Communication in the family

We wish to spend the next few weeks discussing some of the critical aspects of the art of communication in the family and we hope you and your family will find these views useful. Communication is probably one of the most essential ingredients for good family life.

Kind words bring life – so determine to use them more often. Words can also wound and crush. Proverbs 18.21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.” If the tongue has the power of life and death, then words can kill or bring to life.

What is the nature of your communication with members of your family? There may be no bloodshed but vulnerable spirits can die under a tirade of verbal abuse. Take a day to listen to how your family members speak to each other. Ask yourself these questions:

• Were there more negative than positive things said?

• Were people honest, or were their answers full of half-truths and excuses?

• Did people make an effort to listen, or did everyone have to shout to be heard?

• Did you hear angry and hurtful comments?

• Did anyone say “Sorry,” or “I love you?”

What causes the alienation, separation and divorce that are so common in marriage today? People often blame money problems, sexual incompatibility, family pressures and temperamental differences. While these may well be factors in marriage breakdown, there is often a lack of open and honest communication at the core of the relationship.

Small irritations grow quickly unless they are dealt with immediately. Situations which could be resolved with a little time and effort, take on huge proportions and form barriers that seem insurmountable. Either partner may feel trapped, but instead of discussing the behaviour that is making them feel this way, they leave in search of air and space. Couples who learn to communicate about the little things in life, are better equipped to face the bigger issues together.

The intimate communication between mother and baby is beautiful to experience and to watch. The baby cannot understand a word she says but he or she recognizes the voice, hears the acceptance and love in her tone, and thrives under her instruction and assurances of love. Likewise, the mother can interpret baby noises or the jumbled phrases of the toddler. She knows his or her every cry and responds appropriately.

A young couple who are deeply in love talk to one another with their eyes, with smiles, with glances, looks and touches, as well as with words. There is empathy, an understanding of how the other thinks and feels. It involves looking at situations from the other’s perspective; being in their shoes, as it were.

Couples who have loved each other for many years, exhibit the same characteristics. They appraise every situation by the same value system. They understand each other completely without the need for words. They are not two, but one – one in heart, mind, emotions, will and deed. Developing and practicing the art of communication is essential if you are to maintain intimacy in your family and marriage.

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *