Laura Armfield

Communication is key, whether you are the parent or carer of a young child or a teenager. Have a look at our tips for helping you communicate effectively with your child and get in touch to share your suggestions.

1. Make time to talk

Try to find times when your children are most likely to talk — for example, at bedtime, before dinner, in the car — and be available. Try to limit distractions and get really involved in the conversation.

2. If your child is passionate about something then go with it…

Learn about your children’s interests — for example, favourite music and activities — and show interest in them.

3. Let them know you’re listening

When your children are talking about concerns, stop whatever you are doing and listen. Try to simply listen to their point of view, even if it’s difficult to hear and don’t interrupt. It’s important to let them complete their point.

4. Respond 

Try to avoid or soften strong reactions; children could tune you out if you appear angry. Resist arguing about who is right. Instead say, “I know you disagree with me, but this is what I think.”

5. Ask the experts….

Parenting and communication are hard, but there are some great resources available to help. Below are a number of great sites offering tips, advice and activities to help you communicate effectively with your children. Check them out and let us know what you think.

 

Talking Point

We know that each child and situation is different. But we also know that there are some questions that come up again and again. The team of speech & language therapists at Talking Point have written the I CAN Help Factsheets, based on the most frequently asked questions from parents, carers and practitioners. Take a look at the downloadable Factsheets below for information on a wide variety of topics for all ages and stages.

http://www.talkingpoint.org.uk/directory/free-resources-parents

The Communication Trust

“Good communication is the gateway to learning, friendships, academic achievement and success at work.” To help parents encourage and support children of different ages, The Communication Trust have put together a wide range of resources and activities, check them out here:

https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/resources/resources/resources-for-parents/

Family Lives

Family Lives looks at why communication with teenagers is important, how to encourage it and the ‘rules’ for good communication.

http://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/teenagers/communicating-with-teenagers/the-importance-of-communicating-with-teenagers/

The National Literacy Trust

You don’t need to be an expert to help your child develop good communication skills. All you need is a listening ear and the willingness to chat to your child whenever you can.  Here are some top tips and benefits of talking with your baby and young child from The National Literacy Trust.

https://literacytrust.org.uk/resources/tips-talking-your-baby-and-young-child/

Top 10 Talking to Teenagers Tips

One of the most difficult times for any parent is when their child turns into a teenager. For a parent this is likely to be the most painful part of the growing up process aside from the big day when a child leaves home. Children who were previously happy, cheerful and willing to share their world with you can suddenly start to dramatically cut back on communication. Here Parenting.co.uk share their top tips for talking to teenagers.

http://www.parenting.co.uk/help/talking-to-teenagers.cfm

Action for Children

Technology is part of our everyday lives – from our smartphones and tablets to our computers, laptops and TVs. So it’s natural that our children will grow up skilled using these.  Here Action for Children shares advice on using technology to help children’s communication skills.

https://www.actionforchildren.org.uk/news-and-blogs/parenting-tips/2017/february/using-technology-to-help-childrens-communication-skills/

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