3/12/2012

How To Get Your Kids To Talk To You

My seven year old, Nathan, is an introvert. He may have gotten my blue eyes, my curly thick hair and my height, but he has 100% of his father's personality. He is usually so quiet and serious, processing everything in his head.

For the past three years Nathan has been going off to school for the whole day, every day, and I don't get a daily written report of what happened like I did in preschool. I am always dying of curiosity when he gets home but he normally has zero desire to talk about it. It can be like pulling teeth! "What happened at school today?" "Nuthin." "Anything exciting or funny happen?" "I don't remember."

I get a lot of "I don't remember" and "I don't know".

So this week when I read the most wonderful post in the whole wide world by Jen Hatmaker, I was struck by her mention of a dinner table game she called "High/Low". The entire family goes around the table taking turns sharing the high point and low point of their day.

Brilliant...turn it into a game that everyone in the family participates in.

So one night this week while my husband was away on a business trip and I was having dinner at home with the boys, I decided to try it. I first gave them my high and low, and then they gladly each took turns sharing theirs. I learned a lot and it really got us all talking about what happened during our day.

So the next night we were having dinner together at McDonald's (special treat with dad out of town) and I decided we should try it again. My goal is to make it a ritual. One by one we each shared our high and low for the day, with Nathan and I having the same low of a time out for disrespect a hour earlier. I told them my high for the day was solving a challenging problem at work.

As soon as the kids finished their food they hopped up to go play on the indoor jungle gym. A woman sitting at the next table had been quietly looking at her phone, but when my kids got up she immediately turned to me. "I LOVE your high low game! What a fantastic idea!" I told her I loved it too but it wasn't my idea. She said "My low for the day just happened and I'm still a nervous wreck. I was getting gas with my daughter in the car and I started to drive away with the gas nozzle still in the car! I'm so glad I didn't cause some big explosion." I smiled and we chatted a bit before I left.

We've played the High/Low Game three days in a row now and it has yielded much more information about what my kids are not only doing at school, but what they're feeling about too. Last night my four year old even asked to play the game again.

2 comments:

Sarah Hubbell said...

Love this idea!  I'm definitely going to try this!

Sarah Hubbell said...

I'm going to have to remember this! It's definitely going to be weird not getting daily reports anymore after preschool... I look forward to them everyday. But High/Low is a great idea for the whole family.

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