Words have power. Power to hurt. Power to heal. And especially the power to build relationships with family members. If you want to encourage communication with the family be careful of the word power you have.
Communication is More Than Just Speaking
Parents and teachers who hope to communicate successfully with children and adolescents need to have a clear understanding that talking is more than just giving orders or criticizing.
True communication is exchanging of thoughts, messages, wishes and ideas. It is based on mutual respect and listening skills. When we pay attention to the verbal words as well as the non verbal body language, the chances are much greater that will have a dialog rather than an argument.
Body Language is Communication of Relationships
A verbal exchange of words is the basis for sharing information. However, it is the body signals, facial expression and tone of voice that will encourage communication with family.
The child or teenager may give you non verbal clues when they are upset or need your full attention. Watch for the word power as well as the body language to understand the needs of your family.
Listening To Words or Hearing Words
There is a big difference between listening and actually hearing what is being said and understood. Many family members listen to one another but don’t really listen to the unsaid message.
Successful communication involves the senses, faculties and attention of both parties. If you think your child is not hearing you, you may want to double check without criticizing. Perhaps you can ask the child what he understood you to say.
When using word power make sure you are saying things clearly, directly and firmly so there will be mistakes in what was said and what was heard. To encourage communication with your family, be sure to listen as much or more than you speak. Watch for subtle clues about what else they want to share.
You can do it. I have confidence in you. I also invite you to go to http://www.encourageselfconfidence.com to claim your free eBook on Self Confidence.
Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker