Communication Styles

Directive Communication Style

This style is characterized by giving instructions, making decisions, and solving problems for children rather than with them. It often involves telling children what to do, how to do it, and offering solutions without seeking their input.

While directive communication can provide clear guidance and structure, it may hinder a child’s ability to develop problem-solving skills, independence, and self-efficacy. Children might become reliant on others for direction and less confident in their abilities.

Next Steps for Improving Communication

To strengthen effective communication and resilience, parents can practice stepping back and allowing children to make decisions. Encourage children to think through problems and come up with their solutions, offering guidance only when necessary.

Here are some goals to consider working on:

Practice Active Listening. Set a goal to listen more and speak less during conversations with your children, ensuring they feel heard and understood.

Encourage Independence. Work towards encouraging your children to solve their problems independently, offering guidance only when necessary.

Foster Open Dialogue.  Aim to create opportunities for open discussions where all family members can express their opinions and feelings freely.

Flexibility in Decision Making. Set a goal to involve your children in family decision making processes, allowing them to have a say and contribute to choices that affect them

Collaborative Communication Style 

This approach involves open dialogue, where parents encourage children to express their thoughts and feelings. It focuses on mutual understanding, empathy, and working together to solve problems.

Collaborative communication significantly contributes to building resilience. It teaches children to express themselves, understand different perspectives, and develop strong problem-solving and emotional regulation skills.

Next Steps for Improving Communication

Continue fostering an environment of open dialogue. Regularly engage in family discussions where everyone’s opinions are valued. Practice active listening and validate children’s feelings to further enhance this style.

Here are some goals to consider working on:

Balanced Participation. Ensure that all family members, including quieter ones, have equal opportunities to express themselves.

Develop Empathy. Work on understanding and empathizing with different viewpoints, especially in conflict situations.

Consistent Boundaries. Aim to maintain consistency in rules and expectations, providing a stable and predictable environment.

Enhance Emotional Expression. Work on expressing your own emotions constructively and encourage your children to do the same.   

Laissez-Faire Communication Style 

This style is characterized by a more hands-off approach. Communication is minimal, and children are largely left to manage their affairs without much guidance or input from parents.

While it can promote independence, it may also lead to a lack of guidance and emotional support. Children might feel neglected or unsure about how to handle challenges, impacting their resilience.

Next Steps for Improving Communication

Work on being more engaged in your children’s lives. Show interest in their activities and feelings, and offer guidance when necessary. Establish regular family meetings to encourage more open communication.

Here are some additional goals to consider working on:

Engage More Actively. Set a goal to be more involved in your children’s lives, showing interest in their activities, thoughts, and feelings.

Assertiveness in Guidance. Work on providing clearer guidance and support when needed, rather than always taking a hands off approach.

Structured Family Time. Implement regular family meetings or activities to encourage more interaction and communication.

Set Clear Expectations. Aim to be more consistent and clear about rules and expectations to provide a sense of security and structure.

Once you have established your goals, make a plan to reach them.

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