The early years of primary school are an exciting time. It’s a time full of change for many children as they move away from the home environment into the school system. A strong connection between a parent and child can help to ease the transition into schooling.

Connecting and communicating with your child

Parents and carers are the most important people in a child’s life. A warm and positive parent-child connection will increase children’s independence and model the foundation for their important friendships and relationships. 

Establishing ongoing, open communication between parents and children is an integral part of the parent-child bond. It allows the child to share their worries and joys with their parents. It also provides opportunity to problem-solve and plan when similar situations arise. 

Some tips and suggestions 
  • Spend time together and having fun as a family.  
  • Spend some individual one on one time with each child. This individual, positive attention is a wonderful way to strengthen your bond with your child.  
  • Take an interest and be involved in your child’s life. Get to know who their friends are and foster those friendships. 
  • Take an active role in their school life. 
  • Provide constructive praise such as “thank you for helping me bring in the shopping, it really helped me out” rather than “good boy/girl”.  
  • Eat meals together as often as possible. Ensure these meals are screen free to allow conversation to flow.  
  • Spend five minutes a day having some ‘Emotion Talk Time’ with your child. Ask them about their day and how they felt at different times (for example “Tell me about something that made you feel happy today”). 
  • Label your own emotions as well your child’s and role model helpful ways of managing strong feelings.  
  • Share your own fears when you were at school and what was helpful to you. 

Want to know more?

There are many books, websites and courses which can help parents maintain a strong, warm connection with their child and help with all aspects of communication, especially those regarding emotions.  

Raising Children Network – School-age connecting and communicating  

Maggie Dent website 

KidsMatter – Emotions  

KidsMatter – Starting school