How well does your family communicate with each other? The authors of 365 Ways To Help Your Children Grow, likens a family to a building. They tell us that if a family is a building, then communication is the foundation that allows the building to weather any storm. When there is good communication within a family “problems get solved, ideas get heard, feelings are expressed and intimacy grows.”
One way to increase communication within your family is to get eyeball to eyeball. Instead of talking to each other from across the room or yelling for your kids, try speaking, just for one day, each and every word while looking at each other eye to eye. You may have to get on your knees when talking to your child or stand on a stool if they are taller.
Another way to help your children learn to communicate is by letter writing . The art of letter writing seems to have fallen by the way as we instead turn to email and text messaging to communicate. I recall when I was in middle school I got two pen pals through a program we had at school. It was great to get letters in the mail from my pen pals. I kept in touch with both of them for years, all through high school in fact. The authors suggest a letter writing night where all the family members get together and write to someone you know who is sick or having a hard time. Or send out birthday letters or write just because. The younger kids can also draw pictures to accompany their letters and they should be partnered with an older sibling or parent to help them write their letter in case they need help with spelling or ideas.
Another idea I liked is to find opportunities to encourage your kids to think about something. The way it works is when your child asks you for your opinion about something or when they need your help with something that they’re not sure about, what you do is tell them that you need a few minutes to think about it and encourage them to also take the time to think about it and then the both of you share your thoughts on the matter. This not only encourages kids to communicate effectively but to think for themselves.
For more character building tips see also: