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Family Communication - Interpersonal Communication - Human Relations

Autor:   •  November 3, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  777 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,520 Views

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Family Communication

Interpersonal Communication/Human Relations

The importance of open, effective communication within families cannot be emphasized enough. The International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family explains that relationships between family members are usually the closest, most emotionally intense of any in the human experience.

Galvin and Brommel (1996) describe family as "a group of intimates who generate a sense of home and group identity, complete with strong ties of loyalty and emotion, and experience a history and a future" (as cited in Verderber, K., Verderber, R., & Berryman-Fink, C., 2007, p.329). Much of the functioning of the family system is a product of the communication within the family (Verderber et al., 2007, p.330). Clear, open, and frequent communication creates an atmosphere that allows family members to express their needs, desires, and concerns to one another (Family Interpersonal Communication, 2010). The more time a family spends together, the better the chance of them having positive communication. With more effective communication, families have a tendency to be closer and develop stronger bonds.

According to our textbook, family communication serves at least three major purposes for individual family members. The first of the three purposes is the formation of self-concept. Our text explains that a major responsibility family members have to one another, is to communicate in ways that reinforce the development of strong self-concepts. Positive communication and feedback will enhance the self-concept of each individual family member. Statements of praise, acceptance, support, and love are also important in strengthening self-concepts, especially in children.

The second purpose of family communication is to supply each member with recognition and support. Everyone one needs someone else they can depend on. This helps family members feel valuable and accepted. Each person should feel connected to a strong support system. Supplying needed praise and reassurance is a responsibility that many people forget about during the commotion of their daily lives (Verderber et al., 2007, p.332). Taking time to recognize accomplishments, no matter how small, and give comfort when it is needed helps everyone feel better about themselves. When a family feels they can rely on each other they are more likely to maintain strong bonds throughout their lives.

Finally, communication within the family establishes models. Children learn how to communicate by watching their parents. If parents are open and effective communicators, it is likely that their children will be also. This is especially important when it comes to managing conflict. If parents discuss their feelings openly, are attentive and sympathetic listeners


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