Encouraging Meaningful Conversations with your Child
It can be frustrating when you want to know how your child’s day at school went, but the only response to “how was your day?” is, “fine”. You can’t really do a lot with “fine”.
Sara Goldstein is a mum who recently described her own struggle, and suggested that despite good intentions, perhaps “how was your day?” is a little uninspired.
Instead, Sara has created a list of 30 alternative questions you can ask to encourage meaningful conversations with your child. Here are our 5 favourites, but you can read the whole list here.
1. Did you catch anyone picking their nose?
2. What was the nicest thing you did for someone else?
3. Which one of your teachers would survive a zombie apocalypse? Why?
4. If one of your classmates could be the teacher for the day who would you want it to be? Why?
5. If aliens came to school and beamed up 3 kids, who do you wish they would take? Why?
Talking with your child is important in many ways. Conversations with your child helps them practice communication and social skills, as well as building a relationship between you and your child.
Asking questions not only lets you get to know your child, but also shows them that you respect and appreciate their input. This helps with their confidence and self esteem, and teaches your child to have the same respect for others.
Regular conversations and a strong relationship can make it easier for your child to bring up problems they are dealing with, allowing you to help and support them.
Here are some ideas for starting a conversation with your child:
Play family games
Board and card games are a fun way to spend quality family time, and children always love winning against their parents! Put away your tablets, turn the TV off, and sit down for a family game. Children will love spending time with you and will be more likely to start a conversation when they feel they have your full attention. Games like Sussed are particularly good because the gameplay involves asking and answering questions about the players, so you get to learn some surprising facts about each other too!
Work on a project or make dinner together
Get some one-to-one time with your child by working on a joint project, or even just cooking dinner together. You’ll be surprised what conversations can arise when you’re peeling spuds! Crafts are also really good fun to do together, if your child enjoys that sort of thing. Otherwise, find out what your child likes doing, and have a go at it together – for example, if they like dancing, why not have a dance off?
Get younger children to draw a picture of their day
Young children may not find it so easy to verbalise their thoughts and feelings, but are quite good at expressing themselves through drawing. You can ask your child to draw a picture of their day, and then ask them to tell you about the picture. Then let the conversation build from there.
Go for a walk together
As well as being great exercise, walking together is a good opportunity to talk one-to-one. Walking can clear the mind and help motivate conversation.
Eat dinner as a family
As with family board games, sitting down together at the table to eat dinner shows your children that they have your attention, helping conversation flow much easier.
Photo credit: 20090800jenna-drawing by davef3138Tags: communication, conversation skill, family activities, Family Dynamics
This post was written by Anna Taylor