Whether it’s eye-to-eye or shoulder-to-shoulder (such as while on a walk or in the car) talking with your kids is vital to creating a connection and doing our job as parents. In the first eight years of development, our children need to have eye-to-eye conversations so that they can watch us and learn how to move their mouths properly.
But, as they get older, children need this connection because they have lots going on and need to talk about it and process it with someone. (Especially these days!) If they’re not talking with you, they are likely talking with their peers, which is good, but their friends might not share the values that you would want to share with your kids.
If you’re starting each conversation with ‘How was your day?’, your chats might get very frustrating and end very quickly. It takes two to tango and one-word answers like ‘fine’ just don’t make a conversation.
So, here are some questions to ask your children about their day that will get them talking:
1. Who did you play with today?
2. Did anything big or unusual happen in school today?
3. What did you do at recess?
4. Let’s play ‘Glad, Mad, Sad.’ (This is where you go around the table at dinner and each person says a thing that made them glad that day, something that made them mad, and something that made them sad.)
5. What did you learn that was new that you didn’t already know?
6. Who did you sit with at lunch?
7. What was your favourite part of the day?
8. What was so boring today?
9. Did anything leave you feeling cranky?
10. Did anyone fall asleep at school today?
11. Did you have chocolate cake for lunch? (This is silly and will lighten the mood among the younger ones!)
12. What was something nice you did for someone? Did anyone do something nice for you?
13. What did you say in class today?
14. What books are you reading in class?
This week, take a look at what’s happening in your family:
- Are you making space for conversation?
- Are there times when the devices are off and you are talking with your child?
- Is it happening in the car, at the dinner table?
- Are you happy with your conversations?
If you don’t like what you see, get rid of the guilt and try some of these questions to get the conversation flowing!