101 Reasons to Have Conversations with Your Kids
Relationships take work. That was something I didn't fully understand until I got married. Even though you feel like you know your spouse fully, I didn't realize that you both keep growing and changing, making it mandatory to continue to get to know one another. Conversations are a great way to cultivate relationships. Here are 101 reasons to engage your cuties in conversations...they grow up so quickly!
Conversations Help You Know Your Kids
1. If they're quiet, a conversation will draw them out.
2. Get to know what they like.
3. Find out more about what they dislike.
4. Hear their unique perspective on the day.
5. Find out what they like to think about.
6. Discover what books they like to read.
7. Hear them giggle about a funny story from the day.
8. Provide a safe relationship to discuss trials as they surface.
9. Know what makes them anxious, scared, or frightened.
10. Be blessed by hearing the simplicity of a child-like faith.
Conversations Draw Out Opinions
I know you might be thinking that you hear too many opinions already, but I have a couple of kids that are "pleasers" and will say whatever they think I want them to say when I ask. If I can glean a bit of their actual opinion, and help them know that it's safe and healthy to express it, I want to help draw that out. It doesn't have to be anything major...
11. You can hear what they think about the book they just read.
12. Determine what they think about the main character's decision.
13. Discuss the worldview of the latest movie you watched together.
14. Find out what they think about the opinions of their friends.
15. Know what music gets them excited about life.
16. Learn about what types of music makes them yawn.
17. Discover what their future hopes and dreams might be.
18. Find out where they might like to go to college...
19. Or if they even want to go to college. (That might save you a little money)
20. Provide a safe place to work out what they might really think about something without being judged.
Conversations Draw Out Understanding
Following the model of Socrates, you can really draw out a wealth of information through asking good questions and discussing a topic.
21. You can give oral tests.
22. Or an informal quiz to discover what they know.
23. You can help them come to a common understanding.
24. Model how to be curious about a subject they are researching.
25. Help them connect what they know to find a deeper understanding.
26. You can shine a new light on a subject.
27. Discussions offer a safe place for wrestling with an idea.
28. Helps to extend the time a student gives to thinking deeply about a subject.
29. Sparks a new route of thinking to explore.
30. You get to glean insight on how they engage truth.
Conversations Offer Safe Opportunities to Talk About Tough Topics
Even though homeschoolers have a high quantity of time with their kids, it doesn't mean that the tough topics will just naturally get covered. You have to be intentional about these often avoided topics. Here are some places to start:
31. Discuss the news or current events.
32. Discover how they are processing grief they are experiencing.
33. Learn how they're dealing with a difficult friendship.
34. Create a pattern of processing questionable content in music or movies.
35. Offer wise counsel about romantic relationships.
36. Be the one they come to when they encounter bullying.
37. Help them process the injustice they experience.
38. Discuss wise ways to handle money.
39. Be transparent about working through family conflict.
40. Talk through what the Bible has to say about these tough topics.
Conversations Prepare Them For Life
As they grow up and prepare to leave the home, kids need practice talking with adults.
41. Practice conducting a job interview.
42. Have a group of friends over for a round table discussion of whatever interests them.
43. Kids need practice being interested in what someone else has to say.
44. You can model a balance of talking and listening.
45. Practice answering a phone (who knew this was so difficult?!)
46. Gives them insight about budgets.
47. Provides an opportunity to learn conversational etiquette.
48. Equips them experience in drawing others out in conversation.
49. Works away some of that awkward shyness that can really kill a conversation.
50. Helps identify gaps in their life skills.
Conversations Make Learning Fun
51. It saves paper to just discuss comprehension questions from a book.
52. Kids will say more if they don't have to write down an answer.
53. They can practice better vocabulary if they don't have to worry about spelling.
54. Kids don't have to be the only ones offering answers.
55. Laughter over a funny idea boosts brain function.
56. It can break up a long day of book work.
57. You can practice expressing ideas even if they're not fully formed.
58. Finish up your work quickly with a timely conversation.
59. Imaginations can run wild with zany ideas.
60. If you're having fun, you can model that learning and discussing is enjoyable.
Conversations Help Relationships Mature
61. Since we never stop growing, conversations help us continue to get to know one another.
62. History of conversation builds depth for future conversations.
63. Trust is built in conversation.
64. Offer opportunities to resolve conflict.
65. Gain a deeper understanding of the other person's character.
66. Find out what inspires them.
67. Maybe even discover more about what inspires you.
68. Enjoy fellowship from a good conversation and cup of coffee.
69. With a trusted friend, burdens are lessened.
70. Show them that you love them just the way that they are.
Conversations Bring the Bible to Life
71. A discussion of a Bible story can draw out deeper understanding.
72. You get the opportunity to help your kids make connections to the bigger picture.
73. When confusing concepts arise, you can help clear them up.
74. Doubts can be voiced and discussed.
75. Pausing in the middle of a Bible story to discuss a small detail can help kids learn to observe.
76. Conversations help ideas stick.
77. Learn how the people of the Bible struggled with similar issues as we do today.
78. Have a deeper sense of God's hand in everything.
79. Inspire creativity as you behold artistic expressions in the Bible.
80. Develop a Biblical worldview.
Conversations Give You An Opportunity to Listen
81. Life is busy, so it's good to slow down and truly listen to your kids.
82. Show your kids that when you ask a question, you really want to hear what they have to say.
83. Encourage them that you're a safe confidant to talk to.
84. Helps you see what's on their mind.
85. Which gives you insight into how to best encourage them.
86. As well as giving you insight into how to continue to train them.
87. Allows you to hear when their thinking is inspired by dangerous sources.
88. Gives you an opportunity to diffuse those ideas before they take root.
89. Provides a glimpse into what's on their heart.
90. Allow them to feel heard.
Conversations are Happening
The bottom line is that...
91. Your kids are talking to someone.
92. It might as well be you.
93. You will be blessed to have a way to connect with them.
94. You're cultivating a relationship for a lifetime.
95. When they move away, you're going to wish you had more time to talk.
96. They will want to still call you and tell you everything (the good and the bad).
97. It gives you insight in how best to pray for them.
98. These days of their uninhibited chatter won't last forever.
99. It's pretty entertaining.
100. Kids say the darnedest things!
101. You might just find out that you truly enjoy it!
Check out other 101 Reasons posts from by homeschool blogging friends by clicking below:
Betsy Strauss is an unexpected homeschooler, mother of three, who is in a relationship with a sweet man for life. She loves reading books, drinking coffee, and learning anything with her kids.
This is a great list, Betsy! You’re right–conversations are happening somewhere, shouldn’t we be a major part of that? I felt like my parents didn’t do a lot conversing and chit-chatting with us. It wasn’t in their nature. As a result, I’ve always tried really hard to listen to all the important-to-them stories and things my kids want to tell me. I’ve seen firsthand how when communication is already open, it’s easier for the kids to come talk to me about something hard. I didn’t feel like I could talk to my parents so I talked to my friends (and my friends gave bad advice!) Two way conversation, getting to know another person, being known by another person–that’s what every person wants (even the introverts, just in their own way.) It’s a human need. Our kids need it, too!