Having good conversations with kids doesn’t just start when they become teenagers and you think you want to know things about them. It starts right from when they begin to speak, the first time your baby says “Mama”, their first day at preschool, the first time they spent some days at grandma’s house without you, the first time they bring a friend home, their first prize at school, graduation and every other day you spend time with your kids …. Conversations build up with time and it doesn’t feel weird when you start to ask deep questions.
Your kids spend the best part of their day at school and they interact with other kids, learn new things, develop new ideas, preferences, emotions, fears, and thoughts as they grow. Having an open child might be easy because they always want to share the new things they learnt, their friends at school or their emotions.
Getting To Know Your Child
A simple question like “who is your best friend” might lead to her telling you if she is friendly, the kind of friends she keeps, important friendship traits and you can decide to invite that friend over. Thinking you know your child best because you know their best food, color, hobbies aren't just enough and you can start with yourself by telling them how your day was, what you did at work, your friends and you would see how you start getting closer to your child.
“What would you like to become in future” is boring, hardly do you find a child that understands this or ever became that thing. Find out their interest and help them develop that. Does your child love drawing or painting? Is your child in a cultural or drama club? Does your child love musical instruments or storybooks? This way, conversations may pop up when you spend time doing what they love with them but it doesn’t mean their interest can’t change.
Remember there are different kinds of children
Every child is different and falls into one of these four categories; the fun-loving child, the sensitive child, the determined child, the serious child. The way you communicate with a fun-loving child will be totally different from a serious child. Fun-loving kids are playful, creative and they love to explore. Conversations like if you could be a superhero, how would you use your superpowers? Why do you like this cartoon? Would you prefer to swim or skate? Don’t bother about too many questions, children are naturally inquisitive.
Knowing More About Empathy And Emotions
Every parent wants a loving and caring child. Teaching your kids how to care about people and put others first can be an amazing conversation. Questions like; “If you could change anything about the world, what would It be? How can you help a crying baby? What do you love most about your brother? What would you do if someone bullies your friend?
Building Your Child’s Confidence
Considering the friends your kids meet at school, church, mosque and their friends in the neighborhood, your kids must have a good self-esteem, be outspoken and confident enough to relate with other kids. More so, identifying your kid's strengths, talents and skills are important to develop their self-confidence. To start up this conversation, ask questions like:
-What do you love doing
-What makes you happy?
-What do you think about being the best in your class?
-What makes you feel proud?
-What would you do if a friend bullies you?
-Do you want to make new friends?
While it’s important to have specific conversations with your kids about their dreams, emotions and values, keep in mind that these questions should be conversational and not come off as an interrogation. Make them feel comfortable talking to you about these things else they would just give a one-word reply.
Sometimes, it might be a bit difficult creating time to have meaningful conversations or you might be looking for the perfect opportunity. You can start a conversation during a car ride, after dinner, bedtime, at weekends, while cooking together or doing laundry. More importantly, give your listening ears when your child comes to speak to you and make sure you give your best opinion to show you care.