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Effective Communication with Children
Learning Outcome 5
Element 5.1.1
Children are effective communicators.
Free Information for Family Members
Effectively communication with children can often be
a daunting task for family members and children’s
integrating effective communication skills are crucial
in terms of developing and maintaining positive
relationships with children. It is important for adults
to model positive communication skills in order to
English is an additional language.
develop the child’s skills and language. As a result,
Be aware that some children and young people
do not communicate verbally and that you need
children will avoid negative communication such as
Consider culture and context, for example where
to adapt your style of communication to their
needs and abilities.
withdrawal and aggression.
Communication is not just about the words you
use appropriate language and modify tone and
use, but also your manner of speaking, body
language and, above all, the effectiveness with
Establish eye contact (where possible), be clear,
volume as appropriate.
which you listen.
Invest time to regularly interact with your child.
This may include taking advantage of times such
as meal times, driving, playing, reading and
Respect your child while they are talking. Listen
to and remember what they say, and offer
comments without interrupting their thoughts or
If we communicate something positive, it brings
back something positive to us. Similarly, if we
communicate something negative, it brings back
something negative to us.
Asks questions to check your understanding and
acknowledge that you have heard what is being
said. Avoid making assumptions.
Positively reinforce what your child has told you
and thank them for sharing information with you.
This will help build a trusting relationship, from
which the child’s confidence will develop.
Always maintain honesty. Tell your child the truth
in an age-appropriate manner. This includes
apologising for any mistakes that you might
This will prompt your child to give alternative and
more meaningful answers than “yes” or “no”.
Acknowledge and offer support regarding your
child’s emotional wellbeing. Try and see things
from a child’s perspective, and offer empathetic
comments such as, “I can see that you are feeling
Regularly praise and acknowledge your child’s
very upset today. Can I do
accomplishments, interests or developments as
something to make you feel
this will help boost their confidence.
Discuss with your child any expectations you may
have of them in particular contexts. For example,
“Stephanie, do you remember our rules for the
Ask your child open-ended
questions. For example, “What
did you enjoy most about school Maria?” or
“Why is yellow your favourite colour Andrew?”
This will reinforce your expectations, and will
prompt the child to take responsibility for their