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happy family habit #8 - establish a chatting spot.  Part of a great series on the little things families can do to be happier together.

Happy Family Habit #8: Get Your Kids to Talk with a Chatting Spot

We’re back with another Happy Family Habit today and it’s a really good one.  Kristin has a lot of really useful tips not only on the when and where of setting up a chatting spot with the kids – but also the how and why.  

So what do you say? Ready to spend the next 21 days establishing a chatting spot?

Talking is easy when kids are little.  In fact, sometimes we feel like it would be nice to have a little less talking!  But getting into the habit of talking with your kids will be worth it’s weight in gold at about the age of, say…thirteen.

By creating a time when we put away phones and turn off distractions, we focus all our attention on our child.  The conversations are meaningful, and you’ll be surprised at the deep thoughts of a five year old.

Bedtime is the easiest time to establish a chatting spot.  We are already slowing down and finishing up the day.  Most likely we go in their room and tuck the kids in, read books or pray.  At some point in the bedtime routine, ask kids about their day. 

Ask how they feel about what happened and most importantly be a good listener.  As your kids grow, the conversations will move from playground games to more serious issues like bullying or self-esteem.  The more comfortable kids are in talking with their parents, the more they’ll open up.

If you’re looking for more opportunities to talk to your children, try special dates.  Plan a specific time to take your child out by him or herself for a meal or favorite activity.  When you’re away from the regular routine, it can be a great time to talk one-on-one.

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Have you noticed that a child’s mood will affect how much they want to talk?  If they’re feeling down or frustrated, you might get a lot of one word answers.  But, if a child is feeling happy, they’ll be a little more chatty.  Taking that special time will set the stage for good conversation.

Speaking of setting the stage, things like making dinner together or cleaning up the yard are purposed activities that build camaraderie and open the door for dialogue.  Be thoughtful and put in the effort now to establish a chatting spot.  You’ll be thankful you did!

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Question of the Day

Do you have other ideas for establishing a chatting spot?

 

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Kristin is a former teacher turned children’s photographer in southern California. Visit her website to read all about her adventures in photography, cooking, and her love of style.