Getting kids to open up to us isn’t always easy. We hope these Conversation Starters help.
Getting kids to open up to us isn’t always easy. We hope this Conversation Starter for children ages (7-9yrs ) will help.
The aim for this conversation starter pack is to open up conversations between kids and parents. Informed by research, they are specifically designed to help kids, and boys in particular, to learn to share emotions in healthy ways; accept and connect with others; stand up and speak out against bullying; and break free from stereotypes.
Your 7-9 year old is learning how to identify and regulate multiple, simultaneous emotions, cope and problem-solve, and understand the connection between physical expression and emotions. With these questions, you can start conversations aiming to help your child to understand the cause of their emotions and the emotions of others, learn how to process multiple feelings at once, and better communicate, deepen, and improve their relationships with friends and family.
- Put your phone away, so you can give your full attention.
- Create space for kids to express their emotions by reaffirming the conversation is confidential.
- Take them seriously: show them you believe and value what they are sharing.
- Show that you're listening (nod, repeat what you hear, ask clarifying questions).
- Be aware of your actions and facial expressions.
- Stay open-minded; don't assume you know how they will respond.
- Ask follow-up process questions:
"Tell me more about that."
"What did you do when that happened?"
- Allow uncomfortable silences; Try counting to 10 before breaking the silence.
- Encourage them to make connections to broader social justice issues and to the world around them.