Good communication is critical to happiness and healthiness of the family unit. With hectic schedules and technological distractions, smooth communication may seem as far off as a 1950s sitcom. Although communication may seem impossible, some activities will help you and your children learn how to talk with one another. Employ the ones that work best for you and get everyone chatting.
Write It Out
Not everyone communicates best through real-time talking, which can be intimidating and overwhelming. Instead of asking everyone to present their reactions on the spot, give each child and adult a journal. Ask them to write out their feelings or reactions to whatever problem the family is facing. Have everyone read the journals or present their entries at a later time.
Draw It Out
If your kids are too young to write out their feelings, consider letting them draw them out. Have a handful of crayons of various colors available for use. Hand out large pieces of paper, from your printer or a roll of butcher paper. Ask your children to draw out their reactions to a certain event or experience within the family life. Talk about what happened, and ask the kids to show you on the paper how they felt. Encourage them to talk about, to the best of their ability, how those colors and drawings relate to their emotions.
Act It Out
As kids get older, they may find acting a more suitable avenue to express their emotions. Set up a scenario, possibly from an event that just occurred at home, and ask students to act out their reactions. This is a great way to talk about future and potential events as well. If your family will soon be experiencing something new, such as moving or starting school, you can set up these new scenarios and ask children to explore their reactions. You may all be surprised with the results.
Eat It Out
Sometimes the most casual times of the day are the best times to talk. When everyone is relaxed at dinner and busy filling plates and stomachs, casually bring up a topic of conversation. Initially, topics may be lighthearted, making it easier for everyone to ease into the conversation. As everyone grows more comfortable with the discussions, you may choose to bring up more heated topics. Always keep the conversation comfortable, however, and avoid painful or hurtful conversations that will spoil the meal as well as any potential of strengthening the family bond.