In today’s busy world it is often overlooked but one cannot stress the importance of family communication in order to keep things running smoothly and efficiently. Here are some ways to help ensure that your lines of communication are open and if not, ways to help point you and your family in that direction.
Schedule a regular family meeting time. Pick a time of day where everyone is typically all around. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy meeting, just an opportunity for everyone to touch base and keep informed. If there are bigger issues to be discussed, set up a time convenient for all to have a longer meeting.
One important step in keeping communication lines open is to make sure that everyone understands and feels that what they have to say is heard and valued. Too often we are in a hurry or disregard what another says as we are too preoccupied with something else. Make this family meeting time an opportunity to really listen to what each individual family member is saying. Letting someone know that they are being listened to can go a long way to making someone feel that what they have to add is important and that they are a valued and necessary member in the family unit.
Too often, kids can feel like their opinions don’t matter or that we, as parents, are too busy to listen to what they have to say, by taking time to listen to everyone’s thoughts and opinions equally can help build self confidence and make every member of the family feel important.
Many families try to plan to sit down to dinner together every night and use this as an opportunity to talk. If this isn’t something that is possible due to different work schedules, pick a day and time that is specifically set aside for family discussions on a regular basis. Make sure to stick to it, don’t let other things constantly prevent these family times from occurring. Make these sit down times important, explain the importance and the benefits of taking this time to reach out and listen to each other.
We live in such a busy time and in many cases, both parents are working which leaves little precious time to connect with every family member. By making regular family meeting times, we can make sure that every family member is heard, that everyone feels included and that we don’t spend all of our time too caught up in the fast paced world we live in. It will be time well spent and we can rest easy knowing that we are united on the home front and ready to take on the world.