Questions tagged [communication]

The process of expressing ideas, thoughts, feelings and values so as to be understood by others

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111
votes
8answers
18k views

How to comfort my dad after telling him that I don't like to do anything with him?

I live with my dad and my grandmother. I don't live with my mother because several times she was caught doing drugs around my step sister. They split up when I was 6 months old. My dad and I don't ...
84
votes
17answers
26k views

At what age should I tell my daughter that her real mother is dead?

Long story short: my first wife passed away while giving birth to my daughter. Two years later, I've remarried, but I am concerned over when should I tell my daughter the truth about her mother. My ...
83
votes
16answers
36k views

How to convince a 4-year old child that professional cyclists are not littering during a race?

We were watching a Cycling Tour on TV yesterday and my 4.5-year old son saw that after having drinks or chocolates those cyclists were throwing the empty bottles/wrappers on the roadside. I ...
82
votes
14answers
20k views

What do I do about my mom setting her expectations too high?

I recently turned 13, I'm in 8th grade, and my life is going pretty well. I'm getting straight A's in school, along with possibly getting a paper published in a legitimate mathematics journal. I also ...
64
votes
21answers
32k views

How to talk to a teen daughter about her weight

My daughter is 16 and is gaining weight. My wife and I are on board with what needs to be done - and there's a lot to do. But as to talking to her about her weight, we are at a loss. She's an ultra ...
56
votes
12answers
19k views

My husband, who is my teen daughter's step father feels bad that he can't have a closer relationship with my daughter

Four years ago, I divorced my ex after 26 years of marriage. He was extremely manipulative and abusive. He kept track of every mile I put on our vehicles and had to explain if I was ten minutes ...
51
votes
10answers
10k views

How do you respond to a toddler who endlessly says “why?”?

My wife and I had joked about expecting endless "why?" questions from our son while we were expecting, and I thought I was prepared for it. In fact, I thought the stereotypical constant flow of "why? ...
51
votes
15answers
24k views

How should a stepfather respond to “You are not my Father!”?

So the situation is that I'm not the real father of my son. I call him my son since I love him very much, but he is my girlfriend's son from her previous relationship. I'm afraid though... He does ...
49
votes
16answers
16k views

Should I stop my mother in law visiting when she doesn't respect me as the father figure?

Sadly these are her words, not mine. Why is this posted in this QA site? Because I can't see how it is good for the children that she (when my wife is not around) shouts at me in front of them; cuts ...
44
votes
5answers
15k views

An incident happened at school and child didn't (want to) tell the parent

I'm asking for a friend of mine, who's the parent. Her child is 12 years old. Yesterday, at school, the child's classmate was horribly beaten up by a teacher. And I mean horrible. It ended with the ...
40
votes
12answers
10k views

How to help my son improve without being discouraging?

I am building and painting miniatures, and have been doing so for many years. My son is showing more and more interest in building and painting them with me, which is great. I let him build a ...
39
votes
12answers
12k views

How to answer my 4-year-old asking where she was when I was small and how she got in my tummy?

My 4-year-old daughter knows that she was in my tummy and then the doctor took her out. She saw my childhood photos and asked me where she was at that time. She has also asked me how she got in my ...
39
votes
10answers
10k views

How to explain intravenous drug abuse to a 6-year-old?

Drugs are bad, m'kay. In the area where I live, one of the unfortunate facts of life is widespread drug abuse. So, at night, addicts use local playgrounds to shoot up then leave syringes and needles ...
37
votes
4answers
14k views

How best for a trans or non-binary person to respond to their 6-year-old cousin asking if I'm a girl or a boy?

I have twin 6-year-old cousins (a boy and a girl) who I usually see about once a week or so, when the locally-resident segment of my family get together for dinner on Friday evenings. Yesterday, when ...
37
votes
4answers
4k views

When should you start talking with your children about sex?

In a recent episode of Super Nanny (a UK and US show on parenting), I noticed that Jo Frost was openly talking to the parents and older sibling of a family about sex in front of a 6-7 year old. My ...
31
votes
7answers
13k views

How should I respond to a 6 year old's dark drawings?

