Being ‘real family’ with your family is not merely defined and strengthened by living under the same roof and by having the same middle names or surnames. Your close relationship is very important and more precious than any price. What solidifies that even more is being knowledgeable and concerned about each other – of course, in a good way! And what makes that happen? Healthy communication in the family.
To understand, guide and grow with each other, the family needs to put constant communication as a chief element in the middle of their togetherness. Through this, in times of achievements, everyone in the family can celebrate and be happy for the other, and in times of shortcomings, ears that listen and shoulders to lean on are within reach. It brings harmony and peace inside the home without a doubt!
1 – MAKE TIME FOR FAMILY GATHERINGS AND OPEN DISCUSSIONS.
Nowadays, people seem to be so occupied not just by work and school but also by personal entertainment and leisure. Sometimes, you are busy just because you decide to be busy. And you probably have noticed how inside the house, oftentimes, everyone is on his/her smartphone. No one’s really talking to each other unless it’s time to eat or unless a favor is to be asked. The frequent and excessive use of mobile gadgets and the Internet is the obvious reason that no one can deny. It’s sad but true that it reduces family time.
What can you do about this? Make time for family gatherings wherein you can conduct casual open discussions with the whole household. It’s when you can share and talk about how your days have been and what’s up with your personal responsibilities. It could be in the form of a movie night, a baking day, a carwash morning, a sportsfest from home or just a simple dinner indoors or outdoors too. These are enjoyable pursuits that can be the moment for you all to catch up and bond. Especially when everyone’s mostly busy and out for work or school, this will be very helpful. Do it regularly, so you don’t miss your kids’ stories or your parents’ health.
2 – SPEAK AND LISTEN WITH RESPECT TO OLDER AND YOUNGER MEMBERS.
Communicating means you speak and you listen; it’s not just either of the two. When conversing with the family, even in simple day-to-day dialogues, always do so with utmost respect. That is regardless of the age of the one you’re talking to. It could be your mom; it could be your little son. You have to know how you speak nicely and to let others speak nicely in return.
Your conversations will be very much meaningful when you or the other one does not just dominate; both must be contributing to the discussions. In that way, you can freely share and express yourselves better. Speak gently, so that other family members will understand you better and will actually pay attention to you. Listen with interest and not just for the sake of art, so that the family members speaking will feel valued and heard. Listen to actually care; do not listen to simply respond.
When you do these, you are setting an example at home and definitely making way for proper communication to enter in.
3 – IN ARGUMENTS, TALK WITH HONESTY YET BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS.
Honesty is crucial not just in friendships and romantic relationships but also in the family. It builds trust which strengthens the home even more.
You know that honesty can sometimes hurt because the truth hurts at times. Although that’s the case, you don’t always have to clothe honesty with harshness. Instead, you can speak honestly while still being considerate of others’ feelings.
This specifically applies when you are in an argument because you are trying to correct a family member for his wrong words, deeds or thoughts. Because of pride, some people hate to be corrected; however, if you do the reproof in a good way, then even those full of pride might openly accept correction and admit to their mistakes.
You can talk things out in a calm and regardful state. You may find a better way of communicating with them in order for them not to feel condemned and humiliated in front of other family members.
4 – USE APPROPRIATE LANGUAGE.
Remember that communicating with each other is not just saying what you want to say how you want to say it. Using appropriate language is a must!
Words that uplift the family’s spirits and make one’s bad day good, comments that put one in a lovely mood, statements that encourage and empower the family – Fill the house with these! Do not use terms that degrade and dishonor other family members. They cause injuries within the person more than physical blows can do.
Youngsters who hear appropriate words will learn and grow using the same. Oppositely, if they are surrounded by adults who use bad terms against their own relatives, they will unfortunately pick those up and grow up using the same.
What’s more, using suitable language shows what kind of people your family has. Be certain that you and your whole family have delightful and decent words flowing from your mouths. It’s for your own life.
5 – DO NOT LEAVE ANYONE OUT.
Family means no one gets left behind. Do not leave anyone out in family discussions. Do not undermine what the elders have to say or what the kids’ opinions are. Include everyone in the family when it comes to family matters. Make everyone feel loved as everyone really is loved. The home must be a secure place for every family member, somewhere he/she belongs. Let everyone know what everyone has to know through amicable communication.
More than most people think, proper communication in the family is essential. Being the basic unit of society and being an individual’s home, the family should value the significance of speaking with each other, not only in good times but most especially in trying times.
Without good communication, family disputes will be difficult to fix, and broken relationships will be hard to restore. Some even need their family lawyers to mend things for them because they cannot on their own. Yes, it can grow worse more than anyone thinks. Without proper communication, parents will never exactly know when their children are struggling, and children will not be able to be of help to their parents when they also need comfort. As much as it is important for couples to constantly communicate with each other in order to maintain a loving relationship, it is vital for the whole family to live pleasantly as well.
Regardless of whether you are a parent, a child or an extended family member, do not be hesitant to promote healthy communication inside the home you belong to. It makes a lot of difference to how life happens – a lot of worthwhile differences to be exact!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Ann Pore writes for various companies based in Australia and in the United Kingdom. She is a Communications graduate from De La Salle University, Manila.