One of the great benefits of dining together as a family is the opportunity to talk. But this opportunity to "talk" presents itself at other times too; when you are driving to sports or after school activities, walking around the block, or simply sitting on the couch.
But what do you talk about? Kids love it when we take the time to ask them questions. Asking kids questions shows we are interested in their ideas and opinions. Kids feel great with people who are tuned into their needs. As adults, asking questions is a way that we can demonstrate our love for our kids in a practical way, and it helps us stay in touch with our children.
Open questions are the ideal. These are questions which require more than a yes or no answer. Here is a selection of questions you could put to your little ones, to get then telling you more about their world. Listen closely to the answers - who knows what you will find out about your child?
Questions for your pre-schooler:
Q What makes a ball bounce?
Q Why does Mum/Dad go to work?
Q What does a (sad, happy, angry, excited, afraid, mean) face look like?
Q If you could only keep one of your toys, which one would it be? Why?
Q How can you make Mum/Dad smile?
Q What is the scariest thing you ever saw?
Q What is the nicest thing you ever did for your sister/brother. Would you do that again?
Q What is the best thing that ever happened to you?
Q Where does the sun go at night?
Q Do you want to be a Mum/Dad one day? How many kids would you have?
Questions for your school aged kids:
Q If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why there?
Q When do you feel happiest?
Q Other than playtime and lunch time, what did you enjoy most at school today?
Q Why do we have laws/rules?
Q What are the five questions kids your age would like to be asked?
Q What does it mean to be really rich?
Q What is your favourite time of day?
Q If you were Mum/Dad, what would your top five rules be?
Q What does the Prime Minister do?
Q What do you most enjoy doing with your family?
Inspiration for this post came from the magazine, Parenting with Confidence, Summer 2003/04
Mummy to three small boys