When children get home from school, they usually rush to their computers or gadgets. But, as parents, the first thing we want to do is to hear about their day. This can be the challenging part – getting kids to talk about school. How can we get kids to open up and talk? When a conversation is interesting for children, they will stick around and participate. Looking for the best approach to use with your child? Here are some foolproof strategies for getting your kids to talk.
Spend time connecting with your child everyday
As parents, you should spend some time each day to connect with your kids. Find something to do that you will enjoy together. The goal here is to get in their space and be in sync with their energy levels. Once you’re able to do this, it will be a lot easier to get them to share the highlights of their day with you. So when your child gets home, get some snacks ready for them to help them feel comfortable and allow them some time to relax. Sit with them on the couch while you enjoy eating their favorite snack together. Try making this a daily habit.
Look for the little conversation openers
Notice the words your child uses when they want to tell you something. When you hear them drop these conversation openers, pay attention. Focus on whatever your child is telling you and also pay attention to your responses. You don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable about opening up or make them afraid to share next time. Make them feel that you are always available, attentive and are actively listening.
Ask the right questions
Avoid asking “how was school?” or “what did you do at school today?” Asking these questions directly may make your child feel intimidated or defensive. Try other questions that will give you the specific answers that you want. Ask alternative questions. For example, ask “What was your most favorite part of your day?” or “what games did you play on the playground?” or “with whom did you share your food during lunch?” There are plenty of other questions you can ask kids ito find out what happened during their school day. Make sure the questions are open-ended so that it encourages natural conversation to flow.
When your child begins to open up, make sure that you’re listening and giving your full attention. Show them that you are a good listener because this will make them comfortable talking to you again next time. Try to make them feel as if the information they share with you is a gem you need. They will feel even more excited and comfortable about sharing. Try not to give advice when they don’t ask for it. Sometimes, all they need is a listening ear. Kids need to know that you are there and that someone acknowledges and understands their thoughts and feelings. That will be more than enough.
Always be available
To help encourage kids to be more open, be available to them. When they get home from school, drop everything and just be with them. Don’t get immediately busy with the chores, the dinner and other things. When they see that there are other things you have to attend to, they will think that the things they want to share are less important. And they will decide to keep it to themselves.
Encouraging your children to have open communication with you about school should be easier with the help of these tips. Looking for a school that focuses on your child’s holistic growth and development? Please consider our Chula Vista preschool.