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Build a Family Communication Routine to Save Wasted Time

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Is it challenging to connect with those you love…especially when everyone’s not under one roof? 

Communication with family, or lack thereof, often causes friction- and since family is one of the 8 areas of attention, a family communication routine ensures messages don’t get crossed…or missed.  

Now, it may feel odd to put talking with those you love into a routine…but how is it working WITHOUT a plan?  

Probably very frustrating- so let’s be intentional. Promise, you (and your fam) will thank me!

In midlife, you either have family under your roof- a hubby, a kid (or two), an aging parent…or you have relationships with them from a distance.   

There are 2 main types of family communication-


CONNECTION is just connecting with others.  This includes asking how they are, what they need and how you can help.  It also includes celebrating with them, crying with them, encouraging them… and saying I love you.  

If you want healthy, thriving family relationships, you need to connect.  

Unfortunately, even in our ever-connected world, we can get so busy (aka distracted) that we’re disconnected from family…cuz we’re giving our time away to less important things.

Make time just to connect with your family. 

Growing up, we had a regular time to talk with my grandparents on Sundays. I’m sure I didn’t fully appreciate it back then, but when I went off to college, I did the same thing with my parents to stay connected.  Even today, I have a reminder set to call my parents every Saturday. 

Why?  Because I want to put our relationship to fit in a box?  No. 

Cuz I don’t want to get too busy in my own world and get disconnected. 

Even with my hubby, who I see every day, I block off specific times to just connect- a dialog on our daily walk, a phone-free dinner, and our unplugged evening refills. 

My grown up kids’ schedules are a little all over the place, so I put them in my prayer app several times a week and then reach out to connect.

Connection takes intention.  And it takes time.

So what family members do YOU want to connect with regularly?  Your spouse, your kids, your parents, your siblings, in-laws, extended family? 

Don’t wait for them, take the initiative…and they’ll be grateful.

The other form of family communication is COORDINATION, which is focused on shared activities or responsibilities. 

The key is to coordinate BEFOREHAND to avoid any mishaps or misunderstandings, right? 

It may be- what’s for dinner, what meeting you have, what you need at the store, what you’re doing for date night…otherwise it’s easy for things to get overlooked or double-booked!  

Without clear communication and coordination, a lot of time, money and energy gets wasted trying to clean up the mess after the fact.  

Wouldn’t it be better to be prepared ahead of time instead and save the time and energy? 

Now we have digital tools like Google calendars that can sync the whole family, but it’s dependent on everyone using…and checking it.  My hubby tends to avoid tech, so a printed monthly calendar hangs on our fridge. And each Sunday, we run through the week to make sure we’re on the same page and check in daily to navigate change .

Coordination is not just about the calendar- often you need to communicate about ongoing household tasks, special projects and upcoming events.

Who do you need to coordinate life with- Your spouse, your kids, your parents, your siblings, in-laws, extended family?

Family communication is often overlooked and undervalued…until there’s a blow up, so don’t let it get to that.

Lack of connection leads to loneliness or regret…and LOST time.

Lack of coordination leads to friction or frustration…and WASTED time.

That’s why it’s essential to be intentional.

In any kind of family communication, keep Ephesians 4:29 in mind…  

This truth applies to both connection + coordination…are your words helpful to build others up, meet their needs and benefit them? 

Depending on your family situation, you may find family communication easy & effective or difficult & destructive.  So prayerfully ask the Lord how He would have you communicate with your family. 

5 Steps to Create a FAMILY COMMUNICATION Routine

  1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM or NEED.  There can be many areas where communication is breaking down- especially when there are several people involved.

Is it in the coordination of what needs to happen or in relation to true connection?  If you’re in a good place right now, what areas would benefit even more from family communication?  

The answer may be obvious to everyone or just you- and the list may be short or longer than you’d like.  Just start with identifying 1 specific need

  1. UNCOVER THE ROOT. Communication breakdown doesn’t just happen for no reason- so get to the real cause…but don’t just point a finger, cuz everyone plays a part.  

Is connection not happening because you’ve got a screen in front of you or you’re not stopping to eat dinner together or you’re not making time to just be together?  Is coordination frustrating cuz you’re expecting everyone to be on the same page, but it’s all in your head or because there’s a need no one is addressing? 

The root could be varied, and even subjective, but getting to the root will help to get it out in the open and keep it from growing.

  1. PLAN THE STEPS. You need to not just talk about it, but do something about it if you truly want to see change and growth. So identify the steps you will take.

Does it involve having a conversation, implementing a new tool, or building a system or routine? What are the steps you need to take to set up family communication in this area and keep it going?

You can lay the groundwork first, then have a conversation…or you can involve the family in the entire process. Either way, commit to what you will do.

  1. BLOCK THE TIME.  Now you need to determine when you will do it…and how often it needs your attention. Put it on the calendar or your weekly plan so it won’t get neglected or forgotten yet again.  

When will you make that call or have that conversation? Will it be today, or another day this week? And if it’s something ongoing, how often does it need to happen- is it a daily check in, a weekly sit down or a monthly day away? 

Get it on the calendar before that time fills with something else or more friction happens.

  1. INVITE THE SUPPORT.  That’s what this family communication routine is all about…not keeping it to yourself.  

Will you tell your hubby you’re blocking off date night every Friday? Or tell your parents you’ll call every Sunday? Or ask your college-age daughter to pick up groceries on her way home from class?  Or remind your teenage son he needs to empty the trash before pick up?

Who you invite is gonna depend on who is under your roof, but the point is, don’t put all the responsibility on you!

Once you have a FAMILY COMMUNICATION routine around one area, it will naturally build momentum in other areas that would benefit from intentional conversation.


What’s 1 area that needs intentional family communication right now?  

We’ve all got room for improvement, so come share inside the REDEEM Her Time Community and find you’re not alone.  

Taking the initiative to create a family communication routine will indeed save you time…and frustration.

And if you want to truly pour out into those you love, you gotta make sure YOUR cup is full so grab the FILL YOUR CUP FIRST Guide and see the difference it makes in your family when you’re running on more than fumes!  

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