Pop the question….

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So here we are at the 5th Key to Even Better Communication with your Child.

This week we’re going to take a shot at eliminating those killer questions we talked about in the last post. So, hopefully you’ve had a chance to listen to yourself and work out what your favourite questions are. And you might have reduced the number of them by simply observing them. This week we’re going to look at statements and questions that will help conversation flow.

The first thing you can do is turn your questions into statements. One of the most common times for popping the question is when you pick your child up from nursery or school. Instead of ‘How was your day?’ you can try saying something like: ‘Hey! It’s so nice to see you.’ Or ‘Hello! You look like you had fun’ and leave it at that for a moment. By using a statement, you’re giving your child the choice to talk or to remain silent. For me, the choice part is really important- I see children as free to be quiet or to talk of their own accord. (I know this can be very hard when you’re dying to know what’s going on!)

Or you can try asking a different question that gives you a better chance at keeping conversation flowing:
• Instead of ‘How was school?‘, you can say ‘I had a great day at work today. Give an example (briefly!!) and then ‘How about you?’
• You can give choices so: ‘You can have two stories tonight. Which ones do you want?’
• For younger children, you can say things like: ‘Do you want to go to the park or go get ice-cream?’ (Choice questions can also help you avoid power struggles as children tend to love feeling that they have a say in what happens)

Two lovely questions I came across recently in relation to dinner time conversations are:

What did you learn today?
What questions did you ask today?

Everyone including adults were expected to answer- what great conversation starters!

With these alternative questions and statements, you’ll definitely hear more gems & get wonderful insight into their world.

The challenge:

Pick your favourite question and turn it into an open question or a statement. Report back in the comments below and let me know how did it change the conversation?

And if you like this post, please pass it on to someone else who might like it too. Thank you!

Let’s get talking
MP

2 Comments

  1. I tried this with my almost 3 year old today, what a lovely conversation with a big smile, thanks Mary Pat

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