It can sometimes be all too easy to look at your children like they are extensions of you. After all, they truly are! But they are also their own person, navigating and learning this new world and forming thoughts and opinions as they grow. Just as you did once upon a (not so long ago!) time. Knowing how to ask the right questions to gain insight on who this little person is can start as early as 3 or 4 years old. As early as they can talk back! Regular talks increase comfort, trust, openness, and strengthens the bond with any two people eager to strengthen the relationship! Sorted by age group, this list can help you start talking!
Ages 4 to 6
This is an age where kids love to talk about themselves and their thoughts and likes! Get them excited to talk by including personal touches, like their friends, favorite foods, etc in your questions!
- What is your favorite show to watch? What do you learn from it?
- How do you write a good story? What does it need? What’s a story you like?
- How do you feel when you can’t have what you want? What do you do to feel better?
- What is your favorite part of the day? Why?
- What do you wish we could do more of as a family?
- Which holiday is your favorite? What is your favorite part?
Ages 7 to 10
At this age, kids have more awareness and opinions on others and how to begin integrating their feelings with others. Help them sort through this flurry of thoughts and emotions by directing them to self-evaluate in their questions.
- If you could have any job, what would it be? Why?
- What do you think teachers should teach in school? Why?
- How do you feel when someone is mean to someone else? What do you do to feel better?
- What is your favorite part of the weekend? Why do you like it?
- Name three things that you wish you could talk to me about
Ages 11 to 13
By the time kids get to this age, they are aware of others and tend to have more of a desire to help them. Help them learn about their own morality by finding out what makes them feel good about helping others.
- How can you teach a little kid patience? What would you tell/show them?
- What are some ways to make school more fun?
- How would you feel if someone is being bullied around you? What would you do?
- What is your favorite part of the weekend? What are you doing?
- How can you be a good role model to kids smaller than you?
- What would you like to see/do more of in our family?
- What is something you feel like I don’t understand about you?
The best time to talk to a person and get to know who they truly are is from childhood! Be careful not to push, but be open to fun conversations that will not only strengthen your bond but also strengthen your child’s self-confidence!