3 Key Ways To Get Your Kids Talking

I think about communication pretty much constantly. Communication is the cornerstone of my work -- whether I’m translating ideas and messages via my blog, podcast, or video series (not to mention hundreds of behind the scenes emails and phone calls each week!). I’m married to a therapist (so, you know, we talk A LOT). And Laurel and Violet are 6.5 years apart, which means I’ve been experiencing a range of communication milestones (joke telling!) and challenges (awkward subject matter!) in parallel for over 5 years now.

And through all the milestones and challenging conversations, my primary goal has been to create an environment where my kids know they can talk to me (whether it’s right now or later) and, well, want to talk to me. It’s not always easy. Some days are harder than others. And while right this second I have two very chatty and forthcoming kids, I also know it may not always be like that. Subsequently, I’m always keen on gleaning wisdom from other parents on how they get their kids talking. And this is one reason why I love working with Responsibility.org on their #TalkEarly program. Yes, they are about alcohol responsibility, but the core of their work lies in helping parents foster a lifetime of conversations with kids. I also love that they are open to perhaps wacky seeming ideas, like when I said, Hey, what do you think about me asking a bunch of really smart, cool parents how they keep their kids talking? On video? At a conference? And they were like, COOL!

So here we are. When I was at Mom 2.0 Summit in late April I accosted some incredibly smart parent writers/podcasters/vloggers and asked them how they get their kids talking. Three key tactics emerged.

1. Sometimes you just need to stop talking:

2. Avoiding eye contact can actually be a really good thing:

3. Direct questions or prompts like these can be great catalysts:

Disclosure: This post was inspired by my work as part of Responsibility.org’s #TalkEarly program. All thoughts and opinions are, of course, my own.