10 ways for them to get their kids to open up
Hi buddy, how was school today?
Fine, my son offered
Wed been here before, and I knew enough
not to push any further. For the moment, Id
have to visualize what fine might look
There are times for all parents when getting
information from your kids is challenging, but for
fathers the challenge is often greater. Many
fathers dont share emotions with their kids
the way their mothers do, and many fathers
struggle to support and listen to their kids,
wanting to give advice instead.
For those fathers looking to connect with their
kids, here are ten ways for them to get their kids
to open up and talk with them:
1. Don't try so hard to get them to talk.
The harder you try to get them to talk, the more
they'll resist you. When you relax the pressure a
bit, theyll sense it, and be more ready to
2. Slow down your own life and be available.
Kids have a keen sense of how busy you are. If
you're providing enough down time for you and your
kids, they'll be more likely to feel comfortable
talking to you.
3. Engage in a physical activity that they
enjoy. Some kids are more comfortable when
theyre moving, especially boys. Shooting
baskets, playing soccer, or a game of catch may
have your child chattering away. Moving the body
can serve to move the mouth as well!
4. Share your own life with them, and be as
non-judgmental as possible. Many fathers
dont share much of their lives with their
kids. If you dont share your own life,
theyll feel less safety in sharing theirs.
And, if your kids feel they won't be judged when
they talk with you, they'll have no reason to hold
5. Use open-ended questions. Questions
that begin with "why" tend to create defensiveness,
and yes or no questions won't get much of a
response. Learn to use questions that stimulate
conversation. What did you notice about that
picture? works better than, Did you
like that picture?
6. Use the car as a place for conversation -
dont let them escape! You've got them and
they can't get out! Don't allow video games or
music to interfere with your opportunity to talk
with them. Far too many kids can tune
out today rather than becoming more connected
to their parents.
7. Reflect back what you hear from them.
It's still the best way for your kids to feel
heard, and the best way to encourage them to expand
on the subject.
8. Talk to them while they're coloring,
painting, or drawing. Using these activities to
allow your kids to express themselves can help them
communicate to you as well. And joining in on the
activity yourself can produce an even greater sense
of connection and sharing.
9. Provide opportunities for fun and
excitement. When your kids are doing something
they love to do, they'll want to share it with you.
Provide these for your kids, and listen to them
talk about it afterward!
10. Be a parent, but be a friend as well.
While you must be a parent first, being
friendly with your kids will help them to want to
share with you. Don't overdo the strict parental
© 2010 Mark
Other Father Issues,
* * *
To this day I can remember my father's
voice, singing over me in the stillness of the
night. - Carl G. Jung
a Masters degree in counseling psychology and has
been a counselor, business consultant, sports
counselor, and a certified life and business coach.
He has worked with individuals, teams, and
businesses to improve their performance for over 20
years. Prior to life and business coaching Mark was
a world-ranked professional tennis player and has
coached other world-ranked athletes. He has helped
hundreds of individuals to implement his coaching
techniques. Mark specializes in coaching men to
balance their lives and to improve the important
relationships in their lives. He is the author of
the popular e-books, 25
Secrets of Emotionally Intelligent
Your Wife in 30 Days or Less (And Improve Yourself
at the Same Time
Mark is also the publisher of the Dads
Dont Fix your Kids ezine for fathers.
To sign up, go to www.markbrandenburg.com
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