Imogen, aged 5
'When can I do (the conversations) again?'
Elliot aged 10
'The book made me remember all the happy things and think about things differently. It was really fun'
Alfie, aged 11
'I thought it was going to be a bit like homework .... but it was much fun-er... the conversations 'make me feel good about myself... and anyone can do them!'
Peter Drake (Elliot’s Dad)
'This book provides a wonderful way for me and my son to connect, remember and celebrate our special times and work through the tough ones. A beautiful and playful tool for unlocking feelings without drama'
Sam Sanson (Alfie’s Mum)
'His answers made me smile'
Dr Sue Knowles, consultant clinical psychologist, lead for child and family services at Changing Minds UK, researcher, and author
What a wonderful book, suitable for any (and all!) parents and carers, to help you to build a closer relationship with your child through conversations. The authors draw upon years of clinical psychology practice of supporting young people and families, to identify creative, fun conversation starters and concepts, which can help all parents and carers to develop more meaningful connections with their child, and better understand their child's inner world. The book is compassionate and compelling, and acknowledges how tricky it can be sometimes be for all parents and carers to 'find a way in' with their child. It gives copious, helpful, wide-ranging advice. I will certainly be buying a copy, and highly recommending the book to parents, carers, families, professionals and everyone!
Tony Attwood, professor of clinical psychology, Griffith University, and author
While the art of conversation is not easy for autistic children, the incredible conversation activities in this excellent book, will facilitate mutual understanding, self-reflection and emotion regulation. Although this book was primarily written for parents, I strongly recommend that psychologists, therapists, and teachers incorporate the activities in their work with children who have communication difficulties.
Beth Kerr, group director of wellbeing for global schools group Cognita
Perhaps the most valuable lessons we can give our children are how to develop and maintain good relationships, as the correlation between healthy and good relationships, and success and happiness is indisputable. This book takes that rather daunting responsibility and breaks it down into clear, fun and eminently doable practices that can be weaved into everyday life... considerably reducing the number of 'How was your day?' - 'Fine' conversations! Moreover, whilst this book will certainly help the child/parent communication experience, its learnings can be applied to all relationships, which is why I have copies on my coffee, kitchen, and bedside table!
David Skuse, professor of developmental neuropsychiatry, University College London
Following up on their incredibly successful book about the Teenage Brain, the authors have now turned their attention to slightly younger children and the critical issue of social communication in the family. Their aim is to lay down a road map, showing parents how to talk to their children, without either patronising them or scolding them. Do we really need to be told how to converse with preadolescent boys and girls? From the scientific evidence these experienced clinicians have gathered, the answer is a resounding 'yes'. Social communication skills are the bedrock of social and emotional development. If we don't learn to listen to others, and respond appropriately, mutually satisfying social relationships will forever elude us. Those skills should have their foundations laid down in early childhood. All parents and children would benefit from reading this 'how to' guide together
Helen Bedford, professor of children’s health, co-director of education, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
Have you ever wondered how you could improve the conversations you have with your child? If so, this is the resource for you (and your child!). Firmly based in sound scientific evidence, and informed by years of clinical psychology practice, but not coming across as such, this is an extremely readable guide, full of valuable tips for having successful conversations. These in turn will build better relationships. We are advised to grasp those moments when you least expect your child to express an idea or worry and "If you can, stop what you are doing, switch off your phone, sit down and listen". I would strongly recommend (if you can) stop what you are doing, switch off your phone and make time to read this absorbing book.
Anita Cleare, mother and author of The Work/Parent Switch
This is a truly practical book full of imaginative ideas for intriguing conversations specifically designed to build parent-child relationships and foster good communication. The conversation topics have been carefully chosen to help children learn to talk about emotions safely and express opinions thoughtfully, and to help parents learn to listen and connect. It is full of useful prompts to guide parents away from monosyllabic cul-de-sacs so we can co-create authentic conversations jointly with our children. After just one of these conversations, you will understand your child a little better and build a relationship in which they feel more confident to open up.
Laia Collazos, mother of two girls
How to Have Incredible Conversations with your Child stands out from any other parental book for its well thought out process to bring theory to practice. It's a treasure chest full of tools to get conversations started, but also directed towards meaningful exchanges with your children. The language is accessible, even if the terms introduced are not simple, and one feels encouraged to try their approach after the first chapters. I found the use of visuals particularly useful - these are not only a brilliant tool for kids to communicate but also for parents to remember frameworks and use them when the right moment happens. I'd recommend this book to any parent who is looking for research based, applicable ideas to connect with their children.
Courtney Adamo, mother of 5 and founder of @babyccinokids
I'm a big fan of everything Jane and Bettina do, and this book is no exception. I love the authors' warm and encouraging advice for having better conversations and ultimately improving our relationships with our children. We put so much effort into improving our communication skills with our partners, friends and colleagues but the authors have encouraged us to prioritise improving our conversations with the young people in our life. Good conversations with our children? What a gift for everyone involved!
Peter Hill, professor and consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry
This is the book that will tell you how to build the emotional health of your child and at the same time build the relationship between the two of you. It is practical, wise and fun. The authors draw upon their extensive experience as clinical child psychologists and their deep knowledge of the modern scientific study of child development. Woven into their practical guidance about how to have conversations with your child are memorable drawings and icons which help build your appreciation of what will be a satisfying and rewarding process.
Claire Prosser, mother of Seb and founder of Spectropolis
Some books offer wonderful advice, but struggle to provide activities which take into account the needs of those who learn differently. You do not have to worry here, the visual representations of the topics being discussed helped my son (who is autistic) to make sense of our conversations. The guidance provided made it very manageable, and encouraged us to take small steps in our conversations - you may not complete the whole activity in one sitting, and that's okay. Not only does this book offer great conversation starters, it offers a space for you and your child to revisit a topic whenever the need arise...revisiting these activities, over time, will help me and my son to develop new skills. This is a great book and has lots to offer. If you are looking for a book which helps you to develop your child's self-awareness, developing their resiliency in the process, this is the book for you!
Seb is autistic and is aged 9
'I liked talking about my feelings. I love staying at my nan's house but don't like leaving. My mum told me that it was okay to feel sad about it. She helped me to find things that would make me feel better.'
Prof Tanya Byron, consultant clinical psychologist, author, journalist, broadcaster
To unlock the power of your relationship with your child for all their years ahead - read this book.