One research study has shown that the average couple spends seventeen minutes per week in conversation.
In contrast, strong families spend a great deal of time talking with one another – ranging from trivial matters to important issues. Communication helps us to feel connected, and because members of strong families feel free to exchange information and ideas, they become good problem solvers. Some families set aside time for family council meetings and others do their talking over the dinner table each night. Most communication in these families, however, is spontaneous. Positive communication involves both talking and listening.
Try these things:
- Designate a time for the family to share the events of the day (for example, at dinner). Avoid disciplining and negative remarks during this time.
- Look objectively at your communication patterns and determine which ones can be improved (for example, using sarcasm, creating crises, cutting off someone else who is speaking). Work on one communication habit for a month. Then, the next month, work on another. A trained therapist can help identify negative communication patterns.
Dr. Baya Mebarek, Psy.D.,LMFT