If you’re looking for some strategies on how to improve communication with family members, then you’ll love this article.
How to improve family communication skills?
Firstly, let’s discuss about how to be a leader of your child. Being a good leader is not being a dick, or an asshole. Not the commanding type or the unclear one. Every person is different, some have a natural tendency to lead, others not so much.
But like almost everything, it can be taught and learnt. once you understand some basic principles to effective leadership you understand how people will react to the same thing said in a different way. People are emotional beings and once you understand that, almost everyone would like to work with you.
Ask questions instead of giving direct orders
So my mother had the tendency to not ask me something but is giving me direct orders, for example: I want you to go and fix my bike, or we are going to do this. The only thing this does is making me feel uncomfortable and not really wanting to help her out.
There are two consequences to this. First of all, I didn’t do the things that she was “asking” for. and second I began to be irritated by her this did not really improve our bond.
So instead of saying “clean out the dishwasher, son” you can say “hey son, can you clean out the dishwasher please”? So ask yourself the questions: What are you more motivated by if it were you who had to clean out the dishwasher? Which of the two are you doing? And how can I improve this?
This is effective for little kids, Teenagers and adults. Nobody likes to be ordered around or do you?
Use Encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct
There are times when your kids will make a mistake, now is the time to make the fault seem easy to correct and use encouragement. This way he or she will stay motivated or be even more motivated to tackle the problem.
When you do the opposite for example your child loves to sing, and it is not sounding that great, don’t tell them to stop singing because they never will be good. That is the worst thing to say to anyone.
This discourages him or her and that way they never will be good for sure. Use encouragement to help motivate to become great. If there is a problem tell them you believe that it is easily corrected with some work, they don’t have to worry.
Make your child happy about doing the thing you suggest
There will be times when your child will not be happy to do the thing you suggest, like mowing the lawn or doing the dishes. When this time comes it is your job to make your child happy about doing the thing that you suggest.
For example your child has to mow the lawn every week. But because he or she doesn’t like the chore it will be poorly done, after you have already asked it six times.
One way to make your child happy about mowing the lawn is make him a deal. For example tell him that he can have one extra piece of chocolate when he finishes the lawn and one extra for trimming the edges. But, for every spot he missed you take away one piece of chocolate. You do not have to use chocolate of course, dollars or extra screen time will also do.
Another way to make your child more happy to do anything is explain the benefits he or she will have for doing the thing you want them to do.
Suggesting that your daughter will learn harder in school is not done by yelling and screaming, but by encouragement and explaining the why. If you understand why you have to do something to accomplish a goal, it will be way easier to stay focussed, motivated and most of the time feel great about the thing you do.
Give a fine reputation to live up to
When your child is not really acting the way you want him or her to be acting there is this possibility to solve the problem. Give him or her a good reputation to live up to.
How do you mean? You may ask. Well giving your child a reputation to live up to for example, at a birthday party and your child does not want to wish everyone a happy birthday, how can you fix this?
Tell him or her that everyone knows that they are a good mannered boy or girl and expect them to shake hands. This way they feel they have to live up to the expectations of the other people and they can not let them down, can they?
Here I gave you a few leadership skills that can help you improve the relationship with your child, they are happier because you now understand that yelling, screaming, forcing or begging them to do something is not going to help.
Basic communication skills
Basic communication skills are needed in all areas of your life, but so many people don’t know them or simply ignore them. This is sad because there is so much more to gain from a relationship with a friend, lover, son, daughter, mother, father or even the cashier at the supermarket when you follow these simple communication skills.
This is also very important in family life for sure, all day every day a family communicates, or at least they should be. But when you do not apply these simple principles there is sure to be a bit of struggle between each other.
Be Sincerely interested in the other person
When I first hear of this I didn’t think much of it. Because I thought I was interested in the other person. But time and time again the conversations I had with people ended rather shortly. They were rather boring too, about the weather or the latest news. Never about someones passions or interests. Sure they would mention it but I did not ask them for more.
