No one can argue that they didn't know or didn't get the message. If someone flubs, they'll instantly be called out by someone else in the family. It's genius honestly. I only recently figured out that this was the perfect way for communication. We're a family of five with two full time working parents, children who are involved in extracurricular activities, and adults who enjoy having their own things as well. We're busy. Things get missed and miscommunicated constantly.

It was only the first few days of school and all five of us felt disconnected, as if we were all missing something. After everyone left for their days, and I was beginning my work day, I remembered I forgot to remind the kids who was picking up from school. So, I began a family text informing everyone of how the three o'clock hour would go. Suddenly, all of the minis started sharing all things through the text. If they needed something from the store. If they needed reminded to do something for school that evening. If they wanted to know if they could do something after school. If there was something I wanted everyone to know (such as not to clip your toe nails at the dinner table). Instantly life was running smoothly AND everyone was listening to each other.

If you had asked me five or ten years ago if this is how I would be parenting, I would have scoffed. Now that we're in it, I seem to be approaching it the same way I did the toddler years: if they're happy and I'm somewhat sane, then we do it that way. So now I'm talking to my family through texts and we all seem to be accepting this is how we live.