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A guide on how to talk to your children...have things come to this?

115 replies

INeedSomeSun · 19/06/2013 18:23

DS got given a guide for parents today, on how to talk to your children. Apparantly 'children who talk at home achieve more at school'.
Some of the ideas are:

  • Have a chat while you are in the car

-Walk & talk
  • Turn off the telly at mealtimes
  • Talk about school & things they are interested in

There's even a list of subjects you could 'start a conversation about'.

Really? Are things so bad that parents need a guide?
OP posts:

MerryOnMerlot · 19/06/2013 18:24

Unfortunately, I think many do.


GlitterFingers · 19/06/2013 18:31

Some parents do need help. My ddad still can't start a conversation at 50. Bless him Smile


yegodsandlittlefishes · 19/06/2013 18:34

'children who talk at home achieve more at school'.

What a load of tosh! There are plenty of quiet, uncommunicative geeky overachievers around, and I am related to a number of them! Grin

Taking to them when they don't want to talk doesn't improve anything, the same as trying to talk to them when they don't want to at school. We all talk enough when there is something to say.


CashmereHoodlum · 19/06/2013 18:35

What are the things you could start a conversation about?


peteypiranha · 19/06/2013 18:36

Its aimed at parents who never talk to their chikdren as they often have speech and language problems, or general communication and understanding difficulties.


quesadilla · 19/06/2013 18:38

You would be surprised. A lot of people find the whole concept of a conversation totally alien even with adults. Not sure that these sorts of people are likely to take much notice of this sort of intervention though.


Nicknamegrief · 19/06/2013 18:47

Former speech therapist here, yes a lot do but many of them need to be given this before they leave the delivery unit.


tupuedes · 19/06/2013 18:50

Parents paying their kids no attention is not a new phenomenon.


Indith · 19/06/2013 18:51

Some people do stick the telly on and ignore their kids. IT is sad that a guide like that is needed but in many cases it is.


dyslexicdespot · 19/06/2013 18:54

Interesting article about the importance of talking to children.

talking to children


Catsnotrats · 19/06/2013 18:57

yegods Actually it isn't tosh. They aren't referring to people who are naturally quiet. I have quite a few of them in my class and their academic achievement is not an issue. This is probably because they are surrounded by high quality talk and will naturally absorb this, as well as having a greater interest in reading.

The children they are referring to out ones that I see really struggling at school. They have parents who don't engage with them (and when they do it is normal to shout/swear at them), who are too busy on their phones, are babysat constantly by tv, Xbox etc. These children really struggle to structure coherent sentences both verbal and written sentences, and also struggle to comprehend texts. As you can imagine this means that they are underachieving if they can't manage basic life skills.


exoticfruits · 19/06/2013 18:57

I am not surprised it has come to this but, as nicknamegrief says- it needs to be given out at birth.


mrsslc · 19/06/2013 18:59

I don't understand how anyone can ignore/ not chat with their children....if I didn't speak to my children I'd be silent all day..... My husband may find that a good thing Grin but I don't! We have some strange conversations, but I love it and so do they.
It is sad that some people need to be pushed to take notice of their children, but there are some people who genuinely do not know how to talk to a baby or child, these leaflets may help those parents, without them having the embarrassment in admitting it.


mamij · 19/06/2013 19:02

Unfortunately this is true in some cases. I know a boy who didn't start talking properly until he started preschool at 4. His dad wasn't a great talker and had the tv on a lot, but he is great at sports! School really helped his speech come on, probably from the conversations he's having with teachers and peers.


exoticfruits · 19/06/2013 19:04

You see them in cafes- parent on a mobile ignoring the child.


mrsjay · 19/06/2013 19:35

lovey I work with pre schoolers and the parents dont know or care to talk to their children it is sad that they would rather ignore them or instruct them to do something rather than just chatting about nothing they dont know how to do it, there was a scottish campain about this recently I think it is nationwide now. I know how you feel bad sadly many parents dont want to just chat and talk to their children


mrsjay · 19/06/2013 19:37

I had a few random conversations today 1 about fairy wings and flying another about how the dinner was hot and i had to blow and another how his pants were sticking up his bottom Grin I love my work


GW297 · 19/06/2013 19:42

Teacher here - yes, these things will be radical and simply not have occurred to some parents to do them.


musicposy · 19/06/2013 19:47

I remember when DD1 was a small baby. I would always chat to her in a running commentry as I went through my daily life. You wouldn't believe the number of people who came up to me in the supermarket/ street as if I was completely bonkers and said "she's not going to answer you, you know."
Yes, you wombat, but she's never going to learn to speak a language she doesn't ever hear, either, is she?

Sadly I suspect it is very much needed.


mrsjay · 19/06/2013 19:50

I always spoke to mine when they were wee even as babies you need to interact with them by talking loads of parents I have seen don't do that , I see a lot of speech and development delays ( i am not saying all speech delay is down to not talking to children)


RhondaJean · 19/06/2013 19:52

There is such a strong link between talking and singing to your child and their literacy levels in later life, and sadly some people don't realise it. It's like anything else - its easy if you know how to do it, if you don't then it isn't.


TurnThatFrownUpsideDown · 19/06/2013 20:02

I had that too, musicposy.

DD was in the baby part of the trolley and I'd be chattering away, "Okay, what else did Mummy say she needed? Bread? Okay, let's go get the bread. Does that sound nice? Yummy bread."

And loads of people came up to be during this baby stage and said things like, "Oh, you seem a bit young to be talking to yourself." "Talking to yourself is a sign of madness, you know."

My child was clearly invisible to all but me.

Even so, with me rabbiting at dd every day, she's had ongoing speech and language therapy from the age of 2 (she's now 5).


intheshed · 19/06/2013 20:17

In DD's school they do something called Big Talk, which is all about speaking for writing. The idea is that if a child can't put a sentence together verbally they are not going to be able to write it down. It's all about getting them to talk in full sentences and extend their vocabulary. So instead of 'I like chocolate' they could be encouraged to say ' I like chocolate because it is sweet and delicious'.


Wonderstuff · 19/06/2013 20:27

Generally the incidence of speech and language problems is about 10% in some socially deprived areas it rises to 90%!

Lots of parents don't engage with children. I'm sceptical how much a leaflet is going to help. I personally think architecture is an issue, the number of modern houses without space for a table, it really encourages people to eat in front of the telly which IMO affects conversations and quality of diet, meals aren't a thing, you eat while doing other stuff, technology is an issue too.


bochead · 19/06/2013 20:27

Tosh, and a total waste of public funds that would be better spent on decent speech and language therapy for the small percentage of children that NEED it, in a timely manner (That's proper therapy, with measurable targets set & monitored btw)

Why on earth have we decided that perfectly sensible women lose their brains along with their placenta as standard?

I live in a deprived area yet have yet to meet the legion of "poor parents" so beloved of the media and certain sections of the political and educational establishment.

Most Mums are guilty of popping the telly on while they take the dinner out of the oven, a generation ago they left them at the bottom of the garden while they did the week's laundry by hand. It doesn't translate into an epidemic of poor parenting aka Romanian orphans.

This is along the lines of the "healthy eating" crusade, started as a way of deflecting attention from poor service provision by the LA with the lowest secondary educational results in London. In reality sensible Mums have been telling their kids to "eat yer greens" since the beginning of time.

Lastly it's an incredibly hurtful myth to perpetuate considering that children that DO have valid, clinical reasons for speech and language issues find it so hard to access the help they need. (If I'd talked to him more my child wouldn't have a cleft palate, be deaf, have ASD etc).

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