Every family has their own tips and tricks for getting their kids talking.
We would love to hear yours – please feel free to share your ideas.
Here are some ideas Tasmanian parents have shared with us.
If you are having trouble talking to your teen – try a “side-car” conversation. Chatting can be easier when they don’t have to look you in the eye.
You could be in the car. Or doing an activity together side by side.
Walk and Talk
Getting out and going for a walk with your kids can be a great way to get them talking. As a bonus, you are also exercising. Your dog might like to come too. Dogs can be great listeners.
If you can’t get your kids to turn off their screens, turn off the Wi Fi so they have to talk to you!
Is there one night a week when your whole family can sit down and eat together? Why not make it a regular event? Everyone can share the best and worst thing that happened to them that day.
Some kids aren’t ready to talk until the very end of the day. When they are tucked up in bed, ready for lights out, you might find they want to open up about their day. Take the time to listen.
Sometimes kids and teens don’t know how to start tricky conversations. Try setting up a “talk journal” so kids can write down what’s bothering them. Parents can reply in writing. This can pave the way for a chat when you are both ready.
One of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve been told is that “If you don’t listen to the little things when they’re young, they won’t tell you the big things when they’re older”. To them, the little things are important. So, make sure you take the time to listen.
You don’t always have to be talking. Just being present and welcoming can be enough sometimes.