eAsy and Hard conversations
I don’t know about you, but at our house, conversations happened easier and more freely in certain venues. When you understand that as a mom, you take advantage of opportunities. Sometimes you can even help a conversation get started by nudging the direction you want to go.
When our kids were young, there were certain places a conversation was sure to start. So, if you wanted a discussion, you got the child in the right place at the right time, and conversation more easily flowed.
non-threatening activities for easy conversation
Puzzling is a great place for conversations to take place. Everyone is focused on the puzzle and finding pieces. The intent is not to delve into hard topics, and that’s why they more readily appear. Focusing on a puzzle makes for easy conversations.
The clothes line. This was one of my favorite places to engage a kid in a conversation. No one else wanted to be there in case they got drafted for the chore, so you grabbed the kid you wanted and had him help. Again, the focus was on hanging up wet clothing and not on a specific confrontation, thereby making it an easy conversation place.
Driving down the road. I wonder how many times I was focused on traffic behind me when a kid blurted out a question he’d been dying to ask. My focus was on something else so the question came out easier. Nor could I stop in the middle of the road aghast at the question; I had to just keep driving like the question was the most natural thing in the world. He couldn’t see my covert smile because I was staring straight ahead. Less embarrassment and less fuss when you’re driving down the road – and certainly it makes for easy conversation.
Working together side by side. There’s something about working together on a project – whether it’s stacking wood, cleaning out the garage, or organizing shelves in a bedroom that gives you something to do while you’re talking. Kids seem more ready to ask questions or spill the beans if you’re not sitting down looking at them from across a table or the sofa. Working together makes for easy conversations. When our kids were young, they helped Dave build a wooden fence around a pasture. He reported many conversation as they lined up posts so they were plumb. There’s also something about a parent helping a child with a project that creates a bond. It’s so much better than sending a child to do a job by himself.
The intended outcome
When a parent wants to engage with his child, these ideas will provide a catalyst for easy conversation. However, the parent must be focused during these times. It’s one thing to drive down the road with your child, put a puzzle together, or work on a project together. It’s something else to remain focused on your child and his questions and emotions. Use these opportunities to grow your relationship with your child by having easy conversations.
If you’re a counselor who works with kids, you should take heed to this, especially. We had a counselor who came to our house to play card games with our foster boys. She found they related much better than when sitting in her office across from a desk.Sadly, she could not count that “time” since it was not on official property. If you want your kids to communicate with you, try some of these ideas. I think you’ll be glad you did.
Photo credits: (1) birds at birth bath – pixabay.com (2) birds on a line – Susanne Jutzeler via pixabay.com