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How to Teach Good Communication

Camper and coach on a dock

Clear and calm communication can keep us from wrecking relationships among other things. Kelli whimsically shares how we parents can lead by example when it comes to teaching our kids good communication…hopefully avoiding wrecks!

Scripture

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

Philippians 4:8

Reflect

In our home, we are in the process of teaching and training one of our sons to ride a bike and another son to drive a car.   To say communication is important is an understatement.  Not only communication to the Lord to keep us all alive, but communication while instructing our sons, the students.

It is absolutely necessary that we must present all things in two ways.  Clear and Calm.   Our message must be clear and calm.  Our tone must be clear and calm.  Our listening must calmly seek clarity.

Or the outcome will be a wreck.  Literally.

It is no different as we seek to teach our children good and healthy communication skills.  Let us strive to keep ourselves and our children from wrecking relationships with poor communication. 

  1.  Soak it in.  Matthew 12:34 reminds us that the words we speak are the overflow of our heart.  We must soak in Truth.  We must be saturated with what is right.  We must prepare our own hearts to overflow the right things.  God’s Word and is very clear and He has a wonderful way of speaking kindly to us.   It is our best example. 
  2.  Show it.  Our kids are watching.  They will learn all of this from us.  (no pressure).  Show them how to communicate well in the way you speak to them, to friends and even to strangers.  Let them watch how you handle sticky conversations and the way you honor others.   When you they see you do so poorly, discuss with them how it should have been done differently.  Let them learn from your successes and your do overs. 
  3. Set them up.   Give your kids ample opportunity to communicate with others.  Do not order their food for them.  Do not speak for them. Do not solve their problems with others.  Talk with them before hand and discuss it after.  Let them squirm a little and maybe even stumble through some situations.   Giving them the chance to maneuver it themselves will be the best lab they will have.   If I just told my son how to drive, but never let him leave the driveway, he would never go anywhere.  It is a win-win moment when you see your child communicating on a level or in a situation confidently, calmly and clearly. 

We have all been a part of destructive communication.  It truly will wreck those involved.  Be intentional about being a part of healthy life giving communication with those in your life.  It can seem as impossible as teaching a teenage boy to drive.  But keep in mind the two words that are great filters to send our thoughts through before we speak:  Clear and Calm.  Do I aim to send my message clearly and calmly?   Am I seeking to clearly and calmly understand the one I am listening too?

Camper Corner

Who do you see communicating well (calmly and clearly)?   Give an example of how they do that. When is it easiest for you to communicate with someone?  When is it hardest?

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