The Parent Translator: a tool to tackle communication skills
Communicating with your child should be easy. But miscommunication is easier. You make a simple comment about what they’re wearing and they storm off, slamming the door. You ask what they had for lunch and they assume it’s an attack about their diet.
While you’re just trying to show how much you care about them, their reactions suggest you’re speaking a different language.
Of course there will always be times when your child misinterprets what you’re saying, but by improving your listening skills and verbal communication, you can show them that you don’t intend to hurt or upset them – and hopefully cut down on the arguments.
If you and your child seem to argue continually, you need our Parent Translator. Share this page with your child so you can both try it out and start a conversation where fewer of your words get lost in translation.
Talk to your child
Ask them to think about the way the two of you talk. Do you ever misinterpret what the other one means?
At the end of the Parent Translator videos, your child will have the option to send you an email back, letting you know which scenarios annoy them most. Tell them you’d love to know what they think, and use it as an opportunity to discuss their annoyances and how you could approach things differently
Develop a thick skin
Try not to get offended if they rate your comments “seriously annoying” – instead ask them why and find out how they would like you to deal with these situations in future
If they don’t email you back, casually ask them if they have seen it and what they thought
Next time your child flares up, try to explain the true meaning of your words and refer to the Parent Translator as back-up
- Share the Parent Translator with your child. It will help them understand that you don’t mean to upset them when you talk about their friends, diet and social life – and may improve communications between you
- Use the animations and action checklist to shape the conversation when you talk to your child
- How did the videos make them feel? Can they see that what people say and what they mean are open to interpretation?
- Encourage your child to share the videos with their friends and have the same conversation with them