Use these Awesome Conversation Starters to ensure you understand and guide your child!
The world has gotten quite busy, more than we would like to be. Technology has infiltrated our lives, and online spaces are becoming as real as our physical spaces.
The typical family also faces an effect of this, and for kids, it can also mean that social and emotional learning activities are being hampered within their home. Teaching Kids through the online world is much faster and thus learning from it is easier. It can be extremely difficult to keep track of the sources from where they are learning. But, the best to keep track is through conversations.
Be it the living room on a Sunday afternoon or the regular family dinner, conversations are becoming less frequent and losing their organic quality. If you feel that your bond with your kids is withering away, then one of the best ways to go about it is to start interesting conversations this will help develop relationship skills!
But, it’s not always easy to start conversations. There can be a lot of anxiety regarding this, and it’s also difficult to find a topic that everyone will be engaged in.
To do your job easy, we have picked out some of the best conversation starters and also provided you tips on how to use them for maximum effectiveness!
How To Approach Social Emotional Learning Through Conversations
When we talk about developing a healthy conversation practice with children, it does not necessarily mean talking nonsense with them all day long.
Sure, that is also important. But, we believe that it is important for parents to ensure that their children are learning proper social-emotional skills that they need both at home and outside.
To help you get through to your children, we have developed this article into five steps. Each step will involve a certain goal and set of social-emotional learning activities. These activities need to be carried out through conversations, so feel free to arrange them however you choose to.
These social-emotional activities are extremely important for your child’s development and will also ensure you build a stronger foundation of free expression with your child.
Each step also includes a set of example questions that you can use. Make sure to change them as per your child’s needs, but we have selected questions that are sure shot conversations starters.
Make sure to read through each step, and by the end of it, you will know what form of cognitive and social skills your child needs; and how you can impart them through conversations within your family!
Step 1: Imaginative Conversations & Emotional Skills
What animals would we be if we all lived in a forest?
If you could fly for a day, where would you go?
What superpower would you like to have, if you could’ve any? Why did you choose it?
What would you do if mom and dad gave you $1000?
If you get three wishes from a genie, what would you wish?
What is the best dream you’ve ever had?
What would you invent or create if you could do it?
Along with social-emotional learning skills, building your child’s imagination is extremely important, and it is also a great way to ensure your child has a verbal attachment with you.
These questions can be asked at any time of the day, and children love responding to imaginary questions, so they will also enjoy the conversation!
While the answers are most likely to be goofy, you should pay attention to what your child is saying. Children often express their emotions through imagination, and such conversations can actually help them learn to express emotions without feeling distant.
For many kids, the real world can be confusing and scary, so they tend to hide their emotions in their imaginations. To truly understand the psyche of children, you must take part in their imagination building and take time to develop relationship skills this will also develop trust in the process.
Be it through animals or superheroes, everything a child says makes sense in their head. So, it is important that you understand how your child is justifying things in their head.
Parents and caregivers can find it difficult to bring themselves on the same imaginative plane as a child or even a teenager.
So, this may take some practice before you are fully engaged with your child in a conversation. You can also try certain social-emotional learning activities that will teach students(elementary) to develop a bond that will help you get through conversations.
Here are a few imaginative conversation starters that you can use to practice until you have developed your own.
Make sure to the conversation forward after the question has been answered. Or, if you feel that your child is not into it, then you can try a different question later.
It is also important to know what form of imagination your child is drawn towards.
Step 2: Learning Social-Emotional skills Practice Activities
Are you feeling grateful today for anything or anyone?
Name three things you don’t require but are thankful to have in your life.
Which friends make you feel happy?
What is something you do with Mom & Dad that makes you happy?
Who did something nice for you today? What was it?
Whom would you say “thank you” to today?
What is the best thing about your teacher?
Kids learn their social and emotional skills from their parents more than anyone else. So, if you are close to your child, then it is important that your casual family conversations help them develop social skills. And if you find yourself feeling distant from your child, then picking up a conversation where they will involve social-emotional learning activities is actually a great way to move forward!
Although they may not express it, children often want their parents to teach them certain things. At a certain age, they develop the need for social presence and thus want to learn how they can express themselves in certain ways. As a parent, it is your duty to teach them the appropriate ways of interacting with society.
Once you are able to get into the conversation zone regarding a heavy topic, then create a practice activity with your child to ensure that they have truly mastered social-emotional learning activities. Keep in mind that this process will not be as easy as having an imaginative conversation.
Letting your children develop their social-emotional skills is equally important to them learning how to behave with the people around them. And you also need to integrate social-emotional learning activities as early as possible.
You can find even find social-emotional learning activities for preschool and kindergarten students.
It is common for traumatic experiences to come up during such a conversation, so you should be prepared to handle them. This is where practice activities can come in handy.
The process of Empowerment and teaching social-emotional skills go hand in hand, so you should try to make your child feel empowered if they are finding it difficult to express themselves.
Also, never try to push your child to answer one of these questions. If you find them avoiding it, then there is clearly something blocking them from expressing themselves.
Either pick a different question or try to empower your child so that they are able to express themselves with confidence.
