Family Communication: An Introduction

Today’s families have to deal with many issues--busier schedules, new technologies, and ever-changing day-to-day challenges are just a few of the things that you, as a parent, have to address. Fortunately, many of the issues you face can be made easier with open communication. By intentionally building good communication practices, you can ensure that your family remains strong, even when things get tough.

Did You Know?

  • According to Search Institute research, 70 percent of young people say they have family support. Only 30 percent, however, felt they had positive family communication. Some researchers think this represents the difference between how positively families feel toward each other and how well they actually communicate. 1
  • Positive family communication is much more common among younger kids than older teenagers; 47 percent of sixth graders report positive family communication, but only 22 percent of high school seniors do. 1

Building positive communication within your family can be harder than it sounds. Fortunately, there are many ways to start improving communication in your daily lives. Read on to find tips and strategies that may work well for your family.

1. Developmental Assets: A Profile of Your Youth (Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute, 2005), 2003 weighted aggregate dataset, unpublished report.




Communicating with teens is especially difficult today with texting, facebook and cell phones. It takes effort to provide opportunities where open family communication can occur.
Having family meals together is one way to provide listening time, as well as in the evening before bed. Articles that may be of interest are “Is Family Mealtime Important?” found under Parenting tips, and “Effective Communication” found under Teacher articles at the following site: .