Communication is key in any relationship, so of course it’s going to be important when it comes to your family. Knowing your own style of communication, your partner’s style, and teaching your children acceptable and appropriate ways to communicate are just a few points of reason.
Whether it be with a friend, child, parent, or partner, not understanding or misunderstanding what someone said is the easiest way to instigate an argument.
First thing you should know, is that communication is not so much about the words we are saying, but how we are saying them. Tone and volume are everything. You can say the word “okay” several times with a different emotion each time, and more than likely, everyone will know what you mean and how you feel. Even more important than your tone of voice are your facial expressions and subsequent body language. Not only after someone has processed all that, do we recognize the words that someone says.
There are several ways to break down communication, but for the purposes of this post, we will talk about the following four:
Passive, Passive-Agressive, Agressive, and Assertive.
If we need or want something we should be assertive. But how can we respect our own emotions, be respectful, and get our own needs met?
This is a skill taken from Dialectical Behavior Therapy. The acronym is F.A.S.T.
This is a interpersonal skill used to help achieve appropriate communication, especially in times when emotions have the potential to run high.
Take the time to model this skill for you child, and practice it yourself. The time needed to practice can save you time in an argument later on.
Try it out!