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Chatting with Your Children

Women Share Their Favorite Conversation Starters

With the school year underway, those morning and afternoon car rides, family dinners, or nights doing homework can become quite routine.

It’s important to maintain fun and engaging conversation with your children, but it can sometimes be challenging to pique their interest and gain insight into their day. Here, four local moms talk about how they enjoy striking up a conversation with their kiddos.

Sarah Brogdon

In our house, I use dinnertime to encourage my boys to talk about their days. They are 4 and 8 years old. I ask open-ended questions and lead with, “Tell me about …” when asking about school, sports, etc. They also tend to open up before bedtime as we are all winding down from the day, so I know that’s a good time to talk.

Amy Smith

As a mother of five children ages 6 to 19, a lot of conversation happens in our house. I have found that, regardless of age, gender, or personality, a child is most willing to talk when they feel valued. I try to show a genuine interest in their thoughts and feelings by asking open-ended questions, making eye contact, and conversing with each child individually on a daily basis.

Bonnie Callaway

When I want to know more about my children’s days, I like to ask each of them questions and have them explain things to me, almost as if they are the teacher or expert.  My children are young, 4 and 5 years old, and I can really sense their excitement when they feel that they are contributing something valuable to the conversation. 

Lucy Pratt

I look for a time of the day when my children are most open to chat (which is not when they are tired or hungry). Car rides to or from after-school activities are great because they are a captive audience and don’t feel pressured since you don’t have to maintain eye contact. Instead of just asking, “How was school?” I often ask more engaging questions like who they sat with at lunch, what was the best part of their day, and who’s their favorite teacher and why.

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