Having regular conversations with your child can be beneficial in many ways. You get to learn more about each other and further develop your relationship with them. Additionally, you can help
their confidence, self-esteem and their social skills.
I understand it can be difficult to find time between your busy schedule and their busy schedules, so we have to get creative! Some ideas of times you can maximize to get conversations with your child can be during a car ride to and from their activities, in a waiting room, during dinner and before bedtime as a part of their routine!
Get the Conversation Going
When I say conversation, it doesn’t have to be dry. Get creative with topics that may be fun or interesting to your child!
Here are some ideas to use as conversation starters:
- Check in with your child daily. Ask about their day, what was something interesting that happened to them, what did they like about their day or what is something that could have been better.
- Play 20 questions by thinking of an object, animal or person and have the child ask 20 questions to find the answers by only asking yes or no questions. Take turns!
- Telling a story! If you or your child can’t think of one, you can go in a circle and say a word each to tell a silly story.
- Take turns telling jokes.
- Play would you rather with your kid. Ask age appropriate questions like would you rather not be able to go outside all day or not be able to go inside all day? Would you rather have a pool filled with chocolate chip cookies or Oreo cookies?
- You can have a jar of questions at the dining room table. Place previously written questions in a jar and take turns going around the table answering them. The questions can be general like what is your favorite food, sport, vacation, music or movie? You can purchase one already made.
- You can also incorporate specific questions if you are wanting to work on a particular area such as self-esteem. Then you can add questions such as: what do you like best about how you look? What do your friends say they like about you? What do you do that gives you confidence?
- Play games that allow for open conversation. There are many out there including Chat Pack, Scruples, or Thumball are a few favorite.
Remember the point is to get the conversation going and have fun with your child! This helps further develop your relationship with them, because you are creating opportunities for them to share, problem solve and to know they can discuss anything with you. You are modeling appropriate behaviors, social skills and self-esteem. Who better to teach them this than you! Remember to really listen and respond in cool/calm way, there is no judging their response if they are being silly or answering sincerely. If you want to mold their response because you feel they could have done better you can ask: “What is another way you can answer that?” or “How would that feel if that was you?”
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview, Lake Bluff, Des Plaines, Hinsdale and Milwaukee! If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates!