Communication tips help us understand ourselves and those we communicate with. While we learn to talk at an early age, when do we receive training on how to communicate well? These communication tips are designed to help us communicate better, be understood, get our point across, and form bonds with people. Sometimes communication tips can reveal something very powerful to us and help us understand why certain past conversations didn’t go well, or how they could have been better. I’ve had my revealing moments.
For much of my adult life, I felt that there was power in food. After all, look at how much we do around food and people. When we start to date someone new, it usually centers around a coffee, lunch, or dinner. Look at how much pressure we put on ourselves when we invite our date home for the first home cooked meal. Once married, Thanksgiving and Christmas meals are monumental. There are traditions centered around food. It’s easy to think there is power in food. Until…
I started researching the power of food and discovered many amazing things. The power of the family dinner has been the topic of many University and corporate studies, and they all, overwhelmingly, conclude that when families eat dinner together 5-7 nights a week, the relationships are stronger and the children have a myriad of benefits. But it started me thinking of possible dinner scenarios. Would a family dinner, 5-7 times a week, where there was absolutely no talking be considered a positive event? Or, would a family dinner, 5-7 times a week, where there was nothing but fighting and arguing be considered a positive event? I’m sure everyone would agree those family dinners would be considered a disaster.
My Communications Ah-ha Moment
I researched more. I discovered a February 7, 2008 NPR All Things Considered report called “The Family Dinner Deconstructed.” Professor David Dickinson, a professor of education at Vanderbilt University, looked deeper into the family dinner and wanted to find if the dinner itself was a magical event to produce such great results, or was there something else in play.
“What we found was that our data on the quality of conversations in mealtimes was a much stronger predictor of how later development would go for children’s language and literacy development.”
The article later spelled it out pretty clearly:
“Turned out the content of dinner was important. That is, the kids who did well didn’t just eat dinner with families. They ate dinner with families that maintained complex conversation, rich with explanation, storytelling and more.”
I also discovered plenty of comments in blogs and articles about family dinners where the commenter was downplaying the power of family dinners, and usually made the comment that there was always fighting and arguing over the meals. I was left with a solid conclusion:
I was wrong!
The power is not in the family dinner. The meal is a conduit through which the power flows, that of constructive communication.
It made more sense to me. Yes, food plays an important role in families and relationships – as the place where the power manifests itself. The power, however, what makes us better, stronger, and more loving families and individuals is in constructive communication.
Interesting word, isn’t it – constructive? According to Dictionary.com, as an adjective, constructive means:
“Constructing or tending to construct; helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement”
Wow. When communication constructs, helps to improve, and promotes further development or advancement – it is really powerful!
Cook Talk Love is about building a new generation of strong families through constructive communication during family meals. Learning constructive communication tips is essential. When we learn these communication tips, we’ll:
- avoid fighting and arguing
- discern which conversations to have and not have during meals
- build each other up
- advance our speech and literary skills
- learn how to challenge and empower each other
- connect in loving terms
- determine and fulfill the human needs of each person
Learning constructive communication tips is essential to family relationships. I am honored you are here right now reading this. You are taking a journey with all Cook Talk Love readers in being a part of that new generation of strong families. I congratulate you.