As parents, we want to keep the lines of communication open with our kids from an early start. We want to be sure they know that we are always here for them, no matter the situation. But sometimes, it can be hard to get our kids to open up. They may not feel like talking or they don’t offer up much information when they do. Depending on their age, they may feel embarrassed or afraid that we’ll be judgmental, or perhaps what they share will get them into trouble. But we must reassure our kids that we are here to lend an open ear and a helping hand whenever possible.
Here are two ways to get kids talking when it seems as if they are reluctant to do so. It may take some time, but the more we make ourselves available, the more they will willingly open up and communicate with us. Trust and compassion are key, and with our guidance, they will share what is going on in their minds and lives… even through the often-tumultuous teen years and beyond.
Start First Thing
When the day begins, it is a great time to talk. After a restful night’s sleep, kids are refreshed and feeling brand new. Whatever may have happened the day before has been processed to some degree, and your child may be more apt to discuss. Chit chat over breakfast or on the drive to school. Once your child has had the time to talk with you, they can go about their day with a weight off their shoulders. Make it a habit of taking time in the morning to set aside a few minutes to have these conversations with your child, and they will begin to look forward to this special time with you.
Take Them Out for a Treat
Head out for some ice cream or frozen yogurt, or to the local coffee shop for hot cocoa and make this the time for a meaningful conversation with your child. They will have a blast enjoying their sweet treat, so it will not feel like they are being bombarded with questions or concerns. Make it a weekly (or more frequent) occasion where you can both talk about what is going on, and to check in to be sure everything is going well. Of course, you will talk with your child more than once a week, but this special outing can be the big “pow wow” where you get down to the nitty gritty. Make it known that your trip to the ice cream parlor or café will be the time to talk so your child is not caught by surprise or clams up. The practice will become useful for your child to unleash their thoughts and get your advice. It will be helpful and healing.
How do you get your kids talking? Any advice for the AMC community you’d love to share?
For more information like this, please visit All My Children’s blogs.
By: Melissa A. Kay