It’s the time of year where children are getting adjusted to school, making new friends, learning new things. Here are some tips on starting conversations with your child.
Back to school can be hectic, especially with children growing up and becoming involved in new activities and having less free time. Nevertheless, it’s paramount to make the effort to interact with your child and ask them about their lives. Not only is it essential for a good relationship, but it also builds problem solving and compassion skills in your children. We’ve got the how-to guide on tips for starting conversations with your kids.
“How was your day?” “Good.” “What did you do at school?” “Stuff.” When talking to your child, you should be excited and enthusiastic about the conversation- even if they are not. It can be very difficult to talk and bond with your child when they are uncommunicative, but sometimes it’s necessary to engage in their interests even if they aren’t your interests. Discussing their favorite dinosaur or television show can help them to talk more. You can even go further to take up their interests as a way to bond with them. Shared hobbies will spark many more conversations.
After school, sports, clubs, and other activities, your child may be tired or so hungry that they can barely fit a word in through their bites. If your child seems distant when you try to speak with them, it could be because they’re preoccupied with or adjusting to the new school year routine. A quick, easy way to fit in more discussion time is turning off the TV, putting phones away, and extending a dinner time. A study finds that children who have meaningful conversation at dinner are 40% more likely to get As and Bs in school. If dinnertime is different due to scheduling conflicts, many families also find it is best to have deep conversations with your children on the weekends, where there is no pressure and no rush between work, school, and activities.
When talking to your child, you have to remember that that’s what they are- a child. Respond to them with emotion; don’t answer them like a therapist. Ask them more about their stories, tell them how it makes you feel, and be curious. This not only enhances their confidence, but it also makes them feel appreciated. Genuine responses from a parent make your child want to share more.
Don’t let your busy back to school schedules create distance between you and your children. While they are at the age where they may seem angsty or uninterested, these tips will help you to connect with your children at appropriately and at the right time.