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Families Communicating With Children



Families Communicating With Children

Thomas Socha, Julie Yingling

ISBN: 978-0-745-64613-8 July 2010 Polity 208 Pages

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This book offers a fresh and insightful introduction to children's communication development that emphasizes how families help children learn to communicate optimally. Writing for communication students, parents, teachers, and all who care for children, the authors argue that optimal development of children's communication competencies depends on family participation in everyday learning situations that challenge children's skills and build communication confidence.

The book mirrors the organization and coverage of existing family communication textbooks, making it a valuable addition to coursework about families, communication, and development. Chapter topics include:


  • an overview of communication development: universal stages and cultural variations;

  • communication development at home: nonverbal, verbal and mediated skills;

  • relational and group dynamics in the home, including variations by ethnicity and family configuration;

  • family roles and family rules for providing stability and structuring behavior;

  • family resiliency in coping with challenges;

  • strategies for fostering positive communication development in the home.


Families Communicating with Children emphasizes the positive effects of family influence, and draws attention to cross-cultural variations in parenting as well as universal steps in development. These features clarify the process of communication development and offer an optimistic view of the future for the many shapes families assume today.

List of Tables and Figures.


Chapter 1 Children are Family Communicators Too.

Chapter 2 Children's Communication Development at Home.

Chapter 3 Children's Communication in Family Units and Family Relationships.

Chapter 4 Children and Family Roles & Rules.

Chapter 5 Children and Family Decisions, Problems & Conflicts.

Chapter 6 Children and Positive Communication Development at Home.



Author Index.

"This comprehensive and thoughtful book has much to offer anyone striving to get a better understanding of children's communication development and how to capitalize on family communication strengths to nurture children as communicators. This book is a must read for family communication students as well as developmental researchers interested in relational processes across the lifespan."
Michelle Miller-Day, Penn State University

"Childhood takes center stage as Thomas Soch and Julie Yingling address the communication competencies and needs of that family's youngest members. This long awaited text positions children's positive relational outcomes as central to a child's communication development. The authors envision the family as the first communication environment where parents prepare children to interact competently and positively across developmental stages. the text focuses special attention on diverse family forms, optimal communication environments and child communicative development through an exploration of roles, rules, conflict and decision making."
Kathleen Galvin, Northwestern University
• The first volume in a new textbook series from Polity: key themes in family communication.
• The volumes are designed to introduce key topics in more depth than the standard overview textbook treatment.
• This volume introduces the ways which families communicate with children, and the role that children's communication development plays in this.
• The book mirrors the organization and coverage of the overview textbooks, allowing it to be used in conjunction with broader readings as well as on specific modules.