Meal Time Conversation- Its the Best Bonding Ever
When your kids return from school, the usual question which we ask is “How was your day?” and the reply is fine. Lot of parents including me want to know more but they have their standard answers and refuse to open up. What should the parents do then? It is always better not to shoot questions as soon as they come from school. They are either tired or hungry. Dinner time is a good time to start a conversation. One meal in a day should be family time. If it is too difficult in the week days then make sure you do it in the weekends. Weekends can have many more activities but a “Family Meal Time” is very important and you should give it priority.
Now lets focus on How Dinner Conversation should be started.
· Start with your day. Say some happy moments first then not so happy moments. The topics always depends on the age of the child.
· This approach is much more beneficial and kids don’t hesitate to open up. Initially, they will focus on the good stuff but eventually they will open up.
Now finally they have started talking. You have started getting more detailed answers from your child. Here are some conversations that are important as a family. And remember, no topic should be off-limits.
Keep the conversation aligned to their developmental levels. Ask them what they heard, and if they have any concerns. Be sure to remind your children that they are safe and secure, even if we don't have all the answers.
Þ Climate Change
When it comes to climate change, discuss all the things you can do as a family to help the environment. Do some amount of “Brainstorming” and find out ways you can conserve energy like shutting off lights when you leave a room. Suggest picking out reusable water bottles and lunch bags to limit single-use plastics. Set out a recycling bin in your kitchen to encourage your kids to reduce waste. If we identify ways to address a problem, it can help children feel somewhat in control and that they are making a difference. Giving some amount of control to the kids is important.
Þ Special Needs and Disabilities
When considering children with special needs, we often focus on what makes them different from us, rather than that focus on what makes us all alike. Connecting these similarities helps your children build empathy for others. In case of special children they are always blessed with special qualities or abilities. Either they are good in painting, singing, etc, etc but they are blessed. Try and always highlight their special abilities.
Þ Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking
This topic is completely age appropriate. We can start discussing this when the kids are entering their teens or are in their pre-teens. You and your child may have seen a character in a movie smoking or using drugs. Maybe your child knows an adult or a friend's parent who smokes. Take advantage of those teachable moments by explaining how cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs can affect a person's body. If the child is around 6 years then keep the discussion simple.
Kids cannot explain what death is all about. They will be confused and sad at the same time. Give your child a chance to express his feelings about the deceased. If a relative, friend or pet recently died, ask your child to talk about his feelings. Ask your child to remember what was so special about this person or pet.
All children should learn about what is and what isn’t appropriate when it comes to touching or being touched. From age 2 to 5, children should learn about boundaries. Skip details and focus on “Good Touch and Bad Touch”. Ask permission to tickle them and then have them tell you when to stop. Explain they should tell you when it’s not comfortable and emphasise that they can talk to you if they’ve ever felt they were inappropriately touched.
For children aged 6 years and up establish rules about talking to strangers, not eating anything that a stranger offers, share with them the usefulness of passwords. And instruct them if they see something that makes them uncomfortable in-person. They should immediately discuss it with you."
This was just a small information. More topics coming up soon.