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Getting one word answers from your kids? Almost every parent wants more communication from their kids. How do we make this happen?
We find very often this issue is more of a parent problem than a kid problem. Kids need space and trust to want to talk to parents and parents can learn how to give their kids this space and trust which will unlock those silent tongues!
Here’s a great tool to get you started: Ask inquisitive, open-ended questions.
What is an inquisitive question? It’s a question where:
- You are curious. You really want to know what they are thinking.
- You are not using your question in an accusatory fashion.
- Your tone is conversational.
Instead of “How was your day?” (Response – “Fine”) ask “Tell me about your day?” Then the follow-up: “Tell me more about that.”
Now comes the hard part. Wait for the response. That’s where the space comes in. Give them time to think and answer.
Now comes the harder part. Don’t lecture them or correct them about what they just said. Engage them in a conversation like you would with a friend. Lectures or correction closes the space and violates the trust.
One final note: Don’t talk about yourself. Don’t follow every story they teil with a story of your own. Let the conversation be about them.
Try this out in a car ride or at the dinner table and watch over time as your kids start to tell you more about their lives and their hearts. It works!
Want more on this topic? Sign up for Basecamp and go to our course called Safe Haven where you will get more tips on creating a listening culture in your home.