How many times do you walk in, see your kids and ask, “How was your day?” only to get a short response like “Fine.” or “It was good.”? How can we change that in order to get more meaningful conversations out of our kids no matter their age? Maybe we should ask the same question but in a different way.
We learned a few years ago we can create better dialogue by intentionally asking open-ended questions. What we have found is that by saying, “Hey Johnna, tell me about your day?” we get a much better response. You can elaborate on that response by asking questions like “What happened in that situation?” or “How did that make you feel?” Your kids will be much more engaged in conversation when you ask specific questions.
Now, does that mean every child will be an open book and share every detail of their day? No, of course not! It can be quite comical how much detail some kids, like Teagan, are willing to share: like what they had for lunch or when they went to the bathroom! However, another kid may just give you the small snapshots of their day. Either way, you show that you care by opening up the dialogue.
Another great way to add on to the conversation is to ask what were the highs and lows of their day. These can be great starters to get them talking! Remember the goal is to have open communication, not to fix all their problems. You want to be the best listener they know. Regardless of the age of the HUMAN, people love to talk about themselves and more importantly to be heard. Make good eye contact and keep them talking. Many times we are a great conversationalist with hardly saying anything at all.
The important thing is that we make time for meaningful conversations. We want to give them an opportunity to open up and share their hearts, and that will give us a chance to see into their world and get to know them better. This is a great way to dig deeper and learn more about our kids and the situations they face each day. No matter how much detail you get from these conversations, cherish them all!
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