Talk and listen to your children


Parenting Tips and Strategies
Talk and listen

Plates, napkins, salt and pepper.  These ingredients are key to getting a behind-the-scenes look at your child’s day.  What?!  You’re likely asking yourself what these things have to do with your child’s day!

Dinner time is a small piece of time, carved out of our busy days, when we get to sit together as a family and talk, debate, laugh, discuss and even argue in an easy face-to-face format. It’s a time where you can (and should!) set your cell phones down, turn off the television and other electronics and listen to and talk with your children. 

Visiting with your kids about the day’s events (highs and lows included) is one of the most important things we can do as parents. Asking your children to tell everyone at the table about the top three highlights and lowlights of their day will spark more conversation than yes/no questions.  The conversations might not always be about unicorns and rainbows!  This is also a time to hash out things that need to be discussed. 

Not only are you engaging your children in meaningful conversation, but they are eating a healthy meal, using their manners, learning how to use their silverware correctly and building connections with other family members.   Try to carve some time out of your day to really connect with your children.  They will begin to open up and talk to you as you provide the opportunity.  Breaking bread as a family affords us the perfect opportunity to make this happen!

*image courtesy of eyeliam / flickr creative commons

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