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Healthy Family Communication


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A good flow of communication is one of the building blocks of healthy relationships with people we care about. This is especially true of family. When families are able to talk openly and honestly with each other, they both parents and children are able to build mutual respect and trust between each other. Everyone is different and everyone has different needs, so cooperating through communication can help each person feel valued and heard and strengthen the spirit of family cooperation. Here are some helpful things to keep in mind when building your family’s conversations and connections:

Be clear and be direct: One thing that trips up conversations between family members is when they are indirect and foggy; when people don’t say what they mean out of fear, shame, or distrust, it contributes to a dysfunctional family conversation that can worsen over time. Make sure that all family members feel safe enough to speak clearly and directly about their needs, feelings, and opinions in order to avoid harboring an atmosphere of resentment and secrecy.

Try family meetings: Pick a time once a week where the whole family gets together to talk about all things related to the family or life in general. This is a really good way of staying connected, especially in our furiously busy lives. Make the family meeting a place where are all members come together to authentically connect with one another.

Have a policy of focused listening: Nothing jambs a conversation like an inattentive listener. It is rude and disrespectful and leaves both parties feeling unhappy at the end of the talk. Make it a family policy to listen intently and with focus to what each member has to say-this is a way you can show your love, value, and respect for them.

Avoid yelling and shame: Do not allow shame and ridicule to seep into your family talks. Shame and yelling are counterproductive methods of dealing with issues that lead to fear, guilt, sadness, and anxiety. Keep the conversation environment positive and make everyone feel that they are in the safest place in the world to express themselves honestly-their family.

Building a healthy communication environment is vital to sustaining the wellness and self-esteem of all members of the family. We are social creatures and we need to be able to exchange information, feelings, and opinions in a safe and loving space. Take the time to reevaluate the way your family talks and interacts with each other-it may be time to oil the hinges on your family’s communication express. If you do, you will reap the benefits that come with a family who has a deep respect for one another and the freedom to express themselves openly and lovingly.

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Build Better Connections With Your Foster Kids


Louisa Stokes / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Being a foster parent is a demanding and rewarding job. You take vulnerable, delicate, and often sad and hurting children into your home and try your best to provide them with the love, security, and support they need to have a chance for a better life, a life that is characterized by the aforementioned values. But foster children may also harbor a lot of anger, sadness, and resentment, and thus it is not always easy for the foster kids and foster families to get along. If you are or are thinking about becoming a foster parent, here are a few tips to keep in mind that allow you to build better connections with your foster kid(s):

Develop strong communication skills: Communication is what keeps a family going, and healthy communication means being able to express both good and bad feelings to those you love without fear of neglect or retaliation. Be open to your foster children and show them that you are there to communicate with them and teach them to openly communicate with you.

Know yourself and the rest of your family: If you are bringing a foster child into your family and you already have kids, it can be a tricky situation. Make sure you have a solid understanding of your own family unit first in terms of each individual member’s identity and emotional needs before introducing a new family member into the mix.

Ensure health and safety: As a foster parent, it is crucial that you provide a healthy and safe environment for your foster kids, as well as for anyone else in the family. Healthy relationships with good boundaries are the key to helping young people mature into responsible, self-respecting adults.

Help your foster kids grieve: It is ok to talk about loss and grief with your foster kids because they are likely struggling with the loss of their own parents, whether to drugs, death, or neglect. Provide your foster kids with a safe space to share their sadness and fear without fear of judgment or criticism.

Boost self-esteem: Help your foster kids see how valuable their thoughts, opinions, and talents are and let them know how worthy they are of love and goodness in their lives. This will help them to value themselves more and contribute to a more positive sense of self.

Building connections with your foster kids is about building boundaries, love, safety, and self-esteem. Re-evaluating how you relate with your foster kids can also help you to strengthen the bonds you have with the rest of your family, as well as with friends and colleagues. Being a foster parent is a challenge, and it is important that you assess whether you or your family are up to the task before you sign-up for the task, but if you are, the love and security you will bring to a foster child’s life is invaluable and precious.

If you found this article of interest and would like to be notified as more articles become available subscribe on my website www.LifeCoachToQuitSmoking.com.  Also ‘Like’ my Facebook page to get exclusive offers, share your stories and join our community at www.facebook.com/lifecoachtoquitsmoking.