The Importance of Family Communication

31 01 2009

“Families are all about communication and compromise” –  Robert Needlman, M.D., F.A.A.P

How often does your family communicate?  Do you talk about your everyday experiences and checks how are each other?  Or just simple hey what’s up? I’m ok.. end of discussion..  or worst, none?

Many families are experiencing lack of communication, although they all live together but they don’t often talk to each other.  How does this happen?  Are they invisible to each other, or they just don’t know how to speak up and open a communication?  For a kid having this family is not healthy for him. He become hesitant to talk about his problems for example in school; when he has a failing grade and his parents are needed to talk to the principal for their child’s performance.  Teenagers however, may no longer ask for his parent’s attention and rather he’ll just seek it to his friends.  He may be lucky enough to have good friends around him or badly as he could be involved with alcohol, tobacco and/or illegal drugs.

It is important to keep the lines of communication open in a family.  Start a good communication on the dining table.  Eating dinner together is the best time and place to communicate and reconnect to each other.  You can talk about each others’ favorite part or biggest challenge of the day.  Or maybe you can make it something playful like “If you would be any super hero, what would you be and why? “.. which could only work for kids below 12 ( imagine if you asked that to your teenage kid ).  And when it comes to teenagers, it will be a little bit hard for you to talk to them especially on the boyfriend/girlfriend issue.  But just let them know that you’re always there to listen and ready to help them on their problems.

Good communication skills in a family may build self-esteem, because a child learns of his capabilities from what his family tells him of himself.  But not in a way that you’ll give comments like “you’re good”, “you’re wonderful”, “you’re perfect”.. and don’t say he’s perfect because he might just answer you back like “isn’t it, nobody’s perfect?” ( children are much intelligent these days ).  Rather, be a nurturing parent, which build self confidence and point out his skills and strengths that will make him aware of his worth.

Your relationship with your family will be stronger if you start opening a good communication today.

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