Conversation With Your Child: How To Elicit A Discussion About Her Day
When you inquire about your child’s day, you may receive the conversation-killer “I don’t recall” or the answer “good,” “fine,” or something like that. Be reassured that she isn’t doing this to you on purpose. Knowing why your child is reticent to open up and how to help her arrange her ideas will put you one step closer to learning what you need to know.
Information Overload is a conversation-killer.
When you ask your son, “What happened today?” he may be a little overwhelmed because of all the things that have happened since he got on the school bus. The fire drill is something he should notify you about. Isn’t there anything off about the fragrance in the dining hall? Do you know what made him so good at spelling? Because he doesn’t know what you’re looking for, he can’t give you an answer.
Through direct questioning, such as, “With whom did you play during recess?” If you ask your child, “Who did you sit next to at lunch?” you’ll begin teaching him how to go back in time and create stories from his memories. As a bonus, you’ll be able to give him a greater sense of what you’re looking for. If you want positive responses, ask interesting questions: One method to keep youngsters interested in the day’s happenings is to have them vote on the coolest/ugliest thing that happened.
Tough transitions can be a conversation-stopper.
This is a delicate situation for your youngster, who is in the middle of two different worlds. For the majority of the day, she can handle herself and deal with difficult situations independently. When she returns home, she can finally let her guard down and rediscover what it was like to be a child. Changing gears might be a challenge. She may be unable to sort out her sentiments from the day.
- Give her some space to unwind.
- Allow her some time to relax and eat before you inquire about her day.
- Take your child’s lead. Don’t stop there if your precise queries elicit a flurry of information.
If she only responds with a single phrase, you can bet she needs more time to calm down. Discuss your day with your youngster to show them how to communicate effectively by example.
Location is a conversation-stopper.
This is an excellent time of day for parents and children to catch up on each other’s days. However, sitting face-to-face with confident children can cause them to become mute. When there isn’t direct eye contact, kids open up a little more. Take a breather in the backseat of a vehicle. (And you’re probably driving your kids all around anyhow, between school drop-off and pick-up and the ever-growing list of extracurricular activities.)
Another perk? It’s easier for parents to focus on the road and their children when driving. As a result, parents behind the wheel are more likely to pay attention and open the door to “a friendly family dialogue.
Everywhere you go, getting kids to open up isn’t always an easy chore after a hard school day. However, Nixon advises parents to think beyond the box when it comes to their questions for their children. “Is there anything that made you laugh today that you’d like to tell me?” “Tell me about it;” Do you have a tragic story to share? I’d like you to tell me about anything that made you angry today. Tell me anything new you learned today.
Turn up the music if the conversation is still stifling. Open up the avenues of communication with your child by talking about their favorite singer or music.
Performance Anxiety Is a Conversation-Stopper
The moment your child got in to first grade, they are well aware that you are concerned about their progress in school and social interactions. Seeing as he’s on camera, he’s under a lot of pressure to deliver. Children may not want to tell their friends about their days because they are afraid of being criticized.
Take note of the topics that come up when playing a game or reading a book together. When it comes to collecting data, we can be a little hurried. When you and he do something together, he will feel more open and less defensive. Having a friend nearby makes it less awkward for him to admit in class that he didn’t have a response when the question was posed. Don’t pass any judgment. You can’t expect your youngster to open up if he doesn’t feel safe doing so.
Talk-Stopper: Poor Recollection
At this age, your child’s working memory, the ability to store and manipulate information for a short period of time, is rapidly developing. He’ll only be able to vaguely recall the day’s events if it’s too late. Over time, some people’s working memory grows more quickly than others.
Connect with your child’s teacher and other parents so you can ask questions such as, “Who was the mystery reader today?” Recapping is a skill that can be learned by asking questions, even if you already know the answer. In addition, your child may not yet have a refined emotional language, making it harder for him to open up about how he felt throughout the day. Because they cannot name the emotion they are experiencing, children often express their feelings by doing an action. Emotional vocabulary can be bolstered by referring to his actions in terms of angst, exhaustion, concern, or displeasure so that he understands the link.
Why Your Child’s Problems Shouldn’t Be Your Problems to Solve
As a parent, you naturally want to intervene and save the day when your child is in danger. However, remember that your child is learning independently all day long at school. Giving your child solutions can diminish her ability to think for herself. Her first reaction will be, “My views must be bad if they aren’t like Mom and Dad’s.”
On the other hand, encouraging children to solve their problems is good. When you assist rather than command, you promote your child’s self-esteem. Inquire into what they think and feel about their future potential. Your child’s self-esteem will be boosted if she thinks she solved the problem independently. After a conversation, your child will return to you time and time again if she has lovely sentiments about it.
Do You Invade Too Much Personal Space?
Even a six-year-old needs a little privacy. These guidelines can help you avoid crossing the line between being involved and intrusive.
Although it’s okay for your youngster to claim he’s tired of talking, don’t let him ignore you. Try to figure out why he’s so apprehensive about a particular subject.
If you see your child is becoming frightened or agitated, refrain from bombarding her with questions.
Don’t quarrel with your youngster if he rejects your invitation to talk later in the day. His desire to keep some things private is admirable, so respect it.
Only bring up second-hand knowledge if it impacts your child’s well-being.