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How To Get A Conversation Going With Your Child

By Claire Gagne Sep 11, One evening before dinner , I noticed my four-and-a-half-year-old son, who is in full-day junior kindergarten , sitting glumly on the kitchen floor. It turns out the connection a kid needs to feel with his parents in order to open up and talk to them is cemented long before the teen years.

Having a conversation with your child

Julie Romanowski, a parenting coach in Vancouver, says communication skills are built even in infancy and toddlerhood. How to Raise a Great Kid. You may not hear about every single triumph or trial, but these ideas can get your kids to open up to you at every age. If you want to know how your kid is feeling, rather than just the details, Romanowski advises observing her behaviour and then asking about it. Instead, empathize with your kid, tell him how crummy it must have felt to have that toy grabbed from him, and then move on.


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With some kids, this may be a mistake. She suggests spending a few minutes reconnecting with your kid just by being present. Romanowski suggests working some parent-kid time into your day, like right after dinner.

Age-by-age guide to getting your kid to talk to you

Sitting down to do a focused activity together—even just 10 minutes of colouring or a puzzle—can create that space where your kid starts to feel like talking. Also, take advantage of regular moments you do have together, like car rides, walking to school in the morning and bedtime for casual, low-pressure chats.

This also teaches kids that everyone has good days and bad days, no matter how old you are. Bicknell finds that keeping in the loop about the curriculum and who her grade-two daughter is playing with helps her bring things up in conversation.

How To Have Better Conversations With Your Children

But you are still needed for emotional support. When there is a recurring problem in your family life, ask your child for input.

English Conversation at School Admission -- Conversation At The School Office

What do you think we can do about this? Even young children often participate enthusiastically in this problem-solving process, and many parents are pleasantly surprised by the reasonableness of the solutions they offer.

Age-by-age guide to getting your kid to talk to you

If we are willing to acknowledge our mistakes, our children will be more likely to own up to theirs. I would like to talk through the problem now. When you need to criticize, criticize thoughtfully and gently.

When talking with your child about a problem, acknowledge what is right about what he or she is saying or doing before correcting what is wrong. If your child says that he or she has nothing to talk about, you can talk about something that happened in your day, perhaps a moment of excitement or frustration or a moment of humor. Then ask about something your child is either looking forward to or worried about for the next day. When talking about any problem, it is important to give your child time.

Even minor criticisms evoke defensiveness in most children and a wall quickly comes up. When you bring up a problem, ask your child to think about it, then plan a discussion for the following day. However, if we are patient and tolerant of their mistakes; if we acknowledge what they feel is unfair and what is going well in their lives; if we talk about our own disappointments and frustrations; and especially, if we express enthusiastic interest in their interests and concerns, they will be more likely to open up.

Over time, we can help our children learn that, although it is not always easy, talking with each other about our feelings, frustrations and triumphs is a normal and helpful thing to do.

What if your child doesn’t want to talk?

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