If you think finding conversation starters for kids is challenging, consider how many times you’ve asked your child a question like “how was school?” Only to be met with a shrug and a wall of silence in response. Conversation starters on the other hand when used correctly, will facilitate deep communication and help you better understand your child. So, what exactly are the enchanted words? What should parents say to get their children to talk?

Image from @SwaggerDadImage from @SwaggerDad
The best way is to start, Talk about what your child likes. Like for me, my son loves to play video games so I start by asking how good he’s getting playing the game. Ten minutes later my son is still bragging about how good he is. I’ve learned in my 13th year of parenting that there’s a time and place to start a conversation. It’s very important. Most of us know that when you call your child to the room to talk a wall goes up. So find the right time to kick it.
1-Dinner Time~Get them in the kitchen and while prepping the food start the chat. I’ve learned the questions not to ask. “How was your day?” That will get you the “fine” …so try to ask them a specific like “ What’s up with the new season of The Flash? Find their favorite tv show, Youtube, Tik Tok influencer etc. and zone in.
  1. Car Rides~ FYI “No Phones” while in their car. They’ll get lost in their screen and you won’t exist. One thing I noticed with Milian. He didn’t even pay attention to where we were going because what was on the screen was more important and it made for a real silent drive to wherever we were going. Put the phones down and if you really dont know what to talk about you can always guide them through directions and key points along the way. Get them to know their surroundings!

  2. Bedtime~ My wife and Milz have this routine where they lay in bed and just talk about whatever. We found that transparency is key. Sharing with your child how you dealt with difficult circumstances in the past, both good and bad, helps them understand why those decisions should be made. They have so many questions in their mind and showing you had the same experiences can get them to open up.

When you talk about your experience and how you dealt with school it sparks an interest and your child would love to hear more. Sharing your own story breaks down the wall and makes kids more comfortable to have difficult conversations they may have previously put off. Try it! here are a few questions you can ask your child as a conversation starter!

  • Where do you play most at recess?

  • What did you make at school today?

  • Did anything make you sad today?

  • Did anything make you happy today?

  • Who is your closest friend at school?

  • What do you like about your teacher?

  • If you could have a class pet what would it be?

  • Who makes you smile the most at school?

  • Who gets you the most upset at school?

  • What is your favorite dinosaur?

  • Do you believe in ghosts?

  • Do you want to be famous?

  • What would you want to be famous for?

  • Who is your favorite superhero?

  • What is your favorite time of the year?

  • What occupation do you think is the coolest?

  • What’s the first that you do after you wake up?

  • What makes you really happy?

  • If you could be a cartoon character, who would you be?

  • What do boogers taste like?

  • What’s your funniest face? Can you show me?

  • If time travel was possible, would you rather go to the past or the future?

  • What bugs you?

  • What is the worst smell in the world for you?

  • What’s the best thing about being a kid?

  • What’s the worst thing about being a kid?

  • What do you like to spend your allowance on?

  • If you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Start with these and see how they respond to you, don’t be surprised if you start having more conversations after asking them these questions. Now that my son is 13 years old it’s about that time to have “The Talk” ! Stay tune for that conversation, I’ll let you all know how it went…

By Danny Reyes

Cover Photo by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash

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