How do you communicate with your children?

What are all the different ways we can communicate with each other?  Speaking is just one way isn’t it?  There’s:

body language


facial expression

sign language


any more?

I read somewhere a while ago that we should try writing a note for our children as an alternative to speaking, especially if that method isn’t working, we may sound like a nag (apparently) or just be sick of asking and being ignored.  Also sometimes people don’t respond well to being told (out loud) either.

Well in our home, we have recently have decided to crack down on the fact that our mini me’s take a bowl full cereal in the morning and ALWAYS leave some in the bottom as well as milk.  We’ve tried incentives in the past to help them not do this any more but it’s carried on.  So now, even though it sounds harsh, we fine them 50p if they leave any whilst continually saying “only take what you know you can eat”.

So far they’ve each had to pay a fine (bless) but it does seem to be working.

Anyway, this week, we’re running low on cereal and I did the weekly shop yesterday.  I’m strictly only shopping once a week now unless absolutely necessary (in an attempt to control the shopping bill).  So I decided to make some home made granola this morning (as we have loads of oats).  It does take a while but I carried out the various stages in and around all the other jobs I needed to get done in the house today.

When I finally poured it into the container, I decided to write a note to my children on top of it:

a tupperware container containing homemade granola with a note saying Dear Pip and Flo please only take what you can eat this took me ages to make thank you mummy


We’ll see what the response is, I’ll let you know…

What do you think?  Have you tried writing a note?  It doesn’t have to be a request either, it could be a simple ‘affection note’ on your child’s pillow, telling them why you love them or what is special about them. (Think about how nice it is to spontaneously receive a lovely note yourself – really nurturing).

Who’s daring enough to leave me comment?  Stick your head above the parapet…

(If you do leave a comment, it may seem to disappear temporarily but this is only while it is checked (spam and all that) but fear not, it will re appear soon and it will COUNT!)  Thank you.


the letters of my name Fiona in order to sign off




  1. Very interesting post. My 7 year old does not like being ‘told’. As she often writes me a note or card when she is upset or when she wants to say sorry, I think this suggestion may well be worth trying with her. Hadn’t ever crossed my mind to write her a note in this way. So thank you!

    • Fiona

      Hi Melanie and thank you for commenting, so exciting to receive! Glad you found it useful and it’s interesting to hear that your daughter often writes you a note, Flo does too. I think it’s definitely good to encourage in them and ourselves. Writing down thoughts is very therapeutic anyway and I recently learned about journaling and have found great benefits in it. Thanks again.

  2. Zoe Dudding

    Love the idea of leaving little “love letters” for your children and hoping to get one back too!! Undecided about the fine if I am honest. Only because I worry about the focus being on finishing what is in their bowl or getting punished (my childhood narrative possibly coming in there?!). How about having a measuring scoop/cup in the cereal cupboard? That way it is a controlled amount and they can go back for more if needed? Possibly different size for oats/granola?? I have the same issues with knowing how much cordial! Now I give Martha a little eggcup and tell her to half fill it! Thanks again for lovely inspiration xx

  3. Jeffrey Vernon

    Yes, it’s a bit frustrating when the little ones leave lots of cereal (or, more usually, a little cereal and a LOT of milk. Luckily, our dog literally laps up the left-overs!! 🙂

    • Fiona

      Dear Jeff, yes it is frustrating, a little bit of waste every day adds up to a lot and of course we are aware of situations in other countries (and this one) where children don’t have anywhere near enough to eat and this paradoxical situation is difficult to reconcile. Zoe’s measuring cup idea solves this problem well. x

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