Does your family have a difficult time communicating with each other sometimes? This article I will give some brief tips from an Essential Living Skills publication I have in my office. If you want more information about it, please give me a call at 316-284-6930.
Why is family communication important? Well it determines your relationship with each other, setting the tone for family life. But it is not simple to do and there are many parts! If you can try my simple 5 tips, then you will be on the right path to better communication within your family!
Take time to listen. When you are arguing or having a heated discussion with someone (even a non-family member) are you listening to what they are saying or are you thinking about what you are going to say next? Be honest! I catch myself thinking about how I am going to respond sometimes. If you actually listen to what the other person is saying you can stop a disagreement sooner and solve the problem! How do you do this? Nodding your head, saying “Yes”, are a few but also repeated what they said in your own words when they are done is the best way!
How you say it makes a difference! Use, use, use I Statements. It changes the attention of the problem to your feels and not accusing them of something. For example say, “I feel relieved when you do the dishes, because it gives me more time to get other chores done.”, instead of saying, “Do the dishes.”, or “Because you don’t do the dishes I have to do everything!” See the difference? Try it, it changes a whole argument when you start to use I Statements.
Handling tough times is very important! Take time for yourself! You cannot always do everything for your family and when you try it actually hurts yourself more. If you take time for yourself, your family members will be happier and so will you.
Having unspoken rules in the house hold is major! These can be simple like no one leaves the table, till we are all done eating, or saying please and thank you. To make this work thought you need to have a reason why these are the rules. Children will ask, and you need to have a reason. For example, not getting up from the table, till everyone is done; shows respect for your family.
Lastly have fun with each other. It isn’t always about the rules of the house. Plan a play date, or a road trip. Make memories together! Setting ground rules before playing a game, or planning a fun event can be helpful in preventing arguments later.