The Importance of Family Dialogue

If there's something that a family should never leave out, it's communication. Therefore, never ignore the importance of family dialogue.
The Importance of Family Dialogue

Last update: 10 January, 2022

Sometimes, the importance of family dialogue isn’t fully appreciated, but it’s one of the customs that should never be lost. You have to try to encourage and promote it every day, as dialogue favors great values such as communication, tolerance towards others, and the ability to admit mistakes.

Through dialogue, parents and children have the opportunity to get to know each other better. They can exchange opinions and verbalize their problems. If we talk to our children, they can tell us what worries them; and we too can try to help them.

Encourage family dialogue

With our attitude, our children notice if we want to know about their problems or not. A listening attitude is basic in a family; For children, this is the center of their whole life, their example, and their reference point. Therefore, the first thing parents have to offer is our constant listening.

The enhancement of individualism and instrumentalism in human beings, among other aspects, has led to an impoverishment of values, a crisis of humanization and dialogue.

Mª Ángeles Hernández Prados

A mother talking with her pre-teen son.

If at that moment, we’re working or doing something important, we have to put them aside for later. We need to try to make children feel that we always have time to communicate with them.

Dialogue problems

Although it seems easy, it’s often difficult to foster an atmosphere of dialogue in the family. The first reason is lack of time; Today, we have a few moments a day to talk and dialogue. However, as a study carried out in 2015 by the National Open and Distance University corroborates, these moments are totally necessary.

The important thing is to try to make sure that the dialogue doesn’t become a monologue from parents to children. Kids also have to put forward their opinions and ideas. If they’re against what we’re telling them, they must have the opportunity to respond to us in a climate of freedom and tranquility.

Tips to encourage family dialogue

Here are some guidelines that can guide you to maintain fluid and quality communication with your children. Take note!

1. Authority isn’t the same as setting limits

If parents start the dialogue from a position of authority, you can be sure it won’t work. On the contrary, parents should put themselves in the role of their children; you have to understand their feelings and problems.

However, the limits must also be made clear. This isn’t a conversation among friends; they can’t treat them as if we were their peers. We’re their parents and we want to dialogue with them, but that doesn’t mean that they can forget their manners and education.

2. Respect the turns of both parties

During family dialogue, both parties have to participate. Parents have to remain silent when children are talking. If we give them a speech or a scolding every time they trust us, in the end, they’ll just tell us that we’re right. As they get older, children will tend to keep quiet about what they think might spark controversy.

With this counterproductive attitude, children will believe that parents just want to impose their ideas and don’t listen to their opinions. At that point, the dialogue is most likely broken. We’ve surely made the mistake of not listening to our children.

3. Learn to listen

Even though we may have a goal in our conversations, we shouldn’t impose our ideas from the beginning. We have to listen to them, give them good examples, and get to know their opinions during our dialogue.

All children need their parents to speak to them and also to be listened to.

4. Let your child talk in order to gain confidence

The first value children have to acquire is confidence in their own opinions. Although in the end, they may change their argumentation, they have to know at all times the reason why they’ve done something.

Being consistent with what they think will produce greater emotional stability. In this sense, it won’t only allow good rhetoric, but will also be decisive in learning to be tolerant and to assume other points of view.

5. Find the right moment

Family members spend most of the day working or at school, but it’s essential to also find a time for dialogue. For example, it could be dinner or another time when you’re all together. You can talk about how the day went and establish a dialogue on some relevant topic.

A family of four sitting on a couch and talking.

Of course, this doesn’t mean should you be overbearing and ask your children all day long if they have a problem. You just have to always maintain a listening attitude. If you promote a time for dialogue every day, surely young people will seek that moment to tell about their problems as a family.

The importance of family dialogue to create strong and lasting ties

Don’t forget: Dialogue is very important for any family. It offers the possibility of promoting values such as the ability to listen, tolerance, and trust. It also requires that we practice it together every day, looking for an ideal moment to speak and listen.

Therefore, now that you know the importance of family dialogue, it’s time to put it into practice. To do this, we recommend scheduling one time a week and having a routine. Are you ready to start strengthening the bonds of trust?

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.

  • Ruiz Hernandez, S. M., Lame Chantre, M. C., Orozco Soto, M., Benítez Mejía, M. M., & Meza Gómez, T. D. C. (2015). Falta de Diálogo familiar.
  • Prados, M. Á. H., & Dimas, N. V. (2016). El diálogo como valor. Padres y Maestros/Journal of Parents and Teachers, (365), 66-70.
  • Hernández Prados, M. Ángeles, & Vidal Dimas, N. El diálogo como valor. Padres Y Maestros / Journal of Parents and Teachers, (365), 66-70.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.