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The Overlooked (but Potentially Devastating) Effects of Not Talking to Your Kids



Communication in the family refers to family members’ capacity to express their concerns, emotions, and desires to each other. The quality of information sharing and communication in the family can affect the bond between a parent and their child. This often influences the mental well-being of a child[1].


Studies investigating the effect of a parent-child relationship on development and mental wellness show that poor or lack of communication can lead to a variety of adverse developmental trajectories in children, including health-related, social, and psychological issues[2]. Here’s how a lack of communication in your family can harm your child.



WEAK EMOTIONAL BONDING

Lack of communication in the family weakens emotional relationships. It can make your child feel unsafe and unsure about sharing their concerns, ideas, and feelings. It often creates distance, leads to trust issues, and fuels psychological problems.


Emotional bonding (through effective communication) between a child and the primary caregivers establishes the framework for future connections and friendships (including their ability to bond with their own children). Communicating with your child demonstrates that you are available for them, that you are eager to learn about them as a person, and that you value what they have to say.


BEHAVIORAL ISSUES

Because of a lack of communication in the family, a child misses out on learning how to express their feelings. When such a child is frustrated, they may lash out in a variety of ways. If a child can’t put their feelings into words and convey them clearly to other kids and adults, they'll be less inclined to solve issues through dialogue[3].


An annoyed child (for example, who is unable to communicate their dissatisfaction verbally) is more prone to resort to violence to defend themselves and create boundaries with others[4]. They're also more inclined to resort to aggression as a means of expressing their displeasure with overwhelming schoolwork or chores at home.



INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILD

If you don't communicate with your child, they won't express their wishes, dreams, or anxieties. It means you won't be able to get a grasp of whatever your child is going through.

Even if you have a busy schedule, taking a few minutes to converse with your child on the way to school or around the dinner table will make them feel recognized and cherished.


At home and school, a kid is constantly given orders, which can be stressful at times. Concise, direct instructions given at regular intervals may be easier for children to digest, and regular communication will allow them to ask questions about anything they may not have understood.


The ability of a child to express themself and ask clarifying questions prepares them for future intimate relationships and the workplace environment.


MISBEHAVIOR IN SCHOOL

At school, students are required to communicate politely and courteously with their classmates, teachers, administrators, and other members of staff[5]. The lack of an opportunity for your child to exercise proper communication skills (in constructive discussions at the family level) builds weak behavioral bounds[6].



The Bottom Line