Talking together - Communicating with children

Empathy and understanding  are fundamental for positive relations. The bond between child and parent is strengthened when each communicates in a positive way and listens to what the other has to say.

When child and parent succeed in communicating well, it is easier for the parent to follow what the child does and how he or she is doing - and both parent and child experience greater companionship.

In a stressful everyday, many parents may struggle to maintain good communication with their children. Practising the three following skills will lead to improved communication between parents and children:

  • Observe and recognize the child’s feelings.
    Try to recognize and separate the child’s feelings from each other, for example anger, sadness and happiness. By noticing and describing feelings the child and parents are more conscious about what is going on.
  • Be able to separate your own feelings from those of the child.
    Try to separate between  your own feelings and the child’s. Through doing this you can deliberately hold your own feelings back and be more aware of what the child is experiencing. The parents’ feelings, especially under stress, can easily interfere with communication with the child.
  • Listen to what the child has to tell.
    Listening gives valid information about the child: What does my child care about? How does the child understand itself and its surroundings? Listening and understanding are necessary in order to communicate on the same level as the child.

Many parents with challenging children experience that they struggle to communicate with their child. PMTO helps parents improve this situation.


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