With all the technical advances today, it’d be easy to assume that family communication has gotten simpler. But families are receiving thousands of messages each day from electronic devices.
Whether it’s the advertisements on your smartphone games, the Twitter chats you follow, or the Pinterest boards you scroll through, you’re being given an information overload. This overload can cause problems in communicating with the ones you love most.
Staying connected with your significant other or your children is important. Without communication, family members will eventually retreat into separate lives. To prevent this from happening and to keep your communication line open follow these tips.
Give your full attention.
If you’ve ever tried to communicate with someone that stared at their smartphone the entire time, then you know how frustrating this can be. It can feel like the other person is saying, “You’re not important to me.”
When your kids see you constantly connected to electronic devices, they may be less likely to open up to you and have serious conversations. That’s why it can be helpful to have technology free periods in your day. For example, if your child is a morning person, then consider having a no-technology rule at breakfast. This gives you and your kids time to connect when they’re at their best.
Build a foundation of love and trust.
If your loved ones feel like they’re going to be judged, they’re not going to communicate with you. An essential ingredient to healthy family communication is kindness. When your child or significant other is talking, don’t rush to make a judgement. Instead, try to ask open-ended questions like ‘how did you feel when that happened’ or ‘what are you going to do about this situation’.
Listen to body language.
When it comes to communication, few things are more helpful than body language. During conversations with your kids, take a moment to analyze their body language. Are their words defiant but their eyes are filled with fear? This extra bit of information can make a big difference in getting to the bottom of what’s bothering your loved one.
Discover what you want from your heart.
Understanding what you want and need from your relationships is an important part of communicating with loved ones. For example, it might be that you feel loved when someone performs an act of service for you or when someone offers words of affirmation.
When you know what your love language is, don’t be afraid to ask for it. You might say, “Mommy’s feeling sad. Can I have a hug?”
Of course, your children can’t provide for all of your emotional needs. But when you express what you want, you’re sending the message to your kids that it’s OK to ask for support in the way that they need it.
Communication is a key part of any relationship. If you make a mistake in communicating with your kids, don’t be afraid to be humble and apologize. This keeps your communication lines strong.
Reflections And Intentions…
1. When a loved one is speaking, how do you communicate that you're listening? Do you nod along, put down your smartphone, etc.?
2. In what ways do you ask for support or comfort from your loved ones?
3. Does your family have technology free time periods? Why or why not?