The importance of family communication

UKThe importance of family communication

In a world where screen time is becoming a growing concern, it’s more important than ever to communicate with our loved ones.

The way we engage with our family can have more of an impact than you might expect, so the time you put into learning how to communicate well with your family can be invaluable. Sometimes, stress and emotions can take over, causing us to take out how we feel about those we’re close to. 

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Here are some suggestions on how to improve your communication with those you love.

Types of communication

There are four main types of communication within a family:

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• Verbal

• Non-verbal

• Visual 

• Written

We use these methods to provide information and express our emotions. People will gravitate to different types of communication, depending on the scenario, as each one has strengths and weaknesses. If you plan to deliver sad news, for example, you would opt for verbal communication where you speak directly with someone, as opposed to sending a message.

Communication patterns

Families also use several types of communication patterns. These include:

• Consensual: High conversational, high conformity

• Pluralistic: High conversational, low conformity

• Protective: Low conversational, high conformity

• Laissez-Faire: Low conversational, low conformity

In a family that adopts the consensual communication type, parents are interested in what the children have to say, however, they will have the final say. The children also tend to adopt their parents’ beliefs. Meanwhile, the pluralistic communication type involves open conversations and a more inclusive approach to decision making across the parents and children.

The protective communication type places a focus on obedience with little emphasis on open communication. Finally, the laissez-faire communication type centres around few conversations being had and parents taking little interest in the decisions their children make.

Benefits of good communication

• Tackle problems: Families are bound to face issues. Disagreements, tensions in school and other factors require good communication to allow you to move forward. Even the strongest families can come across issues that might require professional help. For example, you might need support from a specialist family solicitor to navigate more intricate problems

• Improved trust: Trust allows you to confide in one another without hesitation, which can be invaluable in a family unit. Without trust, relationships can be hinderedin the long term.

• Stronger relationships: Families evolve continuously, which is why it’s so important to build solid foundationsthrough good communication from the get-go.

How to improve communication

• Ask questions: Being inquisitive about one another by asking how someone’s day was or about each other’s interests helps foster a healthy atmosphere in the home.

• Think ‘us, not ‘me’ or ’you’: How you view your family will dictate how you interact with them. It requires solid teamwork, otherwise, there’s a risk of communication breaking down.

Even when communication is strong, there is always help if you need it. More is being done to help families across the UK with parenting, mental health and more. You can seek professional advice from medical experts or legal guidance from a family solicitor if you are struggling with deeper issueswithin your family. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

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