My 6 year old nephew likes to draw. Most of the drawings have been of the family, animals and locations we visit or that he would like to visit. Until recently, I wouldn't describe any of these images ...
30
votes
5answers
7k views

How to explain Paris terrorist attack to primary school age children?

How can I explain terrorism and the recent radical Muslim shootings in Paris to my primary school age children? They have obviously noticed the media reports and they saw our local TV tower lit up ...
29
votes
7answers
8k views

I just learned my 15 year old daughter has come out to her friends - should I say anything to her…OR to my wife?

This past weekend I learned that my 15-year-old recently came out to two of her friends. I learned this in a couple of ways: The two of us just traveled alone for a weekend, and she let me use her ...
28
votes
7answers
11k views

What can I tell and what can I ask of a 2nd grade teacher, about my child's health?

My son is 6 and in second grade. In general he is quite healthy, but he has illness induced asthma. In other words, his asthma is essentially dormant unless he gets a cold or the flu, at which point ...
27
votes
8answers
18k views

How to tell my 4-year-old son not to get hyper with his uncle or anyone except parents?

My brother in law is a cocky, arrogant person. The way I see it, my son plays with him and they laugh and play really loud, but suddenly he has change of mood like flicking a switch. As 4-year-olds do ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

How do I tell my 14 year old niece that her mom is kicking her out?

I'm a 30 year old guy, and I'm single, never had a real girlfriend to speak of. My sister's first born is in some trouble and she has decided that her daughter cannot live with her anymore (there's ...
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Expat child refuses to learn local language

We are a Spanish family who has recently relocated to England with our children. Our 6 year old boy can't speak nor understand English; he knows some words, basic phrases and a few numbers, but that ...
26
votes
6answers
15k views

How to deal with a 6 year old who was “caught” cheating?

This is regarding my son who is 6 years old and is studying in Grade 1. We got a call from his class teacher that he was caught "cheating" during dictation assessment. Actually, we revise the words at ...
23
votes
5answers
4k views

Disclosing parent separation to all children together or each one separately

I am separating from my spouse, and we have decided to tell our children, who are between 5 and 8 years old. Should we break the news when they are all together (eg in the living room), or to each ...
23
votes
4answers
2k views

How can a parent encourage their child to talk more about what they did at school?

My son's just started school, and it seems to be exceptionally difficult to get him to talk about what he did during the day. The responses are generally, "I don't know", or "I can't remember". ...
22
votes
8answers
9k views

How do you explain World War II to young children?

My 7-year old son asks many questions about World War II. I have the habit not to hide anything, but concepts such as Nazism or the Holocaust are so inherently dreadful that he sometimes seems to ...
20
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it a good approach to have a policy of apologizing for yelling at a kid?

A couple of times I encountered situation where people had a following policy If a parent yells at a kid out of frustration with no meaningful reason (e.g. the kid just got on their nerves but ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Divorce communications - How to deal with “you're unwilling to pay” tactic?

I am sure this must be a common issue, but for some reason I can't find a way to track it down via web searches. Here are the basics: I'm divorced, male, mid-40s. I am the noncustodial parent of a ...
20
votes
4answers
6k views

My son witnessed a friend receiving corporal punishment; how do I prevent this from sending the wrong message?

As I was picking my son up from daycare the other day, another boy's "Nanny" (grandmother, I presume) was picking him up at the same time. The boy was playing, and grabbing on to other children's ...
20
votes
7answers
8k views

How to approach my little brother's addiction to TV and computer?

I'm 26, my younger brother is 13. He is spending almost all of his day on TV and computer. Common problem, but I am really worried about him. I came back to live in my parents' house since it's ...
19
votes
10answers
72k views

How can I help a child who won't talk to anybody at school? Selective mutism

Although I am not a parent, I am interning in social work. I am currently working with a student in an elementary school who does not speak. The parents have explained that she does speak at home (I ...
18
votes
6answers
7k views

Son (22) has to keep initiating contact between son and parents after moving out

Me being 22, I moved out a year ago (about half an hour drive away) to live with my girlfriend after I proposed too her. I always (and believe I still do) had/have a good connection with my parents ...
17
votes
3answers
971 views

Does anyone recognize where the phrase “Dinosaur on the button” comes from?

