Photo by Natasha Hall

Talk, Play, and Read with Me Daddy by Jo Ann Gramlich is a great way for new parents to practice the correct methods of parental communication with their children.

Parental communication is an extremely important aspect of raising a child. For most children, their primary providers of socialization and communication are their parents. This will be true until they reach the age of adolescence, but the quality of the communication between child and parent then and beyond can still be quite influential. If communication between parent and child isn’t good, the likelihood of the child developing adverse and anti-social behaviors rises. Otherwise, better communication between the two creates a more resilient and well-adapted individual.

Therefore, it is imperative for every parent to practice good parental communication. This means holding back when angered and being generous when happy. Words may seem harmless, but their improper use can lead to either negative or positive outcomes. 

Talking Some Sense 

Through effective and appropriate parental communication, parents and guardians are able to establish and maintain a healthy and loving atmosphere with their children without having to lean back on using vulgar methods such as scolding, spanking, etc. This way of engaging with children advocates for the use of love, acceptance, and support. 

Healthy messaging and communication with children are important and beneficial for all parties. If you are engaging with children, it is important to:

  • Be non-judgmental when they voice out their opinions, especially concerning personal matters, and always try to provide objective and factual information.
  • Be flexible and open-minded when they commit mistakes and errors and offer them encouragement instead of pulling them down.
  • Be discrete with your words and mannerisms, and always think of the context when it comes to important situations, never assuming things and implying certainty.
  • Be positive and always endeavor to turn things around, finding the bright side of things and improving those to suppress the negative aspects.

As a parent, you play a very important and foundational role in the development of a child and beyond. A critical aspect that most “bad” parents tend to gloss over is communication. From the day they are born to when they become independent adults, parental communication is essential.

Parental Communication Through the Ages


The first few years of a child’s life are critical for their development. During this time, the child’s brain is rapidly developing, and communication can play a vital role. This is when you, as a parent, can begin to actually push for your child’s development by assisting them in learning the language and developing their cognitive abilities by talking to your infant.

While you may feel that it can become tedious, it is incredibly critical that you still engage with your infant because, while they will not understand your words for some months, they will learn to associate them with your tone and facial expressions.


When the toddler phase begins, the child’s linguistic and social skills begin to develop rapidly. This is the best time for a child to acquire the necessary language skills and create a colorful vocabulary.

You can do this by talking to them regularly (without using baby talk), reading engaging and interesting books (for their age) together, playing language-related activities like naming objects around the house, and engaging in conversations that allow them to work out their emotions and feelings. 


When the child enters school age, they have the opportunity to further develop critical thinking skills away from their parents and grow a sense of independence. This is best done by encouraging them to come out of their comfort zone and assuring them of their sense of self. 

Let them talk about their own experiences and interests and allow them to make friends on their own (which also helps with building up confidence).

Advocating for your child to express their thoughts and feelings is a great way to bond with them further and refine their ideas about the world and themselves.


The teenage years are a time of significant emotional and social change for a child. It is during this time that it becomes essential for a parent to maintain open communication with their child. This is because, in adolescence, children become more prone to taking risks and yearn for more freedom. 

By taking the time to actually listen to your children instead of assuming their intentions based on their outcomes, you allow for a more open-minded relationship between parent and child. This also helps a child build better resilience and healthy coping mechanisms.

Start learning how to become better at parental communication with Talk, Play, and Read with Me Daddy by Jo Ann Gramlich, a wonderful children’s book written with better interactions between parent and child in mind.

Jo Ann Gramlich is an award-winning author and speech-language pathologist specializing in helping children with communication disorders in Buffalo, New York. She holds a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology from SUNY Buffalo and has extensive experience in early intervention, preschool, and school settings. Visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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