Every family is unique. Some families are loud and boisterous, with everyone fighting to get a word in edgewise, while others are more private and reserved. Every family has its own way of communicating, and that communication style is an integral part of building healthy relationships, as well as individual self-esteem. These tips will help ensure the effectiveness each time you and your family takes part in a Talk of a Lifetime.
What is Effective Family Communication?
Communicating with family is typically very direct and open. People often tell each other what to do, and we often have a lot of bad habits, like interrupting. Effective family communication creates an environment where family members are comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings, making relationships stronger and equipping them with the tools they need to handle other life situations. This means listening closely, being open to other ideas, and really thinking about how to respond.
Learn to Listen
Listening skills are critical for success in life – at school, work, and in relationships. Helping your children learn to really hear what someone is saying, show empathy, and provide problem solving without judgment is invaluable. Role playing is a great exercise, especially if parents and children reverse roles. Modeling the behavior you want to see is highly effective.
Tell Us How You Really Feel
Just the act of expressing feelings can dramatically decrease a person’s anger and stress. If your family often yells and argues, it might be because those emotions are coming out without the expression of what’s really going on in someone’s head. You can defuse these situations by taking a deep breath and just saying, “Stop. Tell me what’s going on.” The more everyone can practice using words to describe how they truly feel and what their goals are, the more you’ll be able to problem solve as a family unit.
With effective family communication comes trust and bonding, which is exactly what you need when challenges come up within your family and in other environments. Children need the confidence and security that comes with being able to share things without judgment and ridicule, and a safe family environment makes them feel valued and provides them with self-esteem.
Have the Talk of a Lifetime Today
Effective communication is essential when having the Talk of a Lifetime with loved ones and friends. Communicating how you want to be remembered is so important, but often overlooked until it is too late. If you have any questions about how to begin the conversation, browse our FAQ page or contact us today.