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How to Get Your Child to Open Up and Talk to You?

Time:2016-11-15 20:54Shoes websites Click:

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Foolproof Strategies for Getting Kids to Talk

"Most families tend to rush through dinner, especially the kids. They can't wait to get back to their computers and cell phones and iPods. But they'll stick around if the conversation is interesting. And the biggest determinant is YOU. If you see yourself and your life as a crashing bore, your kids will see the same thing. But if you see your life as an endless succession of miraculous and fascinating events, your kids will be transformed by it."
-Shmuley Boteach

How to Get Your Child to Open Up and Talk to You?

How can you get your kids to open up and talk with you? Most kids talk nonstop when they’re in preschool. In elementary school, many of them begin to clam up with their parents. But there are strategies to get your kids to talk with you, and the more they get used to it, the more natural it will become.

1. Notice the little conversation openers

Notice the little conversation openers your kids offer, and drop everything to respond, at least once they’re past eight or so. It can be excruciating to tear yourself away from what you’re doing to focus on a child's question, but how you respond to his overture is crucial in building closeness. To him, it’s an indication of whether he can count on you to talk when he needs you. And much more important than any conversation you try to initiate, like when you try to get him to tell you what happened at school today.

Parents who have close relationships with their teens often attribute their closeness to their willingness to be available if their teen signals a desire to talk -- even if it's 1am and her boyfriend just broke up with her. This can be difficult if you're also handling a demanding job and other responsibilities, of course. But teens who feel that other things are more important to their parents often look elsewhere when they're emotionally needy. And that's our loss, as much as theirs.

2. Ask nonjudgmental questions that require real answers.

“What was the best thing about school today?,” “Do the kids at school ever talk about boyfriends and girlfriends?,” “Who did you sit with at lunch today?” or “How did the soccer game go at recess?” will get you a lot further than “How was school today?”

Questions that begin with “Why” often make kids defensive; “Why did you wear that?” won’t work nearly as well as “What do you think most of the kids will be wearing on the field trip?”

3. Don't jump in with solutions and advice.

Your child needs a chance to vent, and he can't hear advice until he does. Then he needs a chance to figure out his own solutions, which is how he develops confidence and competence. If you jump in with solutions, you make him feel incompetent. I find this so hard -- I always want to tell my kids what to do. I'm a professional advice-giver, after all! But when we can reflect feelings and then help them brainstorm solutions, kids find us more useful to talk to -- and they're more likely to seek us out when they have problems.

4. Make sure you connect with each of your children every single day

Make sure you connect with each of your children every single day, alone, even if just for a short time. Being on hand when they come home is a sure-fire way to hear the highlights of the day, but anytime you get in their space and in sync with their energy level works.

When they're toddlers we call it floor-time; with nine year olds you might snuggle on the couch while you chat about anything from their day at school to the coming weekend to a TV show you just watched together. With teens you might develop a little ritual, like sharing a cup of tea every night before bed while the two of you catch up.

Don't expect your son or daughter to invite closeness or volunteer vulnerable emotions at each interaction, or when you expect it. But if you set up enough regular opportunities to be together, it will happen.

5. Build “special time” with each child into your routine.

Maybe Dad and daughter go to brunch once a month, or play basketball together once a week. Maybe Mom and son get to catch up on his life during the drives to swim team. Kids often wait for these routine times with their parents to bring up something that’s bothering them.

6. If you don't get the response you want to your overtures towards your kids, step back and watch how you initiate.

Are you inviting a positive response? Kids have a lot on their minds, from the history test to the soccer tryouts to the newest computer game. Not to mention that by the time they’re tweens they’re swamped with hormones, and checking themselves out in every mirror they pass. Parents can be dismally low on their list, but that's actually a good sign. They can take us for granted because they know we're there for them!

So find ways to get in their face in a friendly, inoffensive way. It’s fine to demand and expect connection – you have a right to a relationship with your child. But you’re more likely to find the response you want if you can help your child remember why she likes you! “I was hoping we could go out for brunch one day this weekend for some special Mom and Alice time” will work a lot better than “You never tell me anything these days!”

7. If you make an overture and are greeted with something hurtful -- disdain, sarcasm, or blankness -- try not to respond with anger.

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