In the busyness of life, it can be a challenge to communicate effectively. From sharing day-to-day activities, to discussing obstacles in life, communicating is one of the most important things families can do to maintain healthy relationships. For many families, talking about what’s going on throughout the day, week, month is a natural flow of communication. But it can be a challenge to keep family in the loop on important events. Furthermore, many families struggle with confronting challenges and conflicts that arise in our daily lives.
Here are a few things you can implement to improve your family’s communication skills.
Start a family planner. Although planners may seem outdated, they are one of the best ways to keep track of your family In addition, sending out calendar reminders on each other’s phone calendars can further help to keep everyone on track and help to avoid missing an important date.
Over-communicate. When it comes to relaying important dates and events, it can be easy to assume that family and loved ones already know. But sometimes, we just plain miss it. Being intentional to share what’s going on will help to avoid missing out on important events.
Set a planning night every month. Take a few minutes out of your busy schedules and have a planning night, preferably over food. A dedicated time to allow everyone in the family to share what is going on in their lives will help the family stay in-the-loop. It also allows for an open flow of communication for the family to share important dates and express concerns as a family. Have a family pizza night, and decide as a family how you can improve your communication.
Listen to the family’s concerns. Let’s face it; we all multi-task too much. When sharing important things such as frustrations, fears, hopes and doubts, it is important to intentionally listen. When we fail to actively listen when people are sharing important things, not only will we risk missing important details, but the person sharing is also often left feeling the listener does not care what they have to say.
Plan one-on-one time. Spending intentional time with your family is one of the best ways to hear from them. Time spent doing life together will build trust and allow for an open flow of communication in a more relaxed setting. Plan a morning at your child’s favorite restaurant or a walk through the park with your spouse.
Developing healthy lines of communication in your family may take time, resources, and energy. In fact, it may take more time and effort than you will realize. As you discover what your family’s frustrations are, you will be able to address and overcome them.
These may not be a natural part of your family’s life and that’s ok. Not all of these ideas will work for your family. Use these tools to fit your family’s routines and schedules. These simply tools will help you connect and communicate more effectively, but you will not regret the investment you make.