Are These Problems Familiar to You?
Friends, school and work activities create separation of family members. As a result, there just doesn't seem to be enough time or energy to pay attention to each other. It becomes easier to blame or demand than to take the time to discuss things. You may hold back feelings and opinions because you don't want to “start something.” As unresolved problems build, mutual respect disappears and resentment and frustration take over.
You can enjoy positive rewards while being part of your family. The rewards include friendship, closeness, sharing, support, understanding and acceptance of each other. Everyone in the family can learn to listen, to talk, to compromise and to cooperate.
Keep the Lines Open
- Provide opportunities to bring satisfactory conclusions to problems
- Attempt to understand each other's needs and feelings
- Be honest and develop a style that is open and clear
- Listen and be available when others need your support
- Take responsibility for your own thoughts and actions
- Discuss positive values and beliefs, and then be a role model
Create Quality Time
One of the most potent resources for family communication is time spent by parents with their children in mutual sharing of feelings and thoughts. This may occur during a walk, while preparing a meal, at bedtime or during some activity that both parents and children enjoy. Some families set aside time each week just to talk about individual and family needs. When you pay attention to everyday activities and events, your children may also be encouraged to talk about the serious things. Healthy interaction is natural to growing older and wiser together.