Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stress-Free Communication with your Kids

When your kids are little, they can't wait to share every bit of news they have with you - often in excruciating detail. As they grow up, they become less likely to share their thoughts and details about their lives. A case in point: "So, what did you do in school today?" The familiar response: "Nothing."

Sometimes, the best way to get your kids to open up to you is to play a game with them or to sit down beside them and work on a puzzle together or color pictures together. Any activity that allows you to just chat with each other in a non-threatening way beats an interrogation any day. And when you're standing over them asking all kinds of questions about their day, it can seem like an interrogation to them. Instead, while you're playing catch, coloring, changing a doll's clothes, share something that happened in your day. Pretty soon they'll be chattering away, letting you know what's going on in their world, who's still friends with whom, who got a time out from the teacher, etc.

Even when there isn't much to tell, you can still work or play, side by side, enjoying a companionable silence. You're spending time together, and your child knows you're there, ready to listen to them if they need to talk.

7 comments:

Judy said...

Hi Theresa,
You are right - the age-old question - what did you do in school today and their answer - nothing. It is tough to get kids to communicate sometimes, so I like your ideas.

Thanks,
Take care,
judy
http://www.localfoodconnections.com

Dorit Sasson said...

Hi Theresa,

Such a simple and great idea yet so many parents seem to miss this. We just need to be more with them in the here and now.

Your blog is so comforting for me!

Dorit Sasson said...

Hi Theresa,

Such a simple and great idea yet so many parents seem to miss this. We just need to be more with them in the here and now.

Your blog is so comforting for me!

Dorit
http://newteacherresourcecenter.blogspot.com/

Dorit Sasson said...

Oh and I just wanted to add that I think that is why parents have so many problems with their teenage children and why they look for attention and trust elsewhere. So sad.

Lisa Kirby said...

Hi, Theresa,

You're so right. We parents often don't take time out and just "chill" with our children. We sure do miss out on enjoyable conversations that way. But we are NEVER too old to learn!

Have a great day, Theresa.

Lisa Kirby
www.familyfunandfood.blogspot.com

SuseADoodle said...

Great suggestion for just plain connecting with kids without any other motive. Once they know the connection is genuine, you'd be surprised what they'll tell you. :-)

I've been listening to a book by Anne Lamott and she comments that the job of the writer is to be an observer, and that kids slow us down -- and that slowing down helps us observe so much more that we would otherwise miss. But too many parents don't slow down for their children. Ever sit in a parking lot and watch mom's hurrying in to the store with a toodler RUNNING to keep up?

Sue Berg
http://www.suseink.com/suse_ink/
http://suseadoodle-ant-thymes.blogspot.com/

terri.forehand said...

Excellent ideas. It is unfortunate that I often see that a severe illness is sometimes the first time a parent is forced to connect to their child. All too often a parent will tell me that they didn't know their teen had certain symptoms, when in fact the teen had signs for weeks or months. It is sad. Great post.
Terri
http://heartfeltwords4kids.blogspot.com