Improving Communication w./ Parents
by Lauri Revilla
Make time to have meaningful conversations with your parents. One of the biggest threats to parent-child communication is generational differences in communication. The newer generations often reach out to others through technology, such as text messages, online chats or email. There is much less face-to-face contact. Although the older generation is catching on, most still prefer a personal conversation or phone call. Consider that your parents' generation has a stronger need for person-to-person conversation. Take the time to sit down and have a few minutes of conversation with them everyday. If you live some distance away, make it a goal to call them at least three times a week or video chat frequently. Keep in mind that text messages can often be misinterpreted by the receiver because there is no tone or facial expression to provide context.
Be open and honest with your parents. Families often stop communicating because it is easier to ignore an issue than to have a conversation about it. If an issue is important to you, bring it up to your parents. Bottling up emotions or annoyances can deteriorate the relationship that you have with them. Always communicate your feelings in a calm and neutral tone. Avoid getting trapped in the blame game. Use "I" statements that talk about how you feel, and avoid "you" statements that point fingers at other people. Allow time for them to respond and share how they feel.
- Always be respectful. Remember that these are the people who gave you life and raised you. They deserve your respect and know you best.
- Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images