Failure to Communicate

Posted on January 8, 2009. Filed under: The Parenting Thing |

We all know communication is important – otherwise why would everyone have a blog!  But seriously – it is not a skill to be taken lightly.  I don’t know if it’s the boy/girl difference, but Punk could talk your ear off, and ChickenFried has to have information drug out of him.  Here are some of the tricks I’ve used to get CF to talk and share. 


We have family dinner at the table virtually every night.  (Yeah – I know that will probably go by the wayside much more as the kids get “into” more things, but I’m going to preserve it as long as I can.)  Even if just the BigD and I are talking, the kids are still observing how a conversation works, and believe me, children do learn by osmosis!  I think it also helps that the kids expect we are going to do this and then it’s just a part of normal life instead of trying to force times to have conversations.   It just makes things feel more natural. 


There are some “conversation starters” I’ve found particularly useful.  Most of these relate to the ‘how was school today’ genre, but can be adapted appropriately.  I know that starting a sentence with “tell me” seems a bit awkward, but the more times you do it, the more natural if sounds.  Or sometimes, I just say “insert name here….” and follow with the question.

  • Tell me about someone you played with today.
  • Tell me about a game you played today.
  • Tell me something new that happened at school.
  • (if he brought artwork home….) How did you think to draw that?  What made you want to use those colors?
  • What do you like to do the most at recess?
  • What was the (funniest, most boring, etc.) thing that happened today?
  • What was the nicest thing you did for someone else today?
  • What was the nicest thing someone else did for you today?
  • If you could have done something different at school today, what would that have been?
  • If you could be the teacher of your class for a day, what would you teach?
  • What was your favorite part of the day?
  • If you can only remember one thing from today, what would that be?
  • What would you like to tell me/talk to me about that happened today?

Maybe they’ll work for you too…..and maybe I won’t have to use these tricks for the next 15 years!


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2 Responses to “Failure to Communicate”

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I bought a little flip book at the MOPS convention that we keep on our table. It is called “Love Talks for Families” by Gary Chapman. I love conversation starters for the table. It is such an important time for me as well!

Hey, I put these in my parent packet for conferences…we will see how they are received by parents. So far so good. 🙂

So every time I have to tell them it is kid tested, mother approved. 😉

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