Do you regularly get together to talk about problems and let each other know how much you are loved and appreciated? Or is your idea of family communication nodding to one another as you pass in the hallway on the way to the bathroom?
Good communication is the key to any good relationship, but family communication is especially important because of the intimacy level. Your family communication style sets the tone for how family members interact with the rest of society, the workplace, schoolmates, and future relationships.
If you want to improve your family intimacy, put your children on the road to healthy and productive relationships by practicing these seven simple steps to better family communication. Here are some of them.
1. Dine Together
Don’t let your kids and wife have meals while being cooped up in their own rooms. Make your family sit at the table and make that a routine. Enjoying meals together is a good way to open up the lines of communication and get your group talking. Plus, it makes mealtimes a lot more fun too.
2. Schedule Family Time
You can’t get family time if you don’t make time for it. Schedule an hour a day for a sit-together at the table or just idle talk. It doesn’t have to be an hour; just 20 minutes will work as well. Either way, plan out some activities during this time or get ideas for conversations ready such as what’s going on, what’s trending, or anything your kids or family members feel like sharing.
3. Do Activities Together
Doing activities together is a proven way to bond and interact with your family members. Activities could include playing video games, golf, or anything that can be enjoyed as a group. Don’t make this optional but a ritual instead. Plan out movie nights on the weekends and go out together. Other simple activities could include reading to your kids before bedtime or just tucking them in and spending a few minutes with them.
4. Go for the Problem, Not The Person
It’s natural for us to explode when weird things go around in the house. Sometimes your child may break stuff, or your wife may mess up a few chores. It happens, we’re human. Maybe even you got something wrong and got blamed for it. It’s important to shift the attention from the person to the problem. Make it a point not to accuse or complain about anyone but focus on how to fix the problem. IF there are leaks in the house, don’t blame your family members for it. Focus on what can be done to fix it. It’s a lot more positive that way.
5. Appreciate Your Family and Be Kind
It really helps to show some appreciation and kindness to your family members. This could be something as simple as attending your son’s high school football game or making time for your daughter’s concert. When your kids are struggling, show some positivity by appreciating their talents and never discouraging them. If you want to critique them, go ahead but make sure it’s positive and constructive, not the type that makes a person feels bad about themselves.