Once I realised this and focused more on the other person my conversations became much more interesting. I learnt a LOT more and could even have a conversation with my sister for more than 3 minutes. Once I focused on what the other person might be interested in, and knows a lot more about the subject than I knows.
I become interested. I want to know all and everything about it, what it does for the person and why he or she likes it so much. After this ‘breakthrough’ I almost never have nothing to talk about. In fact I do not even have to talk. I just listen and ask.
Now what I am trying to say here is that you have to become Genuinely interested in your kids, your spouse or your partner (1). This will greatly enhance your bond and you will love the results it will give you.
Give honest and sincere appreciation
I know it is hard, or sometimes it feels a little weird to give appreciation. But giving a compliment to a person gives him the best positive feeling in the world. There are cases where people were on the edge of committing suicide.
But because one stranger said something positive to them they felt so appreciated they completely turned their life around. All because of one simple compliment or sign of
People accomplish so much more when there is someone who sincerely believes in them. Your kids, your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband or friend they all need someone that believes in them.
It is so much easier when you know you are not the only one who believes in you, we all have had this problem at least once or twice. When someone struggles with something be their coach and tell them you believe they can fix it, if they really believe it is possible.
Some people only criticise, this only discourses the other person. And you want the other person to accomplish their dream do you? Even if you think it is not possible, most of the time how much do you really know about the subject. If you know something about the subject. Only then you have the right to give them advise.
This last paragraph leads me to the next topic.
Don’t criticise, condemn or complain
This sounds so obvious. Too obvious many would say. But when you are overhearing conversations in the locker room at the gym the couple next to you in a restaurant or a woman on the telephone in the train. Almost always they say something bad about a person, a subject or a company. It is so easy to tell people something what happened and you were not wrong. You are never wrong, 99 out of a hundred people never criticise themselves.
Now that you are thinking of this. How many times are you criticising everything else but yourself?
And how many times do you criticise yourself?
It’s always easier to complaint about something what someone else did, or how your kids friends are bad influence. But how does this criticising help? Is it magically going to solve the problems there are? Off course not! You have to stop blaming others, and start criticising yourself. Find a solution to the problem and move on.
Sure, this is easier said than done. But once you have in mind what you are doing and think it is not helping you or your family. Try and stop criticising. It’s not worth your time.
Talk in the other persons interests.
When you want to take your daughter away for some quality time together, but she never seems to be interested in your offer. Maybe you start to force her to go with you to the mall. Or you guys never even go out. Maybe it’s time to ask her what it is she wants to do. Tell her you guys will have a great time, or tell her that she gets a new pair of jeans. (Only when she needs them)
To make people do what you want them to do, they have to want to do it themselves as well. If not, what is the benefit of going out. The other person sits there bored and is not engaging in conversation. This is in no way shape or form any fun for you and the other person.
Do not talk about what you want out of what it is that you want to do. Talk about what they get for joining you in the activity. Let’s say you want to play basketball. Don’t tell your group of friends. I want to play basketball. Because I want to get better and be a professional one day. Instead try: “Hey guys, let’s play basketball. It’s fun to play and it is a great workout either. After that we can go and do something relaxing to rest.
The second offer sounds much more appealing, right? This way you get what you want, to play basketball. And your friends want to play too. That leads to a much more interesting game.
So when you want to do something with someone try to talk in their way of thinking. Tell them the benefits of doing the thing you suggest and you have way more people willing to follow.
Establishing a good family culture
Establishing a good family culture takes work, consideration and persistence. You and your family have to take regular action to establish and keep this culture alive. Why would you even bother to do this then? You may ask. Because this is an important part in raising children. Creating a good bond with each other and helping your family work together as a team and not individually or even competitive.
There are always easy routes or routines that you create when there is not put any consideration or thought in establishing a good family culture. But these are not always for the best.
