The importance of communicating with your child

Jun 2012
Speaking to your child regularly will ensure that they are continually absorbing a wealth of language.

Communication is a crucial way to ensure you form an ongoing relationship with your child. There are many benefits to regularly sharing your thoughts and ideas with your children, and giving them an opportunity to voice their opinions. Here are just a few:

Improving their verbal competency
Speaking to your child regularly will ensure that they are continually absorbing a wealth of language, and parental modelling may mean that they improve their grasp of sentence structures. If children regularly express their views to their parents, this can translate to a better ability to present their ideas in a classroom context.

Enhancing emotional literacy
Children who are unable to express how they feel at any given time may become frustrated, and lash out in other ways. If children can match their emotions to words and express them clearly to adults and children alike they will be more likely to resolve their problems through discussion.

Understanding your child
Talking to your children so that they can share their hopes, dreams and fears will mean that you gain a more in-depth understanding of your child. Though many parents lead busy lives, carving out a small amount of time to talk with children on the school run or round the dinner table will mean that they feel heard and valued.

Understanding instructions
Children are continually being given instructions both at home and at school, which can be overwhelming at times. Communicating short, direct instructions at regular intervals may be easier for children to digest, while regular communication will mean that children can query anything they don't understand.

Keeping track of your child's development
As children move through key stages, their workload and competencies will change. Talking through children's targets, homework projects and exam results will mean that parents have a good idea of how their children are progressing.

Behaviour at school
At school children are expected to interact with their peers, teachers and other members of staff in a polite and courteous manner. Practising these skills in regular communications with your children will help to establish firm boundaries for their behaviour.