Getting Kids to Talk
Don’t in the Battle and Lose the War! I have learned the hard way, it gains you little if you force the conversation well before your kid is ready. This doesn’t mean the get to avoid the conversation all together, especially if it is an issue of discipline, but give them more than two seconds to think about an answer before you demand they answer. When you relax, they will relax and conversation will come.
Be Advantageous! Car rides are a great place for conversations, they can’t walk out of the room or avoid your presence. Don’t allow video games or other toys to interfere with your opportunity to talk with them.
Are you Approachable! Are you open and inviting? Do you even listen? You kid could tell me if I asked! Want to improve? Use a common technique in counseling, simply reflect back, or in your own words, repeat back what you hear your kid sharing with you. This helps your son or daughter to know “Hey,.. I am being heard!” and sometimes that is all the motivation they need to keep going.
Can I get that Validated please? You daughter comes home and is angry because her best friend is going to ditch her birthday party to go out to the movies with a guy she likes and she is very angry. Before you tell her how to or how not to feel,… validate how she Does feel! Let her know it is reasonable for her to be angry, hurt and frustrated. Listen to her pain and validate her feelings. This will go a long way in the future, when you want to talk or when she does!
Quantity of Quality? “I don’t have a lot of time with my Kids, but when I do give them that 10 minutes a day, I am all there!” Is that you? Kids need quality and quantity time today. If you are not there to talk to,… they will find someone else,… I wonder who it might be? You can NOT substitute one for the other, provide both. Slow down and be available. Kids know if you are too busy for them, and it is impacting on their self worth. If you’re creating enough down time for you to get together with your kids on the little things, they’ll be more open to confide in you in the future about the big things.
Forward Momentum. Talk to them while being active. Talk and walk, let them, shoot hoops, toss the ball, play catch, color, or draw a picture. Using these activities to allow your kids to express themselves can have them expressing themselves to you as well. And joining in on the fun yourself can yield an even greater sense of connection and sharing between you and your kids.