You have heard it said that communication is the key to any relationship. When you were dating your spouse, you probably talked for hours on end learning more about one another. Girls nights are often spent chatting about the latest happenings in one another’s lives. The foundation to any relationship, whether between friends or family, is definitely communication. How can you help foster communication within your family? We recommend following these tips below:
In a study by the Virginia Cooperative Extension, one of the keys to a healthy family is frequent communication. Whether this means having regular family dinners or talking in the car on the way to work or school each day, talk to one another often! Technology can be helpful in this area by allowing families to communicate in non-traditional ways such as texting when talking face to face might not be possible.
Make it fun!
Communication doesn’t have to be boring! Talking and listening to one another can happen over a game night or a bowl of ice cream. The Child Development Institute suggests having family members take turns choosing a fun activity you can all participate in. Communication can happen before, during and after this activity.
The University of Delaware Extension has several pointers for being an active listener. These tips include using body language that encourages listening such as eye contact and occasional nodding, reducing your distractions such as television and cell phones, and trying your best to understand what is being communicated. Listening is the single most important part of communication.
Life is busy. Especially life with children and their many activities! Taking the time to communicate with one another is so important to the health of your family dynamics. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages making the effort to stop and listen even when it may seem inconvenient such as late at night or when you have something else on your mind. Children grow up so fast; take the time to stop and listen to what they have to share.