4 Ways to Ensure Your Family Communicates Effectively

>> Oct 23, 2018



No two families are alike. Each has its own dynamic, its own rhythms, and its own unique foibles. Unfortunately, sometimes the atmosphere around a family is less-than-stellar. This is especially prevalent when family members don’t communicate effectively. No, “talking it out” won’t solve every problem a family faces, but it will improve relations and make issues easier to identify and deal with down the line. With that in mind, here are four communication tips parents can use to open up more often –– while encouraging kids to do the same:
image:pixabay.com/en/family-kids-baby-newborn-together-457235
Find Common Interests

There’s no way to force someone in your family to tell you how they’re thinking or feeling. Indeed, asking a petulant teenager “what’s wrong?” is akin to setting off an emotional time-bomb. Rather than attempting ham-handed or token attempts at conversation, take the edge off by enjoying a common interest with your kids. Watching a movie, attending a sporting event, or shopping at the mall are all great ways to get out of the house and spend time with your kids without putting any pressure on them. If you want to build better relationships with your children, you need to establish trust and a basic connection first.

Set Aside Family Time

Modern parents are always strapped for time. In fact, that’s an understatement. Yet, activities like sharing dinner together or playing a board game on a designated night are crucial to developing positive relations. Difficult though it may be, find a way to spend at least an hour in each other’s presence every day. Effective communication is a product of hard work, after all.

Listen

It doesn’t matter if you’re in the office, on a date, or taking your child to school, listening intently will always help you build a rapport with someone. At a certain point, parents need to take responsibility to hear the concerns and frustrations their children express. For instance, most kids have a fear of certain places like the doctor’s office. To a child, unfamiliar medical equipment like otoscopes or conductive pipette tips can be a bit unnerving when they first encounter them. So don’t dismiss what your kids have to say even though it may seem silly or trivial to you. Trust us –– it’s not to them.

Be Honest

Yes, from time to time it makes sense for parents to tell little white lies about things like Santa Claus or magical storks that deliver babies. However, more often than not, honesty will serve parents best. Also, if you feel upset for whatever reason, it’s okay to admit it. Voicing your emotions in front of your children isn’t anything to be ashamed of. At the end of the day, communication is a two-way street and you get back what you give.

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