How to discover what children are thinking

For parents, encouraging their child to confide in them can be a difficult task, but experts have said the trick to having them admit what they really feel is purely down to trust and timing. The Independent has revealed that unlocking this door to a youngster's mind can also help build relationships between family members.

Chartered counselling psychologist and psychotherapist Martin Lloyd-Elliot stated creating a space where the child feels safe enough to divulge the truth without being made to feel bad is important and that defences can be lowered in the right setting.

Furthermore, Clinical psychologist Anita Abrams suggests pinpointing a particular time of day when issues are easier to discuss, such as before bedtime with just the child and one parent present.

Earlier this year we reported that research carried out by Jennifer Bellamy from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, revealed that fathers are better equipped to develop their distinctive strengths as parents if they receive help with their first steps into fatherhood.