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Girls Grammar Counsellor's Corner

Three Tricks to Improve Communication

My child won’t talk to me, is a common phrase I have been hearing from parents. That they know that their child is going through something, or something has happened, but the child won’t tell them. Here are three of my best conversation starters.

“Do you want to have a cuppa with me?” - How many times have we called a friend and asked them to catch up for a drink after a big day? This simple act supports us by giving us a safe place, allowing us space to vent frustrations, connect with people, and make us feel less alone. It is ok if the child doesn't want to talk, it is ok if they don’t know what is wrong. Giving them the opportunity and a space to be listened to and heard is more important.

“What was the best part of your day?” – When we ask ‘how was your day?’ we, often default with 'fine', ‘I don’t know’, or we focus on the one thing that is playing in our mind which is often negative. Asking about the best part of the day switches our mindset to think of the positive. Follow up with “What could have gone better for you?” This gives people an opportunity to think of what went wrong, but to also think about how it could have been better and what they can do better next time.

“Do you want to go for a walk with me?” – Transition activities are great conversation starters. Walking, driving, and riding are all flow activities with the feeling of moving forward, not only physically but mentally. Ensure limited distractions (eg. No phones on the walk or drive) and start with appreciating the world around you. “Did you notice that bird?” “Did you see those people?”

Tamara Wickham

School Counsellor



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