Our 3.5-year-old son has picked up a catchphrase/joke punchline from somewhere... but we can't figure out where it came from, his teachers can't figure it out, his daycare teachers can't figure it out,...
17
votes
3answers
679 views

How do you teach a child to call for help?

We have a relatively large house. Our kids are always in earshot, but not usually in sight. The problem with this is our 4 year-old son doesn't know how to call out for help appropriately. On the ...
16
votes
6answers
7k views

My 15-year-old son is gay. How do I express my feelings about this?

Recently, my 15-year-old son has been acting very strange around the house, which isn't like him at all. Whenever we try to talk to him all we get back is "yes I'm fine" or "Go away", which really ...
16
votes
8answers
1k views

Should I use “pet names” when talking about (private) body parts with my child?

Given some recent questions regarding sexual discussions with questions, I want to take a step back and ask a related question: Should I use "pet names" when referring to a body part with my child? ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Does using sign language really accelerate a child's ability to speak?

I have often heard that using sign language is really good in teaching a baby to talk. Is this really true, or is this an urban legend? Related: Can toddlers learn sign language?
16
votes
4answers
9k views

As a teenager, how do I communicate with my mom about her yelling?

I am 17. I have been learning to drive for about a year and a half now. I must have a permit if I want to drive, unless it has been a year or unless I'm 18. After that time I can get a license, but we ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

How should you deal with (deliberate) selective deafness?

It's a pretty point blank question. In case you don't know what selective deafness is, here's an example: Me: "Hey Timmy, help me carry the laundry?" Timmy: "..." Me: "Hey Timmy, I really ...
16
votes
5answers
9k views

How and when to disclose to children a parent's suicide?

My children's father committed suicide 10 years ago, when they were aged 9, 3 and 1. At the time of his death I did not want them to know how he died, but it became such public knowledge I was forced ...
16
votes
5answers
775 views

How do I talk to my child about homelessness and mental illness?

We live in Vancouver, Canada, which for various reasons (weather, policy effects, etc.) has a large homeless population. Many of them suffer mental illness of some degree. Panhandlers are a common ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

How to go about regaining the trust of my child?

After divorce, the mother got custody of our now 12-year-old daughter. The mother has committed at least 9 (provable) acts of transgressions indicating active application of parental alienation, ...
15
votes
2answers
860 views

What are the options when the mother of a 7 year old is imprisoned?

What are the options for explaining a (divorced) mother's absence to a 7 year old? Should the child be told the truth? (Assume the crime is non-violent and financial. Also assume the child has had a ...
14
votes
4answers
11k views

What constitutes verbal abuse of one's child?

I frequently see parents engaging in behavior that I perceive to be verbal abuse. However, with so many parents falling in different places with regard to the strictness of their discipline, the ...
14
votes
5answers
583 views

How can I stop my parents from fighting?

I'm am 13 years old and my parents have been fighting a lot they stay up all night fighting. Most nights when they do fight I never get any sleep I just cry. I want to tell them how I feel and I tried ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

How can you offer other parents suggestions without making them defensive?

Because we parents spend so much time complaining to each other sharing best practices, we often find ourselves in situations where another parent is sharing an approach or technique that we have ...
13
votes
2answers
809 views

Should I lie to young children?

In my experience many people routinely lie to very young children, whether it's small lies to serve a purpose ("No there's no more left so let's put it away") or larger narratives like Santa or the ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How much of my prior drug use should I disclose to my tween daughter?

My daughter started middle school this year (she is 11) and tonight at dinner she told me that during an assembly some teachers had shared tragic stories about friends and family members who abused ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

How to help a 3-year-old with vicious temper to express his emotions in a healthy way?

My three year old boy (the middle of three boys; older brother is 9, younger brother is almost 2) is smoldering with anger pretty often. He flies off the handle at little things. I've dealt with a ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Fake driver's license discovered — how to deal with situation?

My 17-year-old daughter leaves her purse in the car, even at night. This is really unsafe, even for the city we live in. I wanted to teach her a lesson about the dangers of leaving valuables in a car ...

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