Convincing your kids to spill the beans on their day is a constant source of angst for most parents – you almost need to be a police interrogator to get any results.
Top tips to dealing (1)
Keeping the lines of communication get harder as you children grow, little ones will usually burst through the door and tell you if something is wrong or someone was mean to them. Older kids tend to hold a lot more things in, especially if they’ve had some sort of conflict at school.
Here’s 5 non-direct ways to get your children talking about their day
1. Best and worst dinner discussion
If you manage to eat together every night then start a ritual where you take turns telling the rest of the family what was the best and worst part of your day. Go first in order to break the ice and don’t make it a big deal, if someone can’t think of anything then go to the next person.
Tip: The best and worst discussion can also be had on the way home in the car or en route to sport’s practice.
Top tips to dealing (3)
2. Talk about your day
Instead of directly asking about your child’s day, talk about something positive or annoying that has happened to you and then see if it prompts a response or emotional reaction. Maybe ask for some feedback or advice or what they’d do in your situation. Of course this discussion will have to be age appropriate.
3. Multitask then ask
Most kids have chores to do around the house so catch them when they are doing them make a point of asking what’s on their mind or if they’ve got anything exciting happening. Don’t make eye contact as sometimes this can be intimidating. If they seem determined not to answer it might be a telltale sign they’re hiding something from you. Then again they might just be cranky or hormonal so don’t take it personally.
4. Have a laugh
Make a time once a week to have some one-on-one time with your children, whether it’s watching a movie, going to the beach or playing a board game. When a child is in a relaxed and fun mood you’re more likely to hear about what they’ve been up to. It’s also possible one of your children might spill the beans on their sibling and what they’ve been up to.
Top tips to dealing (2)
5. The natural progression
Every child has homework at some stage and this is a good time to take an interest in their work and then ask how they are handling the work. Prod a little more to find out how others in the class are going and who has been reprimanded by the teacher and what for. Maybe break the ice by telling a story about the time you got in trouble at school.
Bonus tip: If you suspect something is up but you child won’t speak to you, arrange for a family member that your child is close to to visit, maybe a grandparent, aunty or uncle. They might be more inclined to get something off their chest if they know they won’t get in trouble or be a disappointment to you.
Love the Healthy Mummy team xxx
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