Healthy communication is the key to healthy relationships, and it applies to your relationship with your kids as much as anyone else. If you’re not communicating with your spouse and your kids, you’re facing some unnecessary struggles. Kids are better behaved, more inclined to spend more time with you, and it improves your relationship with them when you take the time to communicate with them. If you’re not sure how to improve communication within your household, there are a few simple tips that can help you bring your family together.
Put Down Your Phones
It’s easy to multi-task these days, but you shouldn’t try responding to text messages or emails or perusing social media when the kids are trying to spend time with you. If someone is speaking to you, put down your phone and listen to them. It shows them you are both interested in what they have to say as well as respectful of their words. It also teaches them to be respectful of others when they’re being spoken to.
Sit Down Together for Dinner
If there is one way you can improve communication at home, it’s by spending a few nights a week around the dinner table together as a family. It’s not always easy when your schedules don’t line up, but making it a priority when they do is all you need to do. Make it an electronics-free dinner where you talk about your days, discuss things you find interesting, and spend this time together with your family.
Most people listen with the intent to reply. Other people are talking but you’re not really listening. You’re probably thinking about what you want to say next, and that’s a nasty habit to break. Practice listening to your family when they speak without once thinking about what you want to say when they stop talking. Instead, just listen. When they’re done, take a few moments to compile your thoughts and work on responding appropriately.
Your family deserves to learn the art of respectful communication, and you’re the best person to teach them this art. Listen, take time to communicate with one another, and make it a priority. It’s life-changing when you allow yourself to really focus on your family. They’ll all learn to do the same, and your family will be filled with communication before you even know it.