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3 Ways Parents Can Ensure Healthy Communication in the Home

What can parents do today to ensure healthy communication in the home?

#1: Pay Attention - Tone and Choice of Words

One of the things that parents can do is pay attention to your tone and your choice of words. You might have good intentions in your communication but good intentions don't always equal good outcomes. 

#2: Clarify How You Come Across to the Listener

You want to be aware of how you're coming across which lends to the next step that people can take is really clarifying how you came across. How did the other person experience you? What did they hear you say? I work a lot with people and what people say, very rarely, is what people actually hear. Make room for that clarification. It takes a little bit of time, but it's a simple thing. You then have to remember "Okay, this is a different person, they're not going to see things and hear things the way that I see them and hear them", so you make allowance for that and then you find other ways to word it or to clarify. Those are two things that you can do.

#3: Acknowldege a Positive Trait

The last thing that I encourage families to do is take a moment to really think about who it is that is in front of you and acknowledge a positive trait about them through the course of the day. I call it deep appreciation, it really affirms and  highlights the uniqueness of that person and it grounds them in an experience. For example, your son brought you a cup of tea, you could say, "thanks for the tea," or you could say "Thank you for bringing that to me, that just reminds me of how thoughtful you are." So he walks away understanding, not only did you appreciate him bringing the tea, but he now has an imprint of that experience.  He'll think, "Oh, I'm thoughtful." Or "my parent knows that I'm thoughtful," so they carry that with them into other experiences. So they are not only Johnny or Robert or Sarah, they are thoughtful. So the more we deposit in them, the more we reaffirm them, it helps them to know who they are but it helps them to know how we experience them.

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