According to recent research, adults only have an average of 12.5 minutes per day to talk to their children. Approximately 8.5 minutes of that time are usually spent on accusations and prohibitions, and only 4 minutes are left for friendly conversation.
With that in mind, we at WeGoRo have decided to find out how to spend time with children more productively. And here is what we found.
A writer named Jamie Harrington says she asks her kids the same four questions every day. ’Ask your kids open-ended questions which can’t be answered by a simple ’yes’ or ’no’. This encourages your children to express their feelings and evaluate their choices,’ she writes. So what are these magic questions?
If at first your child doesn’t want to respond or just says something like ’fine’ or ’everything’s ok,’ you don’t need to insist on a fuller answer. Tell your child about your day, things you have learned, and things you have enjoyed. This provides them with a good role model and will encourage them to talk to you about their experiences.
You can ask your kid about one specific friend, or you can pose this question in general terms. This will enable your child to trust you and to open up to you if they face a difficult situation.
If the weather is bad or your child just can’t remember anything pleasant that happened to them that day, you should try to cheer them up. You can go to a movie or play an interesting game at home. Such activities might take their mind off things and help them relax.
Most of us find it difficult asking other people for help. A child who is not used to getting help with small things won’t ask their parents for assistance in difficult situations either. Take small steps at first. Offer your child help with cleaning their room or doing their homework. Don’t be afraid to ask. In fact, asking your child if they need help every day gives you the chance to be there for them when they need you the most. However, this doesn’t mean that you should start doing everything for your kid.
Try not to interrupt your kids when they are telling you a story. Make comments only when they ask you to. Do not forget about physical contact — hug your child or grab their hand. If you are in a bad mood or simply don’t feel like listening to your son or daughter right now, tell them about it and set a time when you can talk together.
Inna Anikeeva for BrightSide.me
Based on materials from vospitaj.com