Why Is Healthy Family Communication So Important?
Effective communication is one of the foundations of a healthy family unit. Words and what we say have a lot of power to provide reassurance and comfort or can be quite the opposite. Within a family, this is especially important since they are our main support system, or at least a guiding force in future members’ development.
Without quality communication abilities, a family unit can become unstable. Over time, these misunderstandings can lead to deterioration and damage that becomes irreparable.
Communication Is More Than Just Words
There is a 7-38-55 rule when it comes to communication. Only 7% of all communication is verbal. 7%! The rest comes from our nonverbal communication and body language. 38% of communication comes from tone of voice, speed of speech, number of words spoken, and facial expressions. The remaining 55% comes from what your body is saying to others through its position and gesturing.
While it may not always seem so, children in a family pick up on all of these things. They are always listening and watching, especially when you think they are not. Communication within the home tends to be much more personal and sometimes more raw than what is portrayed in the outside world. You want to make sure what you are giving off is truly what you want those ears to hear and eyes to see.
Most people will have a story of that one kid in school who said or did something inappropriate that they “learned at home.” Little minds are like sponges and absorb all of three of these communication parts.
Building Self Esteem
Children who feel safe and free to express themselves within their homes will be more likely to develop higher self-esteem. Being raised in an environment where they feel seen and valued will carry over into their social, educational, and professional lives.
Healthy Expression of Feelings
Similarly, children who feel able to express themselves will be more likely to process and manage conflict more effectively. This goes for adult relationships as well. Having constructive communication can reduce arguments, yelling, and hiding things from one another.
Healthy communication can assist with problem-solving situations, conflict management, major life event planning, and general openness to thoughts and ideas.
Reduce Acting Out
When children or teenagers feel unappreciated or undervalued, a natural tendency is to act out to catch their parent’s attention. Depending on the level of acting out, there could even be a safety risk in this matter. When communication is healthy and effective, there will be less need for extreme tactics.
Adults also have their own means of “acting out” in a relationship when communication is lacking. Couples can turn away from each other and search for that missing piece in other areas. Conflicts can arise, addictions can develop, and even infidelity is possible.
Developing Skills for the Future
Children who are brought up in a home where communication is healthy will carry that with them throughout future aspects of life. They will learn listening skills that they can use in school, in the workplace, and in their future relationships.
Not only that, they will learn how to reduce judgment on others by being open-minded. They will be more likely to show empathy to others because they received it as children. And most importantly, they will learn the right words to use in conversations. Remember, words hold a lot of power and can be hurtful. Children who experienced positive influences will be more inclined to speak in such a manner.
The family line is supposed to be an unconditional support system that carries on from generation to generation. Healthy communication is one factor to ensure that line stays intact. Having difficulties in this area? Reach out today to discuss options to reverse any negative patterns through family therapy or anxiety treatment.