Thursday, February 12, 2015

How Can You Better Talk To Your Child?

Attorney Katie Walsh
Parenting can be very frustrating at times, and speaking (or having an actual conversation) with your teenager can seem like you are banging your head against a wall! A lot of one word answers.

But what we don’t want to forget is deep down your child does want connect with you: in their own way, in their own time, and on their terms not your terms.

The more connected to their parents, the more comfortable they feel talking to their parents, the more likely your child will stay out of trouble, or come to you if friends are trying to lead them down the wrong path.

We all know the basic rule: Ask Open Ended Questions- don’t ask questions that lead to just a “yes” or “no” answer. But you don’t want the questions to be so broad, “How was school today?” or “What did you do at school today?” that the answer, coming from a tight-lipped teen, ultimately ends up being a “fine,” or “nothing much.” The key is to find the happy medium!
  1. Don’t ask questions like a parole officer. Ask like someone who is genuinely curious. 
  2. Don’t ask random questions purely to ask a question. LISTEN to what your teen is saying in the car rides, on their phone (yes, I am advocating eavesdropping) to friends, what they are laughing at, what they don’t like and BUILD from there. 
  3. 3) Pause. Be a fly on the wall. Just observe your kid for a bit. What songs do they like right now, what TV shows are they watching, what books are they reading, what computer games are they playing: what are they “into” presently- and BUILD from there. 
With help from the Huffington Post, a list helpful hints and questions on how a parent can better converse and understand their child:
  1. What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?) 
  2. Tell me something that made you laugh today. 
  3. If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?) 
  4. Where is the coolest place at the school? 
  5. Tell me a weird word that you heard today. (Or something weird that someone said.) 
  6.  If I called your teacher tonight, what would she tell me about you? 
  7.  How did you help somebody today? 
  8.  How did somebody help you today? 
  9.  Tell me one thing that you learned today. 
  10.  When were you the happiest today? 
  11.  When were you bored today? 
  12.  If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take? 
  13.  Who would you like to play with at recess that you've never played with before? 
  14.  Tell me something good that happened today. 
  15.  What word did your teacher say most today? 
  16.  What do you think you should do/learn more of at school? 
  17.  What do you think you should do/learn less of at school? 
  18.  Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to? 
  19.  Where do you play the most at recess? 
  20.  Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny? 
  21.  What was your favorite part of lunch? 
  22.  If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do? 
  23.  Is there anyone in your class who needs a time-out? 
  24.  If you could switch seats with anyone in the class, who would you trade with? Why?
  25. Tell me about three different times you used your pencil today at school. 
If your child has been involved with the police or charged with a crime, contact the Law Office of Katie Walsh at (714) 619-9355.

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