8 Keys to Produce Communication in Your Family
How are we doing, how do we feel, what’s going on in our family? Many times, we live under the same roof, but we don’t know what’s happening to others, what worries them, or what they want but are unable to achieve. Therefore, it’s important to apply the 8 keys to produce communication in your family that we’ll discuss in the following article.
The vortex of everyday life leads us to assume that if something happens to our cohabitants, they’ll tell us. Or else, we tend to have conversations in the hallway, or in the car on the way to work or school, in the middle of traffic chaos.
Therefore, we underestimate the importance of dialogue and all the support, relief, and even distraction that we could find in it. Let’s see what we’re missing and start generating more spaces for communication in the family.
Why encourage communication in your family?
Encouraging dialogue is of enormous importance for the well-being of the family and it’s also the main way to access the lives of others. Especially, to our children’s.
Moreover, conversations are the antidote against assumptions, implicit messages, and distortions or confusions about reality.
Dialogue allows us to grow and think about ourselves, as by listening to each other, we end up understanding what we hadn’t been able to before.
You may be interested in: Stopping Tantrums: What Can You Say To Your Child?
Create spaces for communication in your family
1. Choose times to talk
Try to create spaces where everyone can talk in a relaxed way, such as at breakfast, dinner, or on the weekend. Ask one another how the day went, what was the best thing that happened to them, and what wasn’t so good.
Also, create an atmosphere of pleasant conversation, not with declarative tones, and avoid rushing.
A useful recommendation is to organize family plans that help to share time, get to know each other, and strengthen bonds.
2. Be an active listener
Try to encourage a fluid exchange. Avoid monopolizing the conversation and also, sermons or phrases like “I told you so”. The worst enemy of dialogue and trust is the know-it-all attitude.
It’s important to know how to identify the right moments to intervene and differentiate between those in which we want to know how the other person is doing.
3. Use some opportunities as excuses to generate communication in your family
For example, when you think something might be happening to your child or after an interesting movie, use a scene to introduce a question or to give an example. Even to open the space for casual conversation.
4. Avoid invalidating your children’s emotions
When you repress feelings, you leave your children with the idea that it’s not okay to express themselves naturally. This way, you close the space for dialogue and getting to know their inner world.
If your child isn’t the most expressive, help them connect with their emotions and share yours. It’s not a good idea to force conversations, as you should know how to give them space and leave the way open for when they need it.
Another important point is to avoid minimizing what they tell us or making fun of their feelings.
5. Look for solutions or make suggestions together
Communication in your family will be more fluid when those who participate feel valued and listened to. For this reason, it’s important that there are spaces for negotiation in your family.
For example, children can choose some weekend activities, have responsibilities, or participate in establishing certain rules.
6. Implement a common language to improve communication in your family
Many times, adults establish distance with the children of the family because we move in the “world of the grown-ups”. For example, we use “corseted” or rigid words, instead of trying to move in their universe or using expressions that are more everyday and friendly to them.
Empathizing and connecting with our children are favorable conditions to establish a rich dialogue. But this requires listening to them and entering into their world.
7. Encourage sincerity
Generating communication spaces in the family implies creating a safe atmosphere in which we can be who we are and be absolutely genuine with others. It also means accepting that we won’t always hear what we want or expect, but despite the differences, respect must always prevail.
8. Don’t just use words
Finally, it’s important to emphasize that dialogue isn’t limited to the exchange of words. Many times, we don’t have them, but we can accompany our loved ones with a gesture, with a hug, etc.
Also, we must be aware that our non-verbal language communicates much more than what we say.
You may be interested in: How to Promote Dialogue with Young Children
Think about how you’re doing first
Many times, we generate dialogue or ask a question without really being willing to have a conversation. Then, we find ourselves with a disconsolate cry from the other side or with a complaint for which we weren’t ready, either because of lack of time, lack of desire, or because of exhaustion.
Therefore, before starting a conversation with your child, be honest with yourself, recognize how you feel at that moment, and choose whether you want to participate or not in the exchange. It’s valid and healthy to recognize the lack of intention, because there’s nothing worse than forcing something just because.
You have to give communication in your family the place and importance it deserves. A conversation shouldn’t be carried out on autopilot, as this can create an idea of false interest. Acknowledging our emotions and accepting that today isn’t the right time is valid. It’s okay to take care of ourselves before we take care of everyone else.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Flores, José de Jesús Vargas, Reyes, Edilberta Joselina Ibáñez, & Lira, María Luisa Hernández. (2012). La familia como contexto en la construcción de las emociones. Alternativas en Psicología, 16(27), 54-66. Recuperado el 10 de mayo de 2022, de http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1405-339X2012000200005&lng=pt&tlng=es.
- Techera, Deborah, & Modzelewski, Helena, & Fernández, Jacqueline (2016). Educar emociones desde la familia: un caso experimental en Uruguay. Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Educativos (México), XLVI(1),95-118.[fecha de Consulta 10 de Mayo de 2022]. ISSN: 0185-1284. Disponible en: https://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=27044739005