Relationships in Recovery

6 Must-Have Hacks For Family Communication

Family communication can be challenging when a family member struggles with addiction. Being able to listen can make the difference in recovery.

6 Must-Have Hacks For Family Communication

Table of Contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

February 28, 2022

The Edge Treatment Center

The common phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” is important to remember. A family provides the opportunity to learn and grow from each other. With that being said, communication is crucial within the family because it allows members to convey their needs, wishes, and concerns to one another. 

Family members can express their differences as well as their love and appreciation for one another when they communicate openly and honestly. Family members are able to handle the inherent challenges that exist in all families through dialogue.

Ultimately, families who interact in a healthy manner are better equipped to solve problems and are happier in their relationships which is why communication in the family is the key to success. 

How to Improve Family Communication In 6 Easy Steps

Six habits that can help improve communication in a family include:

#1. Schedule Family Time

It's all too easy to live a life where family members don't spend much – or any – quality time together, especially if both parents or guardians work long hours and the children are occupied with school and extracurricular activities. It is, nonetheless, critical to schedule time with family.

When trying to schedule family time, individuals can remove already scheduled events from their schedule to make way for activities that engage the entire family. When selecting which activities should be shifted to make room for family time, gather comments and reach an agreement.

#2. Establish Routines for the Family

Making family rituals is another method to create scenarios that all family members look forward to. These might be as simple as reading a chapter of a book to a small child before bedtime or setting up a night every week or month to see a movie, go to a concert, or do something else exciting. 

These routines also aid in the development of a sense of stability in children's life. Having something to anticipate regularly allows them to relax and enjoy the anticipation. They will have more opportunities to interact with other family members due to these routines. Make sure, however, that this happens as naturally as possible. Experiment with a few different ideas and see what sticks.

#3. Eat Meals Together

Making sure that at least some meals are spent as a family is one approach to increase family time together. Eating meals together can be even more beneficial if it occurs on a consistent day or sequence of days, such as Sunday evenings. Creating this tradition encourages children and other family members to look forward to mealtime and teaches them to expect positive experiences. One of the advantages of eating meals together regularly is that individuals tend to communicate more honestly.

#4. Allow for One-On-One Time

Although group settings are great for various reasons, it is also essential to set aside some one-on-one time between members of the family. Often, people are more comfortable talking about things important to them in a more personalized setting than in a group. 

When making time for one-on-one time, it can be helpful to take children to a place that is important to them, such as an ice cream parlor or neighborhood park, to help them feel more comfortable and at ease. Once there, make sure to ask more open-ended questions that cannot be answered as curtly as children tend to do, especially when they get older. 

If the addiction recovery of another family member is what's being talked about, try to avoid saying things that may jeopardize that family member's recovery. #5. Be an Active Listener

The most crucial thing individuals can do is make sure they are completely focused on what their loved one is saying. Turning off or ignoring all technological devices is one approach to ensure that this is the case. These include televisions, laptops, and cell phones, as miscommunication is common when the person being communicated with is distracted by electronic devices.

Being a good listener is especially important for family members recovering from addiction. Opening up about recovery is hard and giving a family member the space to speak openly helps.

It may also be helpful to ensure that more time is spent listening than speaking or continually thinking of what to say when the discussion breaks. Many people follow the 80/20 rule, which claims that you should listen 80% of the time and talk 20% of the time. 

#6. Focus On the Issue Rather Than on Each Other

If there are disagreements among family members, keep the attention on the problem rather than on one or both of the people involved in the scenario. In other words, express unconditional love for the person while expressing concern about what they did and explicitly stating why you were disturbed by what happened.

This is particularly helpful for supporting a family member through addiction recovery.

It can be beneficial for individuals to take a few minutes, if required, before speaking to their child about what has disturbed them. It's critical not to scream at children or otherwise react in a way that entirely cuts off communication. It's important for individuals to allow children to thoroughly discuss what happened. Then, the individuals can take in the information and convey how they felt about the event.

Family Communication Affects Lifestyle and Habits

It is essential to understand family communication because it can affect your lifestyle and habits. It is crucial to be honest and transparent with your family while providing a safe space to communicate with each other. However, family communication can be challenging when one or more members are struggling with addiction.

The Edge Treatment Center is the leading addiction rehab center in Orange County. We’re committed to providing the necessary tools for long-term drug and alcohol recovery. The Edge offers outpatient addiction care, a robust family program, and more. We also work to assist you in establishing quality aftercare services

Call us at (800) 778-1772 to learn more about our services.

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