Adapted and used by permission from an article by Dr. Laura Markham, founder of AhaParenting.com and author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings and her latest book, the Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids Workbook.
A year ago, if you talked to parents about family time, they would say, I’m too busy, I’m always traveling. The kids are never home. We are never all home at the same time.
Well, that has changed!! But how do we take advantage of that?
One of the first Activities is Question time. Maybe this will be over family dinner so everyone gets a chance to learn or, maybe a special time just one on one with one child or even with your husband, wife or elder parent/aunt that is living with you.
These questions are designed to help you and your family member(s) to connect on a deeper level. To engage the other person in interesting topics that they enjoyed and even learned from. They are conversation starters, not for lecturing, try to accept and learn from their answers not see them as right or wrong. Use them as a way to learn about the other person in your family. We will put up new questions each week for the next while.
You can do this! You just need to remember.
- Ask good questions to build on what the person says out of curiosity and not judging.
- Commit to listening and not lecturing.
- Enjoy the discussion and stay curious!
Don’t shy away from expressing your opinions. Kids are often curious what parents think.
Just be sure that you listen first, and that you listen more than you talk.
If you notice that you're feeling a strong need to correct a person’s answer, or to make a point then take a breath. Correcting or challenging usually leads to lecturing, which will make the other person tune you out.
It's just a conversation, where you practice listening and enjoying your child or the other person. This is a process of working out views and understanding each other better because they have the opportunity to express themselves. The most important take-away for your child or the other person is feeling heard, seen and valued.
Start by asking your child or other person the question, and listen to the answer, remembering to reflect back what they are saying so they know you understand.
Activity #1 - Getting to Know You – Conversation Starters
- What are the three most interesting things about you?
- Name five reasons you’re glad to be alive.
- If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
- If you had a time machine for a day, what would you do with it?
- What’s your favorite song? (or story or Picture or… Why?)