How do parents get their kids to talk? To open up and share their day, or feelings, or what’s on their mind? How do you get them to share something? Anything?!
Sure, you can learn some tips from the angst shared on Dr. Phil.
Or you might can even glean a morsel or two of parenting help from Jerry Springer. (And be honest, am I the only person who, when feeling down, watches Jerry Springer? I always feel, after watching Springer, that no matter how bad I thought might life was, it always looks better in comparison to the guests on his show.)
But I, along with many others I am sure, have discovered the secret of getting kids to open up by opening their mouths.
It’s simple – go to the bathroom.
Here’s a normal conversation between me and my son:
Me: How was your day at school.
Son: “It was ok”
Me: What did you do today?
Me: Anything good happen?
Me: Tell me one good thing that happened today.
Son: “We got to come home.”
And on it goes. Unless . . .
I excuse myself, away from my son and “Hey Arnold” and make my way to my bathroom, equipped with my own mini personal library.
Now, let’s see what happens.
Son: “Hey Dad!!”
Me: (Sighing silently to myself) What is it?
Son: “You’ll never guess what happened today!”
Me: What’s that?
Me: I don’t know. You did well on a test?
Son: “No. When I was outside at recess, you’ll never guess what happened! Brandon and I were running around playing, and that’s when someone kicked a ball that came our way. I picked it up, and they asked us to play 4 Square with them. You remember how to play 4 square, don’t you. You remember when we played 4 Square and I beat you? That was a fun day, wasn’t it.
Me: Yes, I do remember that
Son: Well, we started playing 4 Square, and guess what happened?! I won my first game, and thenIwonmysecondgameandmythirdgame!Iwaswinningmyfourthgamewhenthebellrang.Guesswhat?!! I’mgoingtoplayagaintomorrow! And . . .
And on it goes.
There is another way I can get my son to talk to me. And again, it’s simple. Turn on a tv show I want to watch.
My son will be in his room playing. I’ll sneak down to see what he’s doing. Ahhh. He’s busy building a bomb or something else that doesn’t require adult supervision. So I’ll tiptoe back to the living room, find the show I want to watch on the dvr, sit down, and just 12 seconds in . . . “Hey, dad. Guess what?!”
And there it goes.
So if you’re having trouble finding out what’s happening with your kids, just turn on the tv.
Or make your way to the bathroom. Just make sure you your reading material isn’t too pressing.