The best families are often ones that have good communication. If you envy how your friends’ families get along so well and you have issues with your own, here’s the secret – it’s communication.
It’s a simple concept that’s often overlooked. But don’t worry, we’ll tell you how to work on it and make sure you craft good memories. More on that below.
Why is Good Communication in Family Important?
Having good family communication skills is important because of the following reasons:
You Get to Know Each Other Better
Sometimes our busy lives prevent us from interacting. And when you get swept up with that, you feel like totally different people who never knew each other when you finally talk. It creates a sort of disconnect and a good way to prevent this is by talking to your family.
It Prevents Gossip
When you ignore conversations or don’t make the time to talk, gossip spreads. Maybe they think you’re avoiding them or ignoring intentionally when that’s not really the case. You can prevent this by developing good communication with your family members.
It Eliminates Assumptions and Negativity
Healthy communication between family members is a good way to eliminate assumptions and negativity from floating around the house.
How to Improve Family Communication?
Here are 10 good ways you can foster good communication between family members:
1. Dine Together
Don’t let your kids and wife have meals while being cooped up in their own rooms. Make your family sit at the table and make that a routine. Enjoying meals together is a good way to open up the lines of communications and get your group talking. Plus, it makes meal times a lot more fun too.
2. Schedule Family Time
You can’t get family time if you don’t make time for it. Schedule an hour a day for a sit together at the table or just idle talk. It doesn’t have to be an hour; just 20 minutes will work as well. Either way, plan out some activities during this time or get ideas for conversations ready such as what’s going on, what’s trending, or anything your kids or family members feel like sharing.
3. Do Activities Together
Doing activities together is a proven way to bond and interact with your family members. Activities could include playing videogames, golf, or anything that can be enjoyed as a group. Don’t make this optional but a ritual instead. Plan out movie nights on the weekends and go out together. Other simple activities could include reading to your kids before bedtime or just tucking them in and spending a few minutes with them.
4. Go for the Problem, Not The Person
It’s natural for us to explode when weird things go around in the house. Sometimes your child may break stuff, or your wife may mess up a few chores. It happens, we’re human. Maybe even you got something wrong and got blamed for it. It’s important to shift the attention from the person to the problem. Make it a point not to accuse or complaint about anyone but focus on how to fix the problem. IF there are leaks in the house, don’t blame your family members for it. Focus on what can be done to fix it. It’s a lot more positive that way.
5. Appreciate Your Family and Be Kind
It really helps to show some appreciation and kindness to your family members. This could be something as simple as attending your son’s high school football game or making time for your daughter’s concert. When your kids are struggling, show some positivity by appreciating their talents and never discourage them. If you want to critique them, go ahead but make sure it’s positive and constructive, not the type that makes a person feels bad about themselves.
6. Use Technology to Connect
Although it’s a good idea to interact and communicate in-person, sometimes life happens, and that’s not possible. This is when interacting with your family over social media, your own family website, email, or Skype is important. Pick one to two digital communication channels and use them. Share songs, art, or any event going on there, comment, and socialize with your family.
7. Listen Intently
When a family member talks, don’t cut them off mid-sentence. Listen to them actively and intently. Let them speak and articulate their thoughts verbally. Hear them out because the backbone of communication is this. If you don’t listen, how will you know what’s going on inside their minds?
8. Talk in the Car
If your family travels a lot, and you find your members glued to their devices, it’s a good idea to turn off electronic devices and just chat while enjoying the scenery. You have to make opportunities like this, no matter where you go, especially when you’re on the move with your family members. This helps create a positive communication environment too.
9. Schedule “Me” Time
“Me” time is just one-to-one time with your family members. Sometimes your kids may want to talk about things with you but can’t because they’re too embarrassed. By spending some alone or one to one with them, you strengthen bonds and literally help them open up. It’s also a good way to get to know people on a personal level, and that’s what you should want.
10. Put in the Time
The final ingredient to bettering your family relationships is simply putting in the time. You have to invest time into improving this, especially if things look like they’ve come to a standstill. There’s no other way besides this, and you have to be patient. Be positive, make an effort to interact, show that you care and build family communication patterns- and your family members will start responding eventually. That’s just how relationships work; it’s a two-way street.
And there you have it. Just work on these tips and let us know how it goes. Communication is a wonderful thing an when you feel the positivity building; you really feel like you’re at home.