In statistics, communication is discovered to be the greatest factor (87%) that influences the quality of relationships within a family. Improving family communication encourages harmony and cooperation among family members. Good family communication creates a supportive environment, which helps each family member grow and develop healthily. Improve family communication using the following methods:
- Be clear in communication. Help communication become stress-free by showing encouragement and support. Tell your family that it is okay to speak directly. Be kind towards each other to encourage family members to speak their minds. Speaking straightforwardly but with respect is a great step towards deepening understanding and encouraging cooperation.
- Discuss emotions. It is common that family members don’t talk with each other regarding feelings. Doing the opposite and being open about emotions strengthens the familial bonds of trust and intimacy. In discussing, be careful with the words you say to prevent hurting the other person. See things from the other’s point of view to deepen your understanding.
- Accept one another. In family relationships communication exerts a great impact towards the self-esteem of each family member. Unrealistic expectations, comparisons, and judgments made to family members put them down even though you mean well. Show that you love them for the simple reason that they are your family. This makes them trust you and communicate with you more effectively.
- Listen to one another. This means letting the other finish what he is saying before speaking your mind. Understand what he is saying not only intellectually but emotionally as well. Pay attention to nonverbal actions and ask questions to clarify matters.
- Support one another. Stop controlling family members because this lowers their self-esteem and motivation. Instead, support them as they make their own choices. Discuss problems and find ways to solve them. Support their dreams and plans for the future. Acknowledge them for who they are and they will learn to reach out.
- Show supportive nonverbal actions. People are very sensitive to others’ nonverbal behavior and they detect whether a person is being insincere through actions alone. When communicating something, be sure that your actions match what you say. In kids communication, it is important to demonstrate your love with hugs, kisses and pats to boost their confidence and strengthen their body’s immune systems.
- Deal with conflict. This doesn’t mean eliminating conflict completely, because conflict is a part of normal family life. Conflict is beneficial because it serves as an avenue for expression, a demonstration of hidden problems, and a method of seeing differing points of view. In dealing with conflict, choose a time and place to resolve the conflict. Go to a private place and a comfortable time that is agreed upon by family members. Listen to each other and talk without being aggressive or defensive. Trust and respect one another to make resolving the conflict easier.
Improving family communication means making your family learn to love communication within the family. Make frequent and enjoyable discussions among family members, such as during mealtimes, family activities, holidays, or anytime you feel like reaching out and talking. Family communication may not be easy to improve at first, but little actions have great effects when done regularly and lovingly.