Thursday, 16 December 2010

Parents/Carers are you struggling to communicate with your child or teenager?

Are you struggling to form an effective line of communication with your child or teenager? Worried about serious issues in his/her life but unable to find the way towards effective discussions? You are not alone! Communication is one of the most pressing concerns in the education of young people today. That is why EGAR is supporting The Communications Trust who serve speech language and communication needs and are running the 'Hello, Talk-Listen-Take part' campaign to make 2011 a national year of communication. Driving awareness of how important it is for children and young people to develop effective communications skills both with peers, parents/carers and society as a whole.

Here at EGAR we develop effective educational Let's Get Talking Choice Discussion card sets to develop communication with children and young people today. Our Director has four children, five grandchildren and a long commended career working at the Islington Education department for 25 years, specialising in PSHE Personal, Social and Health Education in schools, youth services and childrens care homes, working with children and young people.

The following is some insight into the ways in which the EGAR product may be able to help the development of effective communication on subjects of greatest concern to children and young people struggling to express their thoughts and emotions around social and challenging issues, from our Director Sue Scott-Horne.

I would say to anybody trying to communicate with a young person or group to set the scene, choose a place and environment that is good to talk and decide where and when for both or all of you.  Somewhere without interruptions, that means no phones or TV's on that will disturb you.  Another good starter is to have a snack, biscuits, drink ready as this will ease the tension that can often be present at the start of some conversations, especially if you are tackling bullying, drugs, bereavement, gang culture, relationships, school work or any other issue that could be ongoing or a new problem.

Do prepare yourself as a parent/carer with knowledge about the issue you are discussing or trying to communicate about.  EGAR's New Let's Get Talking Choice Discussion card sets and display posters will really help you to get the conversation going.  We are covering many subjects including Health, Crime and Personal development, issues that are tricky and challenging for parents/carers to open conversations about. The cards are good intervention and prevention tools that lead the way unpicking and driling down whilst tackling issues. The flow and movement of the choices your child will make as to the selection of the discussion cards, is paramount to the depth of the conversation that will open up for you to talk about and understand why and what the underlying  problems may be concerning the issues facing your child or teenager.  It is rather like planting a pea and as you talk that pea grows and grows and you begin to realise things you probably had not realised and the difficulties you and your child are going through.

Prepare yourself for any 'truths' to emerge, you may be surprised at just what is going to come out of their mouths, but with preparation and knowledge of the issue nothing will hit you as hard as it will if you are totally unprepared for the truth.

In each set there are many cards for your child to choose from.  As each card is picked you discuss as to why that card is chosen and do remember the cards are not your choice! You need to be non-judgemental and open minded otherwise your child will walk away and you will be back to square one.

So, patience really is a virtue whilst using the cards and you will soon realise the empowerment EGAR will give to your child, which in turn, will empower you to discuss all that is necessary to reach a satisfied solution together!

Do not feel guilty about your parenting skills, you I am sure are a good parent to even consider using these communication cards and all issues can be worked through.

The outcome for all concerned is better decision making and more healthy informed choices, which in turn provide opportunties for children and young people to imrpove their lives and well-being.

Social and challenging issues are something all parents and carers face with children reaching adolescent age and when you wake up that morning and you realise the sweet baby you gave birth to has now turned into a greasy, green spotted monster that just grunts at you, then you will reach out for support because as many of us know it is a hard and tough time for all.  EGAR can give you support quickly and easily and offers solutions.

Award-Winning EGAR have an expanding range of Let's Get Talking discussion cards covering: Depression, Alcohol, Drugs, Hygiene, Anger, Friends, Knives, Guns and Gangs, Life, Love, Money and Being Bullied.  All the sets are designed to help and support you with your child or young person and the learning thread will open up ideas as to how to work through issues together and support your child/teenager through these times. EGAR offers a reflective action plan that you may want to follow once you have had the best conversation you will ever have, as EGAR give you a solution!

Have a look at our website

email for further information.

To find out more about The Communications Trust 'Hello Talk-Listen-Take part' campaign please visit

We are here to help you turn your child around and give him/her the best start to develop and become a valued person that he/she is proud of as well as you.

Sue Scott-Horne

Director EGAR