Effective Communication as a Parent

If you struggle with communication as a parent, you have come to the right place. At Smarter Parenting, we recognize that many parents struggle with communicating with children. Because of this, we provide helpful online resources that allow for more effective communication between you and your children.

Our History

Since 1967, Smarter Parenting has created helpful, efficient resources to improve communication between an adult and child. Originally, we started our company with the goal of helping young girls in the foster care system in Utah.

From there, we realized that there was a wider community that could also benefit from our communication knowledge. We have since broadened our audience to a full online market, as well as visiting and face-to-face meetings, which can reach parents worldwide.

We look forward to continuing to spread our reach and influence to parents around the world. Our work has included becoming a certified Teaching-Family Model agency, which guides all of our efforts to help improve the way you communicate with your children.

Our Process

We believe that effective communication doesn’t just come from talking. Our decades of experience have helped us develop a six step process for effective communication with your children that explores the full range of how to communicate.

Begin by looking at your child and listen intently to what they say. Once your child finishes speaking, describe what you understood using their own words as much as possible. Be sure to ask your child if you accurately described what they said so that they can correct you if necessary.

Then, calmly share your own thoughts and ask your child to repeat what they heard. Confirm or correct their statements and begin the process of decision making.

Improve your communication as a parent with Smarter Parenting. Explore and share our resources below. Call + 1 (801) 944-2569 with any questions about our effective communication method.

Where to begin

The skill of Effective Communication can be fun to learn. Here is a list of things to do when learning/teaching this skill.

1. Watch the lesson first and memorize the steps to the skill.

2. Print out the steps to Effective Communication and put it somewhere you will see it for easy reference.

3. Visit the Activities and Games section and decide on a game that you think will be engaging for your child.

4. At a neutral time, use the steps of Effective Communication to talk to your child about learning the skill. Decide if engaging them with an activity first or showing them the lesson would be best and begin there.

5. Practice the skill as often as possible. Use multiple game and activities if needed to reinforce the skill.

6. Continue to practice until the child has it down. It may be helpful to break the skill up into small sections if your child is having trouble learning all the steps.

Suggestions for parents when teaching this skill

  • Remain calm.
  • Expect that your child will struggle remembering the steps. That is why it is important to print out the steps and place where they’ll be seen.
  • Practice with the printout of the steps. As your child gets more comfortable, remove the printout until they can follow the steps by memory.
  • Make the practice fun and practice as much as possible.
  • Be aware of your child’s limits. If you need to break up the learning of the steps to the skill, that is alright. Help them learn and master what they can and move to another step as needed. You know what is best for your child.

Download the steps to Effective Communication and place where it can be easily seen.

The following activities can be helpful in teaching the skill of Effective Communication. You can access some additional crafts and ideas for Effective Communication by clicking HERE.

Communication ball

How to use this activity

This is a simple game and a great conversation starter. Use the Effective Communication steps while playing this game to help you and your child learn each step.

Instructions: Write a selection of questions on a ball. Roll the ball to a family member. Have them answer the question under their thumb. You can download the questions, geared for children or teens, below.

Download the Effective Communication Conversation Ball Starters for Children HERE.

Download the Effective Communication Conversation Ball Starters for Teens HERE.

Family juggling

How to use this activity

This activity is simple. Each member of the family is passes a ball to another member of the family until every member of the family has touched the ball before going to the original person. This pattern is followed throughout the game. Once you are able to pass the ball to every member of the family without it falling another ball is introduced to the activity. The first person then begins with one ball and when that ball is being passed around the next ball begins circulation. This activity can be used with the skill of Goal Setting as well. The ultimate goal is to increase the numbers of balls introduced to the group and “juggling” them successfully. The metaphor of communication requires a sender and receiver. It is also a good way to introduce the importance of being “gentle” and “kind” during communication.

Materials needed: 3-4 balls. You can also substitute the balls for bean bags and toss them rather than roll them.

Build a structure

How to use this activity

This activity focuses on the importance of listening when communicating. You can use this activity with Jenga blocks, regular blocks or even using different shapes that you cut out of paper. You can use just about anything in your house.

Materials Needed: blocks (or anything your child can use to create a structure).

Would you rather

 

How to use this activity

This activity is easy to play and presents simple questions that can help you explore your child’s thought process. To use the skill of Effective Communication with this activity, follow up responses from your children by asking them to explain their response in more detail and repeating back what they said for clarification.

Materials needed: Would You Rather questions. Download the Would You Rather Questions HERE.

Puzzle game

How to use this activity

This activity is largely used for the skills of Problem Solving and Working Together. However, it can also be used to talk about the importance of communication.

Materials needed: a 24 piece puzzle and a timer.

Bottle rocket activity

How to use this activity

This is a fun activity for a child that is older and likes science or rockets. Cameron explains how to do this activity and explains how you can use the skill of Effective Communication to help your child.

Materials needed: empty 2 liter bottle, 2 cups of water, 1 cup of vinegar, one board with a screw that is at least 2 inches long that is embedded into it, cork wrapped with a little bit of duct tape, paper towel and two Tablespoons of baking soda.

Research Articles about Effective Communication

Don’t take our word for it. Research shows that Effective Communication is one of the greatest tools a person can develop to become a successful. Successful parents know how to communicate with their children in positive ways. These articles give more information into the science of Effective Communication.

Communication for Effective Parenting discusses the importance of Effective Communication skill for families. Taken from an article from the University of Arkansas for Medical Science.

Communication and Professional Relationships with children, young people and adults. Taken from Pearson Schools and Colleges, United Kingdom.

