Reciprocal conversations – Aajol

Reciprocal conversations

It is natural for parents or adults to ask our children what they did at school or at home while the parents were away. Usually many parents have a common complaint that the child doesn’t share what they did. Even if the child shares, here’s a thought.

Children learn heavily through modelling. When we meet our child after the child returns from school or after we return from work, how about we narrate to our child the story of what we did and what happened around or with us in an age appropriate way?

This has many advantages:

  • The child learns about our life and the chores that are a part of adult life.
  • The child’s vocabulary increases.
  • The child learns the skills of memorising and narrating their story.
  • The child is in a position to reciprocate organically and open up about their life and their feelings and thoughts to us.
  • We get novel stories to tell every day!
  • The child feels and knows that the child matters and is valued.

The last one is the most important one.

Activity:

Whenever you spend some time away from your child and reunite with your child, instead of asking them questions, narrate your story to them. Include what happened when you left the house or when they left the house, what you thought, what you felt, what you did, what you saw. Include if there were any animals or vehicles or whatever interests your child. Try to be animated, lively and detailed.

Then maybe pop the question of what happened with your child and see if the child is open to sharing. Make sure you don’t pressurise the child and trust that when the child is ready, they will share openly (if there’s no judgement in response from you of course.)

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