This may seem simple, but too often it can be brushed under the rug of busyness. Focus on something entirely different, even good things, can get in the way of simple interaction with your kids. Do you have multiple children? Talk to each one of them. Take them seriously. Show them that you have thoughts for each one of them each day.
There should never be a day when you don’t talk to a child who lives under your roof. The moods and interests of children can change daily, so you have to do your best to keep up. Simple phrases like, “How was your day?” and “What did you think about the game/movie/new song” are great starters, but don’t be content with “It was good.” The best questions to ask are open ended questions. These make the child think more, and it’s harder to simply take the easy way out and not communicate.
Questions like “Why do you think the Broncos had a hard time scoring today?” or “Who is your favorite teacher? …why?” are examples of open ended questions, questions that can’t simply be answered with a yes or a no.
Certain personality types will be more inclined to continue the conversation, but many times (especially in the teen years) kids are focused on what they are thinking about and not very interested in explaining it to you. That’s o.k. Take what you can get and keep asking questions, that’s the best way to engage your child(ren). If you are thinking it sounds like talking to your kids has a lot of listening involved, it does that is why I wrote the piece on listening first!
I have found that most of our parenting is done little, by little, not 3-hour lectures at a time. Just talk with them. Chit-chat can open doors to amazing things, because when they see that you are interested in them, and what they are interested in, it inspires them to give… and who knows you might just get to know your child(ren) really well.
“WE ARE MEN OF ACTION…”
So, Dad… I want to challenge you! Talk to your child(ren) today. If you’re new at the concept, don’t feel ashamed – just start small. Young kids often like to talk, don’t be afraid of that. Take it in, and build that trust for later in their lives when they will have more important things to say. If they are not talkers, make yourself available anytime they do want to speak up.
You can do it! Talk to your kids today!