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Building Stronger Family Communication

The Community Call to Action meetings sparked discussions about ways to promote positive family communication. Youth revealed statistics on youth behaviors and attitudes, including that 84% of youth in the region feel that their families provide high levels of love and support. Meanwhile, only 41% of youth feel that they communicate well with their parents. In this question, students were asked if they feel as though they could talk to their parents about tough topics or reach out to parents for advice on relationships, drinking, etc. The resulting conversation led to defining what positive family communication looks like and the difference between feeling loved and establishing positive communication channels between parents and children.

In our busy, 21st century culture of over packed schedules and constant technology, it can be difficult to find time to communicate with children in healthy ways. Positive family communication can lead to stronger relationships where children feel comfortable sharing their feelings and seeking guidance from parents. This TIME article provides suggestions on how to establishment positive communication rituals.

Here’s some information about the asset, Positive Family Communication and some ideas on how to build it in your home:

Here are the facts

Research shows that young people who experience positive communication with their parents are more likely to grow up healthy and are more willing to seek their parents’ advice and counsel. About 28 percent of young people, ages 11–18, enjoy positive communication with their parents and are willing to seek their parents’ counsel and advice, according to Search Institute surveys. Practice consistently communicating—talking and listening to young people—with an open mind and heart.

Tips for building this asset

Positive communication also means listening to understand a young person’s perspective, not to advocate your position. Be available when young people need you—and even when they think they don’t. Take good care of yourself so when your children want to talk, you can give them your full attention.

Also try this

In your home and family: Make it easy for your child to spend time talking with you: Keep an extra stool or chair in the kitchen, den, home office, or workshop area. When you’re in the car together is a great time to chat, too.

In your neighborhood and community: Ask young people you know caring questions, such as: What was the best thing about school today? What was the best act in the talent show? Why? Listen to their answers and respond accordingly.

In your school or youth program: During parent meetings, discuss the importance of positive communication between parents and children.