Whether your child is loud or quiet, there is still value in maintaining quality conversations with your child, and guiding them into meaningful discussions. Here are a few conversation starters with your child to develop their skills in critically thinking about issues and expressing their own opinions.
1. Ask your child to evaluate yourself.
Have you ever thought that it would be valuable if you asked your child what his/her favorite thing is about you? Not only will you feel very encouraged, but you would know what you are doing right. Knowing some things that your child does not like is also useful because you could work on doing things differently and have your son see that you are willing to work on becoming a better parent for his/her sake.
2. Discuss movies together.
Movies are great tools to bring up interesting topics to talk about. Disney and Pixar films are guaranteed great family movies. Classic ones like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Lilo and Stitch and so on are great conversation starters for topics of friendship, disjointed families, parent-child relationships, treating those who are different and so on.
3. Talk through conflicts.
When conflicts come up about which sibling should get a certain toy, or when a child feels forced to do something, talk through it. Be calm and try to resolve the conflict by showing that as a parent, you are in a partnership with your children. Solve problems together even if at the moment you are not getting along. This will teach your child valuable skills on compromising and teamwork.
4. Bring up sex.
It is never too early to talk about sex. Here is a guide to what you could talk about at your child’s specific age. Even when your child is only 2 or 3 years old, you can still teach them the right terminology for private body parts. When they are toddlers you can give them simple descriptions for how a baby lives in a mommy’s tummy and a general idea of a sperm joining the cell of an egg to create a human being. When your child steps into puberty, you can talk more about sex-related topics in the news. Talking about sex upfront with your child avoids them looking for answers through the media or through online sources.
5. Build compassion.
When you pass a homeless person, or if you see a case of bullying, teach your child compassion by asking them what positive reactions they can give to people who are less fortunate. Be a model yourself for advocating for the poor, the needy and the marginalized. Guide your child into talking about how they would like to help those who are in need and it would help them become people who reach out to others.
Were these conversation starters helpful for you? What other ways do you spur purposeful discussions with your child? Let us know by COMMENTING below! Please SHARE this article if it was helpful to you!