Great communication is at the forefront of everything we do. You need communication in relationships, especially within your family, and in pretty much everything else you do.
If you notice that you and your family are struggling to have good communication, we can help. We compiled advice from top relationship experts, marriage counselors and family therapists.
Whether you have to communicate that you are not feeling well, communicate that you need help, or communicate that something is bothering you, it is important to be able to do it in the right way, and convey the right message and tone.
If you are ready to start improving how your family can connect and communicate, keep reading!
1. Always Check Your Body Language
Body language plays a huge role in communication. Practicing how you sit, stand, and interact as a family is important if you want to communicate better.
For instance, if a family member is talking to you and expressing their feelings, it is best not to sit there with your arms crossed. You should be actively listening rather than multitasking at the same time. Put down the dishes and sit down across from your child or partner to show them what they are saying is important.
"Listen" for their non-verbal clues. Pay attention to what they are saying with their body too. Is your child rubbing their eyes? Are they tired? Are they smiling? Do they have their arms crossed?
2. Try Out Family Counseling
Family counseling is another great way to learn to communicate better. Your family and the counselor will go over different tactics and mechanisms to help you with your communication. Since you are all at the therapy session, you are all held accountable to practice what you learn in the session.
If you are interested in going to family counseling, there's family counseling offered everywhere. Before you go to family counseling, you should discuss with your family what you want to get out of sessions. What are your goals? How do you hope that family counseling helps? These answers will help you when you go to your first session.
3. Write Things Down
You should have a discussion as a family about your communication. If you all are struggling to communicate with one another about how you feel, it may be best to start writing things down. Writing down allows you to think before sharing.
A lot of times, writing things down can help you work through your emotions and your feelings before you share them verbally. This is a great way to filter through thoughts to make sure they are brief and to the point before sharing them with the family. If you struggle to speak through your thoughts, you can start to read what you write down as well!
4. Participate in More Activities Together
If you are feeling out of touch with your family, participating in more activities together is a great way to get back on track. You will be happy communicating with one another about the activity while it is happening. This is great practice for actual communication when problems arise.
Because you also feel closer together after spending time together, this can make it easier to talk about other things as well!
Be sure to mix up the activities, though. Changing up the activities will keep things interesting and exciting for the entire family.
5. Be Brief
When we communicate with people, we can often overstate what we are trying to say. For instance, when we were explaining, we may end up overexplaining ourselves. While we may think that that is helpful, is only going to confuse the situation more.
If you have something to say, it is best to keep it brief. Whatever you were feeling or thinking, keep it straight to the point when you explain it to the other person. Wait for them to ask questions before trying to explain it further.
6. Check Your Tone
While body language is very important in communication, your tone is just as important. No matter what you say, your tone of voice can change how someone understands what you're saying.
For instance, if you say the statement “I don’t like that” - your tone is going to dictate how that sounds to another person. It could come across confidently, matter-of-fact, or harsh and rude.
7. Set Aside Time to Talk
Nowadays, it seems like our days are filled with activities for 12 hours straight. When we have something that we want to communicate, we may not always be able to at the moment. Then, by the time we think about it again, we do not think it is that important anymore. However, this can actually lead us to be resentful and start holding a grudge. Typically, you are still feeling a certain way even if the moment has passed.
Because of this, it is important to set aside time to talk with your family. By doing this, you have a set time and date to discuss what is important to you and how you are feeling. This becomes part of everyone's routine and can even help with the mindset during times of communication.
Setting aside time to talk will look different for every family, but having a family dinner is a great idea.
Follow This Advice for Better Family Communication
If you notice that your family is struggling to communicate correctly, these pieces of advice will be very helpful for family communication. Whether you go to family counseling in Calgary, set aside time to discuss important matters as a family, start participating in more activities together, or do it all, this is important advice to help with your communication as a family.
The most important thing you can do for your family communication is just to get started with communication in the first place. The rest will fall into place!
If you enjoyed reading about these tips for better family communication, you may find that you like some of our other articles. Be sure to check out other blog posts on our website for more great advice!