Forum Update: Positive Family Communication – Visions & Strategies from Southington Parents!

At the STEPS Community Forum on March 7th, 2012, tables were asked to briefly discuss the focus asset that pertained most to their community sector: Positive Family Communication, Caring School Climate or Community Values Youth. These assets were chosen because they encompass the three places children learn most from: Family, School and the Community.

At the STEPS Community Forum on March 7th, 2012, tables were asked to briefly discuss the focus asset that pertained most to their community sector: Positive Family Communication, Caring School Climate or Community Values Youth. These assets were chosen because they encompass the three places children learn most from: Family, School and the Community.

For example, the parent sector tables discussed how to improve and build the asset of Positive Family Communication – all by discussing a vision of what they wanted this asset to look like in its most ideal form, then coming up with strategies on how to build this asset, and finally an action plan that would help them to implement the strategies so that the vision can become a reality.

After compiling all of the replies, STEPS found some incredible responses to the table discussion and found it important to share the ideas of your very own community leaders and neighbors.

In this week’s “Forum Update” STEPS will present the VISION & STRATEGIES from other parents that attended the forum and discussed positive family communication.

 

Vision –

Families will…

–       Be open, honest and authentic in communication

–       Make a concerted effort to get together on a daily basis

–       Build trust through conversation about “tough topics”

–       Set expectations and rules that everyone understands

–       Have more patience in allowing youth to talk

–       Teach youth to learn the value of obtaining material items as opposed to expecting them

–       Work to help kids will want to be more like their parents and do more with them

–       Work to help kids feel comfortable speaking to parents about concerns/anything openly

 

Strategies –

Families can…

–       Host a family meeting weekly (and talk to friends to establish same type of meetings too)

–       Listen to kids before judging and saying “no” right away

–       Talk with teachers more, especially in middle school years

–       Sit down together for a board game night

–       Eat dinner together at least three times a week, with no electronics

–       Ask youth about the “peaks” and “pits” of their day instead of “yes/no” questions

–       Create a family calendar of planned family time

–       Play a game where youth ask about when parent was a kid

–       Find mutual interests outside of the home together

–       Post the expectations and come up with them together as a family

–       Practice resolving conflicts without yelling

–       Follow through on punishments to teach accountability

–       Make a point to listen and not cut the conversation off

–       Lock up alcohol and medicines

–       Say “goodnight” no matter how old your kids are

–       Have a kid lead the family discussion at the dinner table and choose a topic to talk about that interests him/her

–       Ask their child to teach a parent about what they’re learning in school

 

Now, at the Forum, the 6 tables of parents thought up an “action plan” for how they could go about implementing these strategies in their own home, so that their family communication was ideal, just like what they envision. STEPS challenges you to think of more vision and strategy ideas — and also challenges you as parents, to try a strategy or two suggested by your very own community members, PTO parents and neighbors! And, what STEPS loved the most about everyone’s discussion was that everyone came up with very simple yet effective, sustainable and important ways to build this asset!

Keep an eye out for next weeks “Forum Update” on Caring School Climate!