Good communication among family members is an extremely important part of a psychologically healthy family. Lack of good communication can be extremely detrimental to a family. When communication breaks down, especially between a parent and their child, troublesome situations may arise. What can be done to repair and resolve these situations? Parent/child mediation may be the resolution.

Communication among family members is a bit like a vehicle. When the vehicle is working properly and operating smoothly, everything is wonderful and trouble-free. Additionally, it can only stay trouble-free with ongoing maintenance like oil changes and tune-ups. However, when the vehicle starts to break down, problems may arise. If the problems are not fixed, it may get worse, and eventually it will break down completely. When the vehicle breaks down, it may cause other problems such as getting to work, or getting the children to soccer practice. With communication, when it is working properly, everything seems to be great. Family members are happy and life is good. But as soon as that communication breaks down, that’s when the problems begin. Communication must also be maintained in order to keep things going in the right direction.

As technology progresses, communication among family members can now take place in an instant with the push of a single button on a cell phone, the composition of an email, or even an “instant message” on a computer. But do these modes of communication provide a family relationship with the necessary components to grow and flourish? I believe they do not. These new modes of communication are important in certain situations, but should not take the place of face-to-face personal interaction. I believe daily face-to-face interaction is a key to maintaining good communication in the family.

Conflict and disputes at school can also affect families in different ways. I support parents, children, grandparents and other family members to communicate effectively, both with each other and with teachers at school. For children and young people to achieve their full potential and become successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens, the adults around them need to be working together as a team.


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