Communicating with your children
‘Create a space for your children to have your attention so they can talk about their day. This could be around the dinner table, or on the way back from school. Getting into the habit of asking about their day and how they’re feeling helps you get used to speaking to and listening to each other.’
Communicating is about noticing, listening and talking. Depending on what’s happened in your family, it’s good if you can focus on the present rather than what’s happened in the past. How you are with your children (and an ex-partner) will set the tone for the family. Your children need you to be consistent, kind, loving and respectful with them (even when you don’t feel that way inside).
When it comes to talking about separation, Voices in the Middle has a conversation guide on video with questions to ask, tips on planning the discussion, and advice from young people who have been through it. The Voices in the Middle website could be helpful if you have teenagers, with downloads and tips on how to talk to your teenager and work on your relationship with them.
Relate also has a video guide with practical tips on how to talk with your children about separating, and lots of information about dealing with children’s feelings and behaviour.
Young Minds has information for parents on supporting your children and your children’s mental health. This includes 20 activities for 20 minutes to create a relaxed space for conversations.
There’s more on this in My relationships.