You need to be their parent, but you also need to be their teacher, so make sure to integrate social-emotional learning activities within your conversations.
Step 3: Importance Of Family & Social-Emotional Learning Activities For Kids
What’s your favorite family tradition?
Which characters from your favorite movie/book would we all be if it was real?
What do you think your parents need to remember about being a kid?
How will you parent your kids differently when you grow up to have them?
What do you like best about your siblings?
What is your favorite thing about our family?
What are the essential qualities of a good parent, according to you?
As a child grows up, they become distant from their family, and once they become an adult, they usually find their way back. To ensure this latter part of your child’s life, you need to make sure that they understand the importance of their family, and this includes parents as well as siblings.
If you are unable to create this bond within your child, it will only become difficult later as they grow up!
Surprisingly, most children are quite comfortable discussing their family issues, even more so than adults. This is because their emotions are unregulated. So, if you find that a family member is annoying, they will be quite frank about it.
But, if your six-year-old child calls their younger sibling annoying, then it is not a healthy expression of emotions.
It is important that you understand the aspects of your family that appeal to your child and also the aspects that don’t. This will bring you closer to understanding their emotional involvement with domestic activities as well as attachment levels.
At this stage, you can introduce them to social-emotional learning examples such as polite expressions and being thankful.
At the same time, it is also important to ensure that you are not curbing their expressive capability. If a child wants to address something that you are not ready to, you can never ever shut them up. Rather, try to create a safe space through a conversation that will help them cope.
You can also bring in certain fantasy elements to start these heavy conversations and then delve into actual emotional regulation activities. If you are able to ensure that your child develops a healthy expressive mechanism within their family, their life outside it will become much easier.
And such a bond is never easily broken, so they will carry a healthy relationship making quality throughout their life.
Step 4: Developing Personality & Sel Lesson Plans
If you could build your school, what would it look like, and what would it include?
What will you become when you grow up?
Where would you like to live when you grow up? (in an apartment, farm, mansion, a different country, or even an RV)
Which one goal of yours you’d achieve if success is assured?
What qualities do you like most about yourself?
What is that one thing you want to accomplish before you finish college or school?
Your child starts developing a personality even before you know it. Almost every single thing around them affects their growth curve, and most of them you will never be able to control. But, there are also a number of things within your control, and this is how you can help your child develop a healthy personality. The first step is to, of course, understand their current personality development curve.
This is best done through conversations that help the child reveal qualities about themselves. Once again, you will be relying on imaginary aspects to help bring about expressive fluidity.
A child may not be able to comprehend what their personality traits are, but based on the answers to the questions above; you should have a good understanding of the direction they are growing in.
Understanding your child’s personality is one thing, but molding it is completely another. Children are not easily susceptible to change, so they are most likely to put up barriers. The only way to ensure that such barriers don’t come up is by practicing Social-Emotional Learning lessons.
In case you are just starting out, you need to gain a good enough conversational platform before you can engage your child to change their behavior patterns.
If you are experiencing openness from your child, that’s great, but you should be prepared to engage them in conversations that will help open them up before you start building any Social-Emotional Learning lesson plans to develop their personality.
Lastly, you need to keep in mind that the child, in this case, is not at all like an empty vessel. It is as important to understand their point of view as it is to show the world through your eyes.
Your child is most likely to learn from you, but this does not mean you can ever be their sole teacher. So, teach expression, and you will also know if your child is on the right path or not.
Step 5: Making It Personal & Social Skills Lessons
What one thing about the world would you change and why?
How do kids who tease others must be feeling about themselves?
How do little kids who get bullied or teased must feel, according to you?
Did you have the chance to be kind to someone today?
Who gets bullied in your class? Why do you think that happens?
Will you speak for the kids who are teased or bullied? How would you do it?
Did you help someone today?
Once you have been able to develop a direct connection with your child, then it is time to make the conversations personal and ensure that they are actually practicing the social skills that you are imparting.
You can try giving them imaginary situations or even plan social awareness activities together. This will ensure you can truly get through to your child and help them pick the right path in life. Concepts such as empathy and care are easily learned by a child, but they still need help practicing them.
Once they are able to express themselves, you can start picking out areas where they still need guidance and integrate social-emotional learning activities that will help them develop their social-emotional skills.
This part of the conversation starter exercise is to be approached directly so that your child knows it is extra important. This will help them focus and learn quickly from you.
Speech is still the greatest human quality we own, and it can help build great bridges. So, why is it that we are unable to hold conversations within the familial setting?
While you ponder on that question, make sure to download our printable version of 35 Conversation Start for Families! It will definitely help you up to your game, and if you follow it rigorously enough, you will surely develop a great connection with your child!
The key here is to understand the level of connection that already exists between you and your children and build foundation blocks based on that. If you are feeling absolutely distant, then don’t necessarily jump to step 4. Maybe try certain imaginative conversations first.
But, if you feel that your child openly discusses their emotions with you, then you can definitely pick up where you feel safe.
As a parent, it is definitely difficult to keep up with the requirements of the modern age. Use these questions to gain a better understanding of your children and also help them develop qualities that you would like to see in them!
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