Summer is a time of
togetherness for many families. With the back-to-school season now in full
swing keeping up communications becomes more of a juggle.
But as multi-tasking
moms and dads know, juggling is just one of the many skills in the parenting
arsenal. So take time to make time: schedule one-on-one time with each child in
the family and set up regular family meetings.
don't need to be formal; they can take place once a week at a family dinner or
first thing Saturday mornings. Use this time to reconnect about important
happenings during the week and for announcements that affect the whole family
such as weekend plans or changes in chore schedules.
Once you've carved
out time, use these tools to help make communication more effective:
Young children: Communicating positively with young children helps them
develop confidence, self-worth, and good relationships. Try to get down on
their level if you can. When giving commands or disciplining, avoid angry
voices; try to use a neutral voice. For more tips on communicating with
children, visit the Mr. Rogers' Family Communications
resource guide for a wealth of tips.
Teens: Don't believe the hype; teens want to talk to their
parents about sex, drugs and rock and roll as well as a host of other topics. Studies show that teens want to discuss these sensitive
topics but don't know how so it's your
job as a parent to get the communication going. For tips, check out Communicating with Teens by FamilyEducation.com.
Kitchen Command Center: Keep family members in the communication loop by
setting up an effective kitchen command center. Color code calendars to keep
track of various sports and social commitments for each family member and use a
white board or chalkboard for messages. For more tips on setting up a command
center, visit our past post "Is Your
Kitchen Your Home Office?"
Finally, keep in
mind that September is hurricane
season in many parts of the country. The time to prepare for an emergency is
before it happens; use this government guide to put in place a Family
Communications plan for emergencies and review it with all family members: Ready.gov: Make a Family Communications Plan.
Do you have any tips for back-to-school
communications? Share your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter
by Candie Harris
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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.