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How to communicate better as a family?

Family communication isn’t always as straightforward as you’d like it to be. What with everyone’s packed schedules, children’s activities and everyday surprises, it can be hard to take time out to talk to each other. Here is some advice to improve communicating as a family, make the family atmosphere better and avoid misunderstandings.

Misunderstandings in the family are often caused by how we express ourselves and the words we choose. Watching what you say can solve a lot of problems.

So it’s worth saying who you’re really talking about rather than “they”. A “you” or “I” helps pinpoint what and how everyone feels so you can avoid misunderstandings. In the same vein, replacing questions with affirmations can express what you want to say more clearly. Saying “I’d like to eat now” is simpler and less frustrating than “Aren’t you hungry? ”

With this in mind, talk about how you feel rather than what other people do so as not to venture into a judgemental conversation that could end badly. Skip saying “You eat too many sweets! ” and say “I think you should be careful and eat less confectionery. Do you want a piece of fruit? ” and you’ll tend to avoid the sense of direct criticism that can cause a stronger reaction.

In any case, to make the most of these communication tips it’s worth making time to talk and listen to what other family members have to say. Nowadays there are screens throughout the house: what with the children’s smartphones, family tablet and TV, there are lots of distractions that stop us really listening to each other. Establish “screen-free” time in the day, namely at meal times.

Without these attention-grabbers, you’ll really be able to talk about highlights of the day and address everyone’s potential issues.

Communication time in the family is essential!

Remember

  • Learn to talk and listen to everyday subjects
  • Create a healthy environment based on respect
  • Prioritise family time to talk
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