Communication Activities for Families

Instructor: Tara Schofield
There are many benefits to holding communication activities within a family. Some benefits include understanding what is happening in each person's life, upcoming events, and needs of each family member, as well as being aware of challenges.

Importance of Family Communication

Few things are more important than open communication among a family. Taking time to connect with your kids daily is important for their self-esteem, feeling safe within the family, and opening up about any problems they are having personally or at school. When children feel they are secure and valued, they will share more about what is troubling them as well as positive details about their lives. Use the activities outlined to build a stronger bond with your family members.

Communication Activities

One-On-One Sessions

Schedule one-on-one time with each person in the family. Likewise, encourage other members of the family to spend quality time together. This may be as an outing, participating in a hobby together, or finding service opportunities. Turn off your phones, electronics, and any other distractions. Take advantage of the time to build a common bond, discuss problems, or share information. Allowing your kids individual time helps strengthen family relationships and opens the door to clear and confident communication.

Pick an M&M

Start this interactive game by explaining that each color of M&M represents an emotion. For instance, you may choose red to be anger, blue for joy, and green for excitement. As each person selects an M&M without looking, they will take a moment to share an experience or memory that aligns with the color of the M&M selected. For instance, if you select a blue M&M and have assigned blue to be happy memories, you may share a family vacation that was a joyful memory for you. As everyone shares a few memories, a natural conversation can happen that encourages interaction and sharing among family members.

Family Council Meetings

A family council is a meeting where a problem is discussed, an opportunity is presented, or an issue is shared. During the meeting, the situation is explained and each person is invited to ask questions or share their opinion about the matter. A family council encourages discussion about a condition that may affect each person. While parents may reserve the right to make the final decision, opening the floor to dialog encourages communication between all members and gives each person a voice.

Family Planning Sessions

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to communication is lack of a system to share information and keep everyone in the loop. A weekly family planning session helps each person feel involved and included in what is happening within the family. During the family planning session, the calendar is reviewed to ensure the upcoming activities and events for each person are noted. During this session, you can clarify needs for the week, such as items to be purchased, projects to work on, and deadlines that must be met. Not only will family planning keep everyone on the same page, it will help minimize last-minute emergencies.

Tips and Additional Suggestions

Use the following suggestions and ideas for family time to help improve communication and open the door to meaningful conversations.

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