For example you and your family watch TV every night. This is not really bad when you take time in a different part of the day to creating a stronger bond with each other. but the sad part is there are very few family’s who take the time to actively create a good family culture. And remember all family’s have their culture established. But luckily change is possible and all habits can be replaced with other habits.
I will explain different steps you can take to create a good culture for you and your family. They may sound cheesy sometimes but they will improve your ability to bond and connect on a deeper level. because you spend time together and talk about problems and difficulties, and of course have some fun too!
This is a important step to take to first begin with and second to have your family organise things, talk about things you go through and have fun. This is the first step in creating a culture. Solve problems and release stress between members of the family. And building confidence, trust and bringing your family closer together.
1. Arrange a meeting every week.
Make it a priority to have this meeting. It will take from half an hour to however long you make it. Have your family come together at the dining table for example first time for like half an hour. Explain what the meeting is and then start a short session.
Start slowly and then you can move it up for however long you feel is needed. It is important that someone writes down the important stuff, this way no one can forget or has to rely on their memory to remember the specifics that have been told.
2. Buy one monthly calendar and write everything meeting, appointment, deadline or other important stuff from every member of the family on it.
This is not the part where you organise other plans, this will come later.
I know it is easy to wander off and start organising other stuff, but this comes later because sometimes does not regard a specific member of the family and that makes the process boring and dull. Just ask everyone to write down what they have planned and update it on the calendar. This way you can walk to the calendar and see what every member of the family is up to.
This is a step you do not have to take, but I found it pretty interesting. Every week one member of the family prepares a small speech about a topic and explains what they learned to the rest of the family.
When the speech is finished the other members of the family can give some feedback on what they learned and how the speech can be improved next time. So this is a good way for children to start having public speaking skills and every week they will learn something new about various subjects.
4. Review your family.
Ask every member of the family to give their opinion about something that is going good in the family. Once you finished that you can ask every member if there are some improvements to be made. It is important to not tell negative things only in the way that it can be improved.
So do not tell your daughter for example to stop being so messy. This is negative and is somewhat attacking. You can just simply ask if she wants to clean up her stuff once she is finished using them. That way she will not feel attacked.
5. Now is the time to ask if anyone needs some help with something.
Emotional help after your sons first heartbreak or someone might need some help with their computer or something. Maybe a bicycle needs some fixing or a light has to be replaced.
6. Now you can organise to make plans to go fishing with your son.
Ask when they can go to the dentist. Or even organise the holiday. But be considerate that you do not take to long when not everyone is involved. Maybe organise your plans then when the meeting is over.
7. Have some fun, blow of some steam.
Go for a family walk, play a board game. This creates a nice ending to the meeting and will make every one feel nice and relaxed.
Creating a family mission statement
A family mission statement is a sort of guideline on what you want to accomplish as a family, how you look at different area’s of life and how your family responds in hard times. The process of creating a mission statement will improve the family culture too.
The process of creating the family mission statement is more important than the actual product itself. This is because you guys will focus on what is important to you, why it is important and how you can accomplish this by working together as a team. It is technically all ideas of your family combined as a description of the meaning of the family. It’s goals, standards, values and norms.
So, how do you create one?
1. Organise a meeting to create this mission statement.
It can be a special meeting too, like in the family vacation or when you guys go to a nice restaurant. The important part is that you have something to write on and every family member is able to speak freely and uninterrupted. It’s important that every member has an equal right to say something. Not that the loudest members answers are the final answers.
2. Ask questions that are important to the family.
Questions that do not come regularly to mind. Questions like, what is the meaning of this family? How can we make this family the best family ever? What makes you want to come home? Is there something you don’t like about this family? How do we handle the finances (This might not be the best question for the kids to answer) and other questions like this.
3. Create a list of the core values of the family.
And what it’s purpose is. A value is something that is so important that you will always stay with it. Even if there are negative consequences that you have to deal with. Or have to punish your children when they do not follow the ‘rules’. An example could be. When I see a person that needs help, I will help him or her.
