A conversation starter is a statement or a set of questions or dialogues between two or more people which helps them to get to know each other better. It should be simple yet interesting enough to hold the other person’s attention.
You know that conversation is important for everybody. It is the most important key factor of communication. People can share their thoughts, emotions, sadness and happiness through it. During sharing emotions, conversation starters have an important role. How can someone play this role and how does it happen? We will learn this in the article.
How to Get Your Child to Talk
Parents need to be constantly updated with what is happening in their child’s life. You can only achieve this when you, daily, can strike up a conversation with the child. But in today's times, where technology has taken over many things, parents are finding it quite difficult to connect with their children. It is very important to be active and to be engaged in the child’s life to make them feel wanted and loved.
Kids by nature are quite curious. Parents should let the kids talk about themselves and their interests without interrupting them. Parents should avoid being judgmental about their opinions and choices.
Try to give your 100% attention to them. While having a conversation with the child, parents should avoid interruptions like should avoid checking their mobile or lose interest while the child is talking. The conversation that you have with your child should not be complicated. The child should not feel that it is an interrogation that makes him shut down his feelings.
As the professor of psychology, Gail Heyman says “An effective conversation starter is any question that helps parents better understand their child’s network of thoughts and feelings.”
Tips Before you Start a Conversation
Share: It will go a long way if you as a parent open up to the child as well. This will make them feel comfortable. When they see that you are verbal about your feelings, they will also open up and share their true self.
Timings: You need to get your timings right. If you see that the child is sleepy or hungry or a little irritated, give it some time. You can't make a child talk as per your preference. Make sure the child is in a comfortable space to talk.
Specification: For a young mind to understand you, it is important to frame questions that his/her mind can easily comprehend. Instead. You need to ask specific questions like: how was your day? How was the maths class? Did you finish lunch today? etc. This will help the child to answer immediately and with ease.
The Best Conversation Starters
A conversation starter should be a simple way to connect with the child. Parents should be able to encourage their children to talk more about themselves. The best conversation starters should be fun-filled and engaging for the child. Irrespective of how eager parents might be to know about their child’s day, they should be patient and give time and space. One can follow the following guideline as a base.
A) Questions Based on Kids' Interests
Which is your favourite day of the week?
Who is your favourite singer?
Do you prefer colouring or drawing?
Any instrument that you would like to learn?
What is your favourite board game?
What superpower would you like to have?
Any interesting dreams that you want to talk about?
Would you like to have a pet one day? Which one?
What's your favourite ice cream flavour?
B) School-Based Questions
Whom do you sit with in school?
Who is your best friend?
Who do you have lunch with in school?
Who is your favourite teacher and why?
Which is your favourite subject?
With whom do you play in school?
What is the one new thing that you learnt in school today?
Do you share your lunch with your friends?
Are you or your friend getting bullied in school?
What was the best part of the day?
Do you look forward to going to school?
C) Family-Based Questions
What is your favorite holiday destination?
What is one thing that you would like to change in us?
What can we do to cheer you up if you are feeling sad?
Is there someone in the family that you are uncomfortable with?
What is your happiest memory of us?
Would you like to help us while preparing dinner/breakfast?
Would you like to pick the restaurant for a weekend outing?
How would you like to spend your weekend?
What do you do when you feel bored?
What colour do you prefer for your room?
Would you like us if have a no Is the phone zone at the dining table?
Would you like to go to a movie with us?
D) Feeling-Based Questions
Is there anything that you are scared of?
What are the things that make you happy?
What makes you nervous?
What things make you feel confident?
Has anybody hurt your feelings today?
Did anybody embarrass you today?
A small step goes a long way. These small starters can be a start to a long and healthy relationship with the child. Initially, the child might not be as responsive as you would want but patience and consistency are the keys with kids. Have a regular conversation with your child and make it interesting so that every day the child looks forward to having that quality time with you. All they need is someone to look up to and someone who is ever ready to listen to them and give them proper attention.
1. What should we do if our child does not open up with us?
It is very important to have patience when it comes to the kids. They take their own sweet time to open up, even with their parents. Be persistent in your approach. Talk to them every day.
2. How do we encourage our kids to start talking?
It is very important to give your undivided attention to your children. Make sure that you allot time daily when you have a one-to-one conversation with your child, maybe during dinner time. Before you want the child to start talking, maybe give information on how your day was and what all you did during the day. That will help your child to open up with their daily activity.
3. How do you make a conversation interesting?
We can make the conversation interesting by being friendly with the child and encouraging them to talk about how his day was, and by laughing off at the small things that they do daily.