Getting Your Kid Talking

by Patrick on August 24, 2010

Illustration of PatrickThe other day I was visiting a friend’s house whose child was notorious for being tight lipped about school. Her mother had just told me the other day how impossible it was to get her child to divulge the well guarded secrets of her day. Well in five minutes of talking to the kid I had her telling me everything from who she had crushes on, to who and why she had failed her math test. She was a fountain of information.

Her mother was shocked she’d never heard so much about her child’s daily school life. She asked me passionately how I made it happened.  Every day millions parents ask, “What’d you do at school today?”

“Nothing,” recites the choir of children in cars driving home all across the world.

It’s a common problem so here are a few reminders of how to get your kids talking:

1. Keep asking Questions

After your initial question even if you get that tell tail “nothing.” Keep asking “That must have been pretty boring?” or “It sound like you’re not liking school” are two great starts. You want clarity so keep probing for more information.

2. Stay Informed

Whatever communication is coming home from the teacher is an easy source of information into your child’s daily life. How are they feeling about the upcoming field trip or school event? How are they enjoying the read aloud book?

3. Change it up

Who, What, When, Where, Why and How are all questions words. Make sure you try to use all of them. Why was school so boring? Where did you play on the playground? Who made you angry today?

4. Follow up

If you child told you something in the car in the morning if you know there having a problem with another kid, make sure you keep updated. If they talked about it once they want to talk about it again.

We here at Tandem Teaching know these are things you’re doing everyday, but just wanted to remind you of a few things that will keep kids talking and sharing about their day.

Have you had a chance to listen to our teleclass full of Back to School Tips? We reveal a couple other strategies to get your kid talking.