Having meaningful conversations with your child is important at all ages. Once they’ve developed speech, providing children with opportunities to develop their language and conversational skills as well as express their emotions is essential to their development. This is true for all kids in Indianapolis, IN.
However, having a conversation with your child may be more difficult than you anticipated. They may be very willing to use their language skills to hound you to get them a snack. Then, when you ask them what they did at school today, they say, “I forgot,” or “I don’t know.” Read on to find out how to engage your child in a conversation that doesn’t feel like pulling teeth.
Ask the right questions
One tendency we have as parents is to ask yes-or-no questions—for example, “Did you have fun at school today?” This is almost guaranteed to elicit a one-word answer. On the flip side, asking a very general question like, “What did you do at school today?” is likely to result in the child ignoring the question.
Instead, try to ask specific questions that will get the child talking about something they’re interested in. For example, “What was the most fun thing you did at school today?” This gives you the opportunity to ask follow-up questions that will get the kid talking about a subject they’re excited about.
Bring down the temperature
Take a different kind of example. Let’s say the child is angry, as you’ve told them they can’t watch TV. Now they’re in a full-on temper tantrum when you ask, “Do you want to talk about it?” This question is likely to be met with screaming.
When a young child is overwhelmed with emotions, they’re unlikely to want to talk. Instead, validate the child’s emotions first: “I understand that you really want to watch TV and that you’re upset about it.” Once the child has calmed down, then try to engage them in conversation. This is important to help them work through their feelings and will help them learn to respond to their emotions.
Use activities to spur conversation
In school, children often use circle time or group meetings to facilitate conversations. The same thing can apply to the home. In fact, family dinner time is a spin on this idea. You can also get them talking during other activities they enjoy, like story time or pretend play. When your child’s mind is active, they’ll be able to put those language skills to good use.
If you’re looking for supportive and loving child care in Indianapolis, IN, check out My Second Home Early Learning Center. We’re a child care and learning center providing a variety of services, including daily non-denominational Christian education, before- and after-care services and much more for children from newborns to six years old. Established in 2007, we’re a family owned and operated business serving the community. Call us today to learn more and get your child enrolled—we’d love to introduce your family to our programs!