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A Meaningful Conversation: How to Have One with your Child

A Meaningful Conversation: How to Have One with your Child

Conversations are incredibly important. It’s a pivotal component in communicating our thoughts, opinions, and emotions to one another. It’s our way of communicating what we want, what we need, and more. By learning how to have meaningful conversations, we begin to listen, empathize, and effectively communicate better with those around us.

Knowing the importance of meaningful conversations, how do we encourage our children to have more meaningful conversations with us?

Here are some tips to encourage more meaningful conversation with your child:

Meet Eye to Eye

It’s important to get on their physical level. Having an eye level conversation can help your child feel less intimidated and more open. If your child is smaller, sit down or kneel when you speak. It allows you to look at your child in the eye and face to face. It shows that you are fully attentive. 

Know their Space

Get to know your child’s comfortable spaces. Once you do, find time to speak with your child in those places. Parents often tend to seek conversation with children when it’s convenient to them, regardless of place. What might be more helpful is to assess the surroundings and allow your child to be in their comfortable space, such as their bedroom, to help engage a richer and deeper conversation.

Keep a Constant Line of Communication

It’s so important to keep the lines of communication open. When communication dies in any relationship, the relationship itself soon follows. As parents, continue to engage in small talks, deep conversations, superficial conversations, talks about school, friendships, sports, or any topic, but make sure to do this often. Never stop talking to your kids.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

To encourage deeper and more meaningful conversations, ask open-ended questions that allow for more than one-word answers. Ask questions starting with “why” and “how”. The purpose of using open-ended questions is to allow your child to share and make their answers more personal and meaningful.

Be Patient

This may be incredibly hard at times. Remember, children aren’t always going to give you what you want when you want. Parents need to check in with themselves and to know when to step back. If their child is not giving a lot, then parents need to take that cue. That means being patient and holding off a conversation for another time. Sometimes your child just needs a little bit of time to process things on their own.

Be Neutral

Check your judgments at the door. Remember that your child isn’t always seeking your advice. Once you get deeper into meaningful conversations, make sure to engage with curiosity and not judgement. Sometimes your child just needs you to listen or to validate their feelings. Being able to step back and be neutral, will encourage more meaningful conversations.

Try these tips with your child and see if you engage in more meaningful conversations. Remember, it’s a process and takes time.

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