Effective Communication is important everywhere, even in the workplace. Taken from American Management Association.

Smarter Parenting blog posts

5 ways to make difficult conversations easier

5 tips for making sure your children actually here you

4 communication mistakes parents make

5 ways to connect with your moody teen

How to talk to your child’s teacher

How to get your children to listen to you

Teach your child to listen with these 3 steps

3 ways to make talking with your children fun

Communication Crafts

Improve communication with conversation starters

Monthly conversations starters: July

Monthly conversations starters: August

Monthly conversation starters: September

Monthly conversation starters: October

Monthly converstation starters: November

Monthly converstation starters: December

Thanksgiving: A great time to get talking

Neisha

Neisha explains how the Effective Communication helped to avoid power struggles.

Peggy

Peggy shares her thoughts regarding the importance of hearing children and responding to them on their level.

Jay and Laura

Jay and Laura talk about the essential role of listening in Effective Communication. They also share the best times to engage in communicating with children.

Sue and Keith

Helping children develop into responsible adults.

  HELPFUL RESOURCES FOR THIS LESSON

 

Charade Questions

Use Charades to have fun and improve communication.

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Conversation starters: December

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

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Conversation Starters: October

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

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Emotion Memory Back

The back for Emotion Memory

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Emotion Memory Game: Boy

Help your children learn to discuss their feelings with Emotion Memory, boy edition.

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Emotion Memory Game: Girl

Help your children learn to discuss their feelings with Emotion Memory, girl edition.

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Conversation Starters: Full Year

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime. This file contains all twelve months.

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Would You Rather Game

This is a fun and silly game to open up the lines of communication by asking your children, “would you rather…”

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Conversation Starters: Mar

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

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Conversation Starters: September

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

Download Share View

 

Conversation Starters: November

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

Download Share View

 

Conversation Starters: Feb

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

Download Share View

 

Conversation Starters: Jan

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

Download Share View

 

Conversation Starters: Apr

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

Download Share View

 

Conversation Starters: July

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

Download Share View

 

Conversation Starters: August

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

Download Share View

 

Conversation Starters: June

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

Download Share View

 

Conversation Starters: May

Monthly conversations starters to help get your family talking. Use them at dinner, in the car, or at bedtime.

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Communication Ball Starters: Child

This is a fun game to play to get communication going. These questions are specifically geared towards children

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Communication Ball Starters: Teens

This is a fun game to play to get communication going. These questions are specifically geared towards children.

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Effective Communication: Communication Has Taken Place

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that is has taken place. George Bernard Shaw

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Steps of Effective Communication

Print out this form and use as a reference when practicing the skill of Effective Communication.

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Effective Communication: Child Worksheet

Use this worksheet to help you work through the steps of Effective Communication.

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Effective Communication Worksheet: Teen

Use this worksheet to help you work through the steps of Effective Communicaiton.

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Next lesson: Effective Praise

Activities and Testimonials

#9: ADHD or bad parenting: Episode 9 of the ADHD Parenting Podcast

Listen Subscribe:       iTunes        Stitcher        Spotify        Google Play   Watch As an ADHD parent, one of the most hurtful statements someone can say to you is, “Is it ADHD or bad parenting?” In that statement, whether, it’s a family member, a friend, or...

#8: What ADHD parents don’t need to hear: Episode 8 of the ADHD Parenting Podcast

Listen Subscribe:       iTunes        Stitcher        Spotify        Google Play   Watch In podcast #8, ADHD Parenting Coach, Siope Kinikini, discusses 5 things that ADHD parents don’t need to hear. We know receiving unsolicited advice is a problem for many ADHD...

#7: ADHD anger issues: Episode 7 of the ADHD Parenting Podcast

ADHD Parenting Coach, Siope Kinikini, helps parents understand the real reason behind their child’s anger and gives ADHD strategies for managing anger.

#6: Your expectations for your ADHD child: Episode 6 of the ADHD Parenting Podcast

Raising a child with ADHD requires a shift in expectations. Join Siope Kinikini, our ADHD parenting coach and discover how you can help your child thrive.

#5: ADHD strategies for kids with Tanya Stevenson: Episode 5 of the ADHD Parenting Podcast

Pro parent Tanya Stevenson shares the ADHD strategies she uses to work with difficult ADHD kids. Learn how to deal with ADHD in a healthy and positive way.

#4: My ADHD journey: Episode 4 of the ADHD Parenting Podcast

Hear about my own ADHD journey, and why the Teaching-Family Model is the best resource your family can use to empower your child with ADHD. -Siope Kinikini

#3: Finding ADHD Resources: Episode 3 of the ADHD Parenting Podcast

Join ADHD specialist Siope Kinikini as he helps you understand why using the Teaching-Family Model will be the ADHD resource your family needs.

#2: What is best? Behavior interventions or medications: Episode 2 of the ADHD Parenting Podcast

Join ADHD Parenting Coach Siope & learn how to create the life you want for your family through behavior interventions with the Teaching-Family Model.

#1: Transforming ADHD Parent Mindset: Episode 1 of the ADHD Parenting Podcast

Join as us ADHD Parenting Coach, Siope Kinikini, shows parents how to help a child with ADHD by transforming their own mindset to empower their child.

Dealing with ADHD defiance

If you're a parent dealing with ADHD defiance it can be overwhelming and isolating as you feel you are constantly dealing with anger management issues. Defiance is open resistance to rules and instructions. ADHD defiance can be especially difficult as some symptoms of...

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