BEING A PARENT IS HARD.
I found myself in an abnormal situation by the time my oldest was starting elementary school; my children had already watched their Papa pass from a terminal disease; their Grandma (GAGA) stayed with them through chemo and radiation and beat a Stage IV cancer diagnosis and learned and understood that their mom struggles daily with her mental health.
So, we have had some conversations in our household. I found the most challenging part of having a conversation was knowing where to start, how to begin, and where to find a connection that did not make the conversation awkward and uncomfortable.
What had started as a bedtime story grew into a way to help parents read a story, find a connection that made sense in their household, and start a conversation.
I am not sure about you, but my house feels like a zoo most days. Messy, smelly, and yet the coolest place ever.
WHY CONVERSATION STARTS ARE SO HELPFUL FOR KIDS:
How was school?
What did you learn today?
HAS THIS EVER BEEN YOU?
Conversation starters can benefit children by providing a structured way to initiate and maintain a conversation. They can help children feel more comfortable and confident in social situations and encourage them to think more deeply and creatively about a topic.
Additionally, conversation starters can promote language development and improve communication skills no matter the child’s age.
Specific is better than general: the famous school question asked above rarely gives you a detailed answer about their day. In their mind, they have done nothing, learned nothing, ate nothing.
Instead, ask questions like:
Did you change classroom jobs today? What jobs did people get this week?
How was your math test? Any surprise questions?
Was recess outside? What was the weather like at that time?
Share, Share, Share
Opening up to children about your day, a story about your past, and a connection to make them feel less alone is a great way to connect.
Timing is everything
Are they hangry? Do they need a minute? Sleepy? Make sure the moment is right to connect. Make sure the conditions are right first to allow success to flow.
It is okay if it takes time
Give it time. It is okay if the conversation does not flow naturally at the beginning. You will find your rhythm, the time, the chance- keep up the good work!