My new favourite thing to do if I can catch the children after their tablets have run out of battery and just before they switch the television on, is to suggest we look at the workbook How to Have Incredible Conversations With Your Child together and have a chat based on one of its prompts. More often than not they are happy to agree and quickly grab a pencil and a fiddle toy. We have always been able to have conversations before the workbook came along, of course, but whereas I would have previously shied away from asking about something negative that has happened in the past, for example, this time it’s not me prying, it’s the workbook suggesting we talk about something which may not have gone so well in the past, but where the child can look back and be pleased by their resilience, or their problem-solving ability, or they can talk about how they would do things differently if it happened again, or how they later learnt it has happened to a friend too. The idea behind the book is that children get used to talking to parents or carers about practically everything, not just the great and the good, but the bad and the ugly too. If you have a child who likes to draw or write down their own answers you also start to build up a scrapbook of information about who they are, and what is important to them at this time of their life. It’s a great thing to take on car journeys too, as you are all going to be spending time together anyway, so you might as well learn about favourite memories or what your children would wish for if there were granted three wishes, and it makes a nice change from eye spy.
This is not a book that you read cover to cover and are then done with, so we have only chatted through some of the conversation starters/activities so far, but I can see that it is going to be a brilliant way of learning new things about my children, helping them maintain a positive mental attitude, releasing negative feelings and best of all stay off a screen for half an hour or so…
If you are looking for a Christmas present that is plastic-free, educational-for-all, eye-opening, worth keeping hold of long-term and fun to do on a winter’s evening, look no further than How to Have Incredible Conversations with Your Child
‘Mumma’ aka Elizabeth Wickenden
Director – Grapevine Media Group Ltd
The Official Blurb:
Clinical psychologists explain why and how you should start having incredible conversations with your child
Why this book matters:
- During the pandemic, wellbeing decreased and conflict increased – Divorce was up by 25%, and 80% of young people with mental health problems reported a worsening of symptoms.
- A positive parent-child relationship means greater physical and mental wellbeing – It also lowers rates of mental health problems in adulthood, cardiovascular disease and dementia.
- Emotional health is wealth – On average, a warm relationship with your parent in childhood will result in £60,000 per annum more than those who had ‘cold’ parental relationships.
- New book by two clinical psychologists, for parents and children to read together – The authors have worked at Great Ormond Street Hospital and University College London. The book offers prompts and guidance for having meaningful conversations with children.
As a parent, you want to know what is going on in your child’s life, how school and friendships are going, if they’re feeling okay. As a kid you want to tell your parent what’s going on, but it can be hard to find the words. This new book, How to Have Incredible Conversations with Your Child, is brilliant because it supports you both, so you can connect, and you discover incredible stuff about each other.
So, how exactly do you make it happen? This accessible guide answers the million-dollar question by steering you step by step through carefully supported and structured conversational platforms that encourage connection and strengthen relationship bonds. Written by two top clinical psychologists who have worked with families over many years they have, uniquely, designed it for you to read and experience, together.
Inside this book you will find a range of fun, illustrated child-friendly conversation activities, organised around four key themes: who are you? how are you? what helps? what gets in the way?
There is powerful evidence that building good parent-child communication skills improves emotional wellbeing, physical health, academic and employment success. It helps set up a trusting relationship so you can navigate adolescence and later life successfully. It’s important to start early because it takes time to learn skills.
Benefits of having incredible conversations
- Great lifelong relationships
- Builds resilience
- Boosts wellbeing
- Improves quality of life
How to have Incredible Conversations with Your Child by Jane Gilmour and Bettina Hohnen is published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 21st October 2021, £14.99