13 May, 2024

Family Bridges: A Program Dedicated to Provide New Insights into Parent-Children Communications

Parent-child communication workshop

What is Family Bridges?

Family Bridges logo

As a parent, have you ever experienced a time when you hold a completely different opinion with your child/children and neither one of you want to take a step back? As a student, have you ever felt like your parents simply cannot understand your thought processes? If so, then you are reading the right article! Indeed, effective communication seems to be easy but hard to achieve.

This is why Family Bridges, a program led by high school students aiming to minimize communication barriers between parents and teenagers, was established. Before the whole program was launched, research has shown that communication barrier is a genuine issue between parents and their children, especially aspects related to academics. This seemingly “easy” problem has multiple triggers attached to it, including but not limited to the field of Psychology and the change in thoughts over generations. Take a step back and please contemplate about the impacts of not solving these communication barriers over time.

Therefore, this is why Family Bridges hope to use a variety of activities, workshops, and articles to help more parents and teenagers both realize and break those barriers!

Workshop Highlights

On March 27, Family Bridges hosted its first parent workshop. Susan, Linda, and Shelly discussed the causes for communication barriers from three main aspects - brain development, generational gaps, and psychological/ideological factors. Parents had the chance to talk with each other face to face on these issues while also engaged with our “role-playing” activity to obtain a better understanding of teenagers’ thought processes.

Based on the issues that we identified, we proposed two solutions - empathy and “I” statement practice. For empathy, it basically represents how parents and their children should establish a relationship that has mutual understanding. We further emphasized that it is vital for parents to not simply “assume” and/or “command”, which will ultimately intensify the conflicts even more. In addition, the use of “I” statement can help with gaining a more thorough understanding of each other’s idea.

Parent workshop led by Susan, Linda, and Shelly

At the end of the workshop, we proposed our unique 30-day challenge to our parents! This is a one-month challenge that is broken down into 4 separate forms that parents can fill out with the aim of keeping track of their communication progress with their children.

On April 8, Family Bridges hosted its first virtual session to share this information with more parents that gained a total likes and views of 1000+. We have also received a lot of positive comments from parents who attended these sessions and will propose more meaningful offline and online activities for more parents and students in the future!

First 30-Day Challenge Recap

Based on the results of our first 30-day challenge, we have found out that most parents who employed the two methods that we proposed had a better communication process with their children. For example, some parents claimed that their children started to actively communicate with them, and some parents also believed that it is important for them to provide more opportunities for their children to speak about their ideas. We are very pleased about these results and will provide the second 30-day challenge form analysis soon.

Parents discussed the causes for communication barriers


Family Bridges will update more articles related to the various factors (ex. puberty) that lead to communication barriers, please stay in tune!

Written by: Susan Li