Decide to be there and communicate

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How to bring balance to your family

Article provided by Barry Van Over, Premier Martial Arts


Many parents frequently feel burned out and overwhelmed with the amount of work it takes to juggle their busy work/family/spouse/home duties. These parents may at times feel guilty for not being able to properly balance their life. This guilt, given adequate time and excessive fatigue can lead to feelings of resentment or anger. These toxic emotions are easily spread and when built up can have long-term consequences that may jeopardize family stability. Parents suffering from overload or burnout can apply the following three strategies to bring their thinking (and their families) back into balance quickly and easily.

Little Things Matter Most

When you are burnt out and tired, go back to the basics of relationships 101. Start with a smile, a hug, an ‘I love you’ or compliment. Those little sticky notes are gold to your children when you write things like ‘I am so proud of you’. Best of all they take little to no time to do. Bringing home a single rose for no reason in particular can make a spouse feel appreciated and special.  By focusing on the small things- like extending a hug from two seconds to ten can have a huge and positive effect. Also finding creative ways to show you care helps to recharge depleted emotional batteries.

Listen more

We all know the old ‘two ears, one mouth for a reason’ routine- but let’s face it, when people get emotionally beat down no one wants to listen. A great suggestion is when faced with a serious talk with your spouse or children start with a long hug.

One great technique to use is called reflective listening. Reflective listening is:

1. hearing what they have to say,

2. waiting until they have gotten everything off their chest and have completed their thought (usually signaled by a slightly longer pause),

3. Repeating back to them in their own words their main points, and finally,

4. Asking them if you got what they were saying correct.

The interesting thing about reflective listening is that it does nothing about the problem. What it does is depolarize the participants where both people can feel valued and be more willing to focus on a unified solution.


“The interesting thing about reflective listening is that it does nothing about the problem.”


Be There

Being there means being present one hundred percent. We have all experienced stress and worry and let it flood into other areas of our lives. Don’t go for a walk on the beach with your family and still be at the office. Spouses and children are smarter than you think. They know when you are somewhere else or wish to be. Instead choose to be there, share yourself and make some memories.

Don’t let stress, fatigue or overwhelm take over your family life. Following the strategies of focusing on the little things, listen more and being there one hundred percent is a great place to start. Use your creativity and make up unique ways to give the gift that is your life. It’ll help with the stress, make you feel good and bring your family closer together.

Don’t wait. Start Today!


Barry Van Over is the owner and president of Premier Martial Arts International, of which there are currently over 80 location nationwide. Mr. Van Over has two locations in the West Knoxville area and been empowering families lives through the martial arts in the Knoxville community for over 20 years. Mr. Van Over and his local studios can be reached at

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