Good family communication helps to create a happy, successful family. However, good communication is a learned skill. Books on communication give ideas about how families can speak more kindly and effectively, how they can listen better and create better understanding. Such books help open doors to spending more time doing the things you enjoy, as a family, and less time correcting, arguing or feeling unhappy. While not a cure-all, they offer tools for familial improvement.
Improving Basic Communication Skills
"How to Improve Communication Skills,"by Matthew Lindon, examines how communication breakdowns in a relationship can affect other areas of a marriage, such as taking care of financial needs, home chores and even into the work place. "Public Speaking Handbook," by Steven A. Beebe, while primarily geared toward addressing an audience, also deals with listening skills and assessing the emotional tone of a listener. "Public Speaking for College and Career," by Hamilton Gregory, addresses how ethnic backgrounds can cause different perceptions of how a message is being received. Again, while not primarily aimed at family communication, the book highlights possible areas for communication misunderstanding. Each of those books makes suggestions for becoming a better communicator in a variety of circumstances.
"Family Communication: Cohesion and Change," by Kathleen M. Galvin, deals specifically with communication in a family. Galvin also has written several other books on family communication, including "Listening by Doing: Developing Effective Listening Skills." Gregory and Beebe, in their books, both agree that listening skills are vital to good human communication. "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense," by Suzette Haden Elgin, addresses the pitfalls of word choice, word order and vocal intonation when addressing others at a personal level.
Communicating With Kids
"The Gentle Art of Communicating with Kids," by Elgin, focuses the general statements made in "The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense," specifically on how to speak with children. Elgin points out that one of the legacies we leave our children is our communication strategies, good and bad. "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" points out that one of the best communication strategies that a parent can have is to use active listening. Active listening means giving the child your attention, and making nonjudgmental, encouraging sounds that let her explain her topic. "My Family Matters to Me," by Marlena Uhrik, is an alphabet of communication techniques or templates that can help families learn to communicate better within the family structure and outside it.
Communicating Effectively as a Family
"Family Meetings: How to Build a Stronger Family and a Stronger Business," by Drew Mendoza, focuses on families who own and run a business together. This title serves as a reminder that families do not exist in a vacuum -- they interact with businesses, organizations and schools regularly. "Tongue Fu at School," Sam Horn, is primarily designed for teachers who wish to avoid conflict, but contains valuable information for parents, enabling better communication between home and school.