Communication, effective and open, is an important part of strong, healthy families. It is an essential tool for developing and maintaining strong marital, parental and sibling relationships within the family.
Family communication differs from other forms merely because it is attached to the growth of a family unit as a whole. Verbal and non-verbal information is exchanged daily and being able to pay attention to what others are thinking and feeling is key to maintaining a healthy environment where family members can express their needs, wants and concerns. The family unit has the power to create an atmosphere of love and openness where each member can openly express their differences as well as their love and appreciation for each other.
Just as effective, open communication is almost always found in the homes of healthy families, poor communication is typically found in unhealthy family relationships. Therapists have often reported that poor communication is a common complaint in families having difficulty. It can lead to weak bonding between family members, excessive conflict and inability to problem solve.
There are many ways for families to become more effective in their communication skills and to improve the quality and satisfaction of their home lives. * Frequent communication: Families who spend time together are more likely to engage in meaningful conversation with each other. In our busy lifestyles, we sometimes forget that lack of time together can create an additional set of family conflicts. Talk in the car, eat dinner together or schedule family meeting times so you can spend the time needed to practice your communication skills. * Clear communication: When attempting to resolve a family conflict, indirect or vague communication will only contribute to the problem and frustrate other family members. Use clear language and express your thoughts and feelings directly. * Listen: In order for