This week I plan to discuss various facets of communication. I believe that family communication is often misunderstood. How should we structure family communication? How can we most effectively communicate with our families through different avenues? Good communication is a learned trait and gets better with time and practice. Practicing effective communication with your family (including your spouse!) is a great way to build intimate relationships as well as cut down on fights and confusion. Today I am previewing the communication paths I will be covering this week. I have decided to pick a few communication methods that many families use so I can explain how each style looks. I plan to provide more details as the week progresses.
2 Way Communication
This form of communication involves open and active dialogue with your family. Asking and answering questions, telling stories, telling jokes, and talking about shared memories are all great examples. Think of this as a give and take method. You tell, then I tell, and so on.
Many people are familiar with sign language. To some extent, we all talk with our hands and bodies. Many parents are taking sign language classes and have found them a very beneficial way to communicate with their child at a young age.
This type of communication involves verbal signals, (other) auditory indicators, and physical movements. Many children start communicating by singing to themselves and with their parents. Music is a great way to introduce your child to vocabulary and physical movement.
Personal time is spent alone and without distraction. This may mean minutes or hours. Whatever duration, this time is important to recharge physical, mental and emotional batteries. Setting aside some personal time for both parents and children is as important as time together.
Couple time is spent away from the children. This may be time allotted while the child is at school or sports. This could also mean date night or weekends away. You may set up a schedule for the same night every week or month. Spending time with your spouse and modeling good communication is the best way to teach your child good communication skills.
Parent/child time involves spending 1:1 time with your child individually. You may play with your child at home or take them somewhere special. This time reinforces your bond with your child by allowing communication paths and trust to grow.
I will be diving deeper into each of these communication types this week. I hope to show you how to better communicate with your family as well as how good communication can turn around a bad situation. I hope that you will respond to this week’s posts with your questions and comments about your own experiences.