Family communication plays a significant part in building and nurturing a family. Good communication
among husband and wife and between parents and children, as well as between siblings fosters a harmonious and loving relationship. Improving family communication cultivates love, trust and respect and more importantly, it helps the family cope with life’s up and downs and all its twists and turns.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO IMPROVE FAMILY COMMUNICATION
1. LEARN TO LISTEN
Learning to listen is essential in understanding your loved one. Take a moment to stop what you’re doing and listen not just hear. Turn off the TV or radio, put off the book you’re reading, listen to what your child or your spouse has to say and try to understand the feelings they are conveying.
2. THINK FIRST
Family communication goes beyond mere exchange of words. It is important to think first before saying something. You should carefully ponder the words you have to say. If you are angry, upset or need to convey emotions that may stimulate conflict or stir up negative emotions, be sure to use “I” phrases. Express your feelings by stating how you feel instead of using language that points the finger at someone else. This will help disarm the situation. Once you have expressed your feelings, give the person listening to you the chance to respond. Request that this person use “I” statements too; it will promote and maintain peaceful coexistence in your home.
Oftentimes, in communicating with our loved ones, we tend to take interest only in what we have to say. This should be avoided: we should always take genuine interest in what the other has to say. Parents who take interest with what their child or spouse has to say cultivate healthier family relationships. Giving your undivided attention to your loved one even for a shot period of time is much better than spending longer times together while distracted and not fully present.
4. LOOK AFTER YOUR TONE
It is equally important to look after your tone. It has been said that one should always tame the tongue to avoid uttering hurtful or sinister words. In the same way kind words; and sweet and thoughtful tones are always heart-felt and can uplift the soul. Correspondingly, pay attention not only with what you say, but how you say and express yourself to your family.
5. BE TRUSTWORTHY AND MAINTAIN CONFIDENCE
Trust will always be an essential ingredient in every relationship. Accordingly, it also plays an important part in family communication. Trust your family and inspire trust from your family. Keep your promises; always be true to them. Maintain confidences, this encourages trust and commitment between you and your family.