Non-toxic living just makes plain sense to you. But your husband? Your children? Or your housemates? Not so much. And that can be super frustrating for sure. Learn how to get your family on board with these 5 simple tips!
Have you started your journey to a non-toxic home?
Great! The motivation and drive you’re feeling right now is pretty awesome, isn’t it?
You’re starting to make small changes. You’re converting to more natural cleaning products. You’re feeling good about the new habits you’re picking up.
Just as you’re getting into a groove and starting to get the hang of this, one thing becomes very clear:
Your husband? Children? Roommates?
They are NOT on board with this new lifestyle that you’ve adopted!
So while you’re carefully working away at switching to safer cleaning products?
- your husband is still secretly buying and using the toxic stuff when you’re not around;
- your roommates refuse to let go of the bleach;
- your whole household is simply not cooperating
They don’t trust that natural products clean as well; they think they’re dangerous; they’re convinced that cleaning products have to be strong and potent in order to get the job done.
You and I know this is simply not true, but they don’t know that.
They don’t know about the harmful effects these products have on our health. They don’t know that our organs, our hormones, our entire bodies are constantly under attack by the harmful chemicals in these products.
They simply don’t know.
And when you suddenly spring up out of nowhere, making massive changes, and trying to get rid of the very products you’ve used in your home for the past 10, 20, 30 years?
There’s going to be some resistance.
So naturally, problems arise, arguments ensue, and soon enough what you thought would be a great shift in the right direction for your family’s health, ends up causing an even greater rift in your relationship.
So what are you supposed to do?
How do you move forward with strong convictions, but also keep the peace in your home? How do you get your family on board with non-toxic living, without creating more problems in the process?
How to Get Your Family Onboard in 5 Steps
The following tips were originally published in my eBook, Your Non-Toxic Home. These tips are just a spring board, but the book has action plans, resource lists, printables, and much more to help you on your journey. Get the book today!
1. Teach what you know
When introducing the idea of non-toxic living to your family, make it vey clear what “non-toxic” means to you and how you define it. It helps when they understand that it’s not an “all or nothing” mentality.
So be practical, meet them where they are, and let them see that you’re not out to flip their whole life upside down (at least not right away! ;-)).
Find ways to share your knowledge with them in ways that match their individual learning style. Your partner may enjoy reading research articles or books, while your son might get more from having a deep discussion with you, and your daughter may learn most from watching a documentary.
Whatever it is, make it fun and enjoyable so that they’re receptive and willing to learn.
2. Take it slow
It’s easy to get excited about everything you learn and want to shout it from the rooftops for everyone to hear. Do not do this with your reluctant family members, as it will just make them run in the opposite direction.
Instead, try to ration the knowledge and give them tiny, yet impactful nuggets that they can think about and digest over a few days.
Likewise, when making changes in your home, remember the Small Steps Formula and take it one step, one product at a time.
Do too much too fast, and they’ll quit before they even start. But if they only have to commit to changing one product, they are much more likely to cooperate.
3. Make it short-term
Try beginning this journey with your family as a trial run. No pressure.
If they know there’s an end point and they can go back to their old ways after it’s over, they’ll be more likely to give it a shot. You can even make it fun and turn it into a 4- or 6-week challenge!
Once the trial is over, call a family meeting and have an honest discussion about what worked and what didn’t. If you can come out of it with at least ONE change that everyone will stick with, you’re already doing better than before!
4. Have a plan
A message to yourself, before others, of course. Always start with a plan.
There is a simple action plan at the end of the Your Non-Toxic Home book that you can use for yourself, and then adapt for use with your family.
Include them in the planning so they feel a sense of ownership on this journey. Ask them what product(s) they would be willing to try switching out for this short term trial. If making your own products is too much, choose a natural alternative from the store to make things easier.
Be clear and honest about what you expect and what is practical for your family.
5. Remember your WHY
Most importantly, relax and enjoy the journey. It has its ups and downs, but try to remind yourself of WHY you started this journey in the first place.
Your family needs you to be their advocate. They also need your love and understanding on this journey. You know how difficult it can be to change old habits, but trust the process (and yourself!) to help guide your family in making long-lasting, sustainable changes – together.
I’ve Been There, So I Know!
When I started my non-toxic journey, believe me when I tell you that I was the oddball in my family.
Nobody understood why I spent so much time reading labels and comparing cleaning products, of all things. They thought I was crazy, that the products we’d been using for decades were perfectly fine, and that I’d eventually come around and grow out of this phase.
But more than ten years later, I’m more determined than ever to share this knowledge. And my family? Well, they’re the ones who have come around and are now, for the most part, on board with this journey.
It wasn’t easy, and it didn’t happen overnight. But if you’re serious about this journey, and you’re willing to put in a tiny bit of effort and a whole lot of love, you too can get your family onboard to join you on this journey to a non-toxic home.
Now it’s your turn!
Good luck, and let me know how it goes. I’d also love to hear your thoughts, especially if you have specific questions that your family has asked and you need a little help in answering.
Leave a comment below so it can benefit everyone!