It’s not important how long the list will be. When you can always shorten the final statement and keep this list as some sort of extra. Or when it comes down to it some values are just not that important to your family to have it written down in the mission statement. It’s important to note that every family’s mission statement is different. So do not create one that will be approved by other people when you don’t really value the values.
4. Create a list of big ideas that is very important to your family.
These ideas are values, goals, or phrases that inspire your family. Make the list around ten ideas long. If your family values less or more that is no problem either of course. So take the lists of everything you created and or other inspirational phrases. And mark which lines your family finds important. This process is more of a organisational one for when you actually have to write the mission statement. This leads me to.
5. Write your family mission statement.
It’s important that you keep it short and simple. As you have to refer to it many times you do not want to read a whole book of phrases, values and statements. There are many ways to write one. maybe your family likes bullet points, or they might prefer a poem. Some people even like to write it as a song. It’s up to you or your family to come up with something you prefer.
6. Print out your family mission statement and hang it in a special place in the house.
A place you come across many times so you can always see and refer back to the lines you created to never forget what is important. It’s important that you always refer back to it when there is a problem for example, There is a way to fix it by using the guidelines of the mission statement. But there are always some shifts in the believes and the values of your family.
So it might be a good idea to create a meeting once a year to maybe change some lines or even make a total new one. And like the law, it’s always changing so the mission statement should not be a one time job and forget about it. You should live by it and change it as needed to keep respecting your current values and goals.
Creating family traditions
There are different kinds of traditions, every family has traditions already. Some watch tv while eating dinner, in other families every member is focused on him or herself by always sitting on their devices. (This is one thing I can still improve on) So what are family traditions that can bring your family together and how can you create them?
Well first of all there are categories of traditions, some are daily and others yearly and everything in the middle. One weekly tradition is the weekly family meeting we discussed before.
And you can make the family mission statement (2) a yearly tradition to discus around christmas or an other date that you can look forward to. Or you can make a specific month the family mission statement month you can have one short meeting every week to discuss the statement and improve it.
It’s important that you don’t over do it. Do not make ten different family traditions have the quality time together once and then never go back and do it again. So keep it simple and stick to one or two on every category and when the family is ready add to it later. Or not.
These should be short and simple, something like a family dinner or a group hug. It’s important that these traditions are not to much of a hassle to complete daily. Because well they do not become daily traditions. There are different kind of traditions and it is important that it has meaning to the whole family.
As I said earlier the family meeting is one weekly tradition. But you can always add more, something like movie night, or a walk around the park with the dog. It’s totally up to you and you family. Again don’t pick to much because when you do you are not able to live up to all of them.
Monthly traditions could get the whole family together and have them write down all the goals they want to achieve this month. Next time you come together you can review the goals how you achieved them or not. What you can improve upon and what the new goals of the month are. This stimulates personal growth and by telling others what your goals are you are more likely to accomplish the goals because of social pressure.
Another tradition could be you can take one of your kids to do something fun every month. It’s their choice to pick something and then you can have some quality one on one time with your children.
If there are no good traditions here you can always make some up or find some inspiration on the internet.
Other traditions that do not come across as often are a cool way to make a activity more memorable.
Here are some events that you can make up traditions for.
- New years eve
- And many more events that may be of importance to you and your family
Family traditions are a great way to create lasting memories and teach children the importance of your own identity. Because the traditions you do are most likely not the traditions that other people have. It will create a sense of security and most of all bring you guys together in becoming the best and most loving family in your surroundings.
I hope this article was able to help you to create a vision on the importance of a positive family culture and how you can improve communication in your family.
The next step is to take action and begin to create your own traditions have your first meeting and start to write your family mission statement. But it’s important to know that the process is most important and you should always try to enjoy every single bit every little improvement and watch back on how you have grown as a family as a whole.