The Heads Together organisation, which is backed by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has published its top 10 tips for talking with your child. The help sheet had been drawn up in partnership with charities Young Minds, Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and Place2Be, and is designed to encourage your child to share their worries and concerns with you. The full article can be found at headstogether.org.uk
Here are the tips:
PREPARE FIRST: pick the right time and place and get into the right frame of mind
to have these important conversations.
￼* Asking questions such as Q&A competitions encourages children to talk: Colours of the rainbow? Best bits of your day? Name five birds? Most difficult part of today?
* Share your own stories to show that you have had similar feelings.Make it a two-way conversation.
* Tell stories by each writing a letter/email about yourselves to a relative or friend. Be positive about your child’s suggestions: ‘Yes tell them that, it was so funny!’
* Focus on making the cake…and chat. Walk the dog…and chat. A focus on something else can take the pressure off hard conversations.
* Get things into perspective. Explore together the lives of children of different generations or countries. What changes have other children faced?
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼* Give them space to question and time to absorb information.Children may not open up straight away, so check in with them from time to time.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼* Imagine yourself in their shoes. Let your support be guided by what they might be feeling and thinking.
￼* Be a role model. Showing how you cope with difficult feelings will help your child cope themselves.
* Have a supporting cast. Parenting can be stressful, so have someone you can turn to for support.
* Remember nobody is perfect and we all get upset or angry sometimes. Tough times can help us develop the skills and resilience that will last a lifetime.
DON’T EXPECT INSTANT RESULTS. THE EFFORT TO TALK AND LISTEN WILL BE APPRECIATED
AND WILL LAY THE FOUNDATIONS FOR FUTURE CONVERSATIONS.