Tips for communicating with children

Communicating with kids is more than just the words you say. Your facial expressions, tone of your voice and your body language all convey messages to your child. Communicating with children can be tricky and difficult to navigate so we did some research and pulled together our top tips for communicating with children.

Active listening

Children love being heard and know they are understood. Gestures, encouraging smiles and affirming nods show children that you are interested in what they have to say. Eye contact and getting down on their level also is a great way for your child to feel safe and connected to you. Active listening requires giving your full attention when speaking to a child and helps you understand their perspective.

Explaining feelings

Sometimes it can be tricky to calm a child down when they are crying, upset or angry. Teaching children how to name what they are feeling is crucial in their character development. When children get worked up, it is hard to understand what the problem is and what to do to help them feel better. Responding to them in a calm, non-judgmental and empathetic way will help them feel cared for and understood. 

Power of positivity

Speaking to children in a positive way means being affirmative. A child is usually willing to respond to positively affirmative language. Positive communication helps children feel good about themselves, ultimately meaning they are more likely to connect with you. Communicating with them positively also helps develop their self-esteem, learn through their actions and build up their responsibility skills.

Quality time

Our carers and case workers often tell us that spending quality time with children is a great way to gain trust, making it easier to communicate and connect with your child. Let your child take the lead and let them decide how they want to spend time with you. Spending time with your child may involve singing songs, playing games, reading stories, baking or dancing! These are just a few tasks that can help you connect with your child.

Being present

Giving a child your undivided attention and being actively present will make them feel loved and cared for. When spending time with your child, try not to get distracted by other tasks you may need to do, work or even your phone. This will also allow you to pay attention to your child’s body language, behaviours, and language. This will help you learn more, making it easier for you to communicate with them.

There you have it! Our top tips on how to communicate and build a genuine connection with children. Connecting with children can be hard so we hope these tips will allow better communication with children in your care.