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Interviews with V and her son A

This is a forthright set of answers from V and her son A, who is just 10. As ever, I'm very grateful for their contribution.

First V's Answers:

• What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned so far with regards to communicating with your children?

I've always believed in telling kids the truth and not keeping anything from them. Obviously you try and sugar coat things to an extent but I never lie or run away from being honest with them.

• When has it all gone horribly wrong for you, and what did you do to fix it?

I've always had a very open and honest relationship with Arthur but sometimes the boundaries between adult and child get blurred when it's just the two of you in the house. Because I've treated him like an adult, unfortunately sometimes he forgets that I'm the parent, so when it comes to discipline, I have to be a lot stricter to get a response.

• What is the personal trait you mostly rely upon in your relationships with your children?

I think we've both got the same sense of humour and we make each other laugh

• What is your greatest fear for future communications with your children?

That he goes off with his friends when he's older and stops confiding in me

• Do you have strategy for this? If not, what would help?

Lock him in a room and force him to tell me everything! 😆

• When has it all gone wonderfully right, and why do you think that was?

I think we've got a really good relationship, he's got lovely manners and a lot of empathy towards other people.

• What question do you think should be on this list?

Not sure!

...and now A's responses:

• What really winds you up about how adults speak to you?

Teachers tell me off for no reason and they're very angry. Nothing else bothers me.

• What do you really like when being addressed by an adult?

I like being praised and being spoken to nicely.

• Is there anything you would change about how young people are treated in society, if so what?

Less bullying.

• Do you find it easy or difficult to communicate with grown-ups, and why?

I think it's very easy because I can make friends very easily as well. I just make small talk pretty much.

• What about other children - of the same age, and other ages?

It's very easy - I pretty much do the talking.

• Do you think adults understand you? Why / why not?

No - they tell me off for no reason at school. Other grown ups understand me because I'm very funny.

• What lesson would you like grown-ups to learn about how to communicate with children?

Stop telling them off so much.

• What question do you think should be on this list? How would you answer it?

Nothing really!

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