I am a proud blog ambassador with Ask, Listen, Learn. Though I have been compensated for this post, my thoughts and words are indeed my own.
Conversations with babies are easy. They are one sided. You talk and the baby has no choice but to listen. That’s not to say that these monologues aren’t frustrating, truthfully you aren’t getting the best feedback, and fact of the matter is, you don’t really know if they understand. You can’t wait for the child to be able to talk and respond.
And then that day comes. The first word. Followed by another and another. And then an avalanche of words and questions – YES! Don’t forget the plethora of questions that follow because the mastering of basic words, sentences, and concepts is merely the tip of the iceberg. A thirst for further knowledge follows.
And then, sometimes, the next step occurs. The silence.
Talking is selective. Conversations are, at times, difficult. And what makes this silence difficult is that as the child grows and learns more, there are difficult conversations to be had. Some spurned by questions. Others by environment.
No matter the situation, these important conversations need to be presented in a non- confrontational way. Kids often tune lectures out, but they do enjoy games. So how do you manage to have a fun conversation about living a healthy lifestyle and saying no to underage drinking? Let the kid be the teacher. Let me explain…
Responsibility.org has a number of games on their site meant to be fun engaging ways to jumpstart conversations with kids. Like their newest game Switchin Kitchen. Players attempt to switch trays to healthier alternatives as the trays fly through the screen.
Challenge your kid to game. Pretend to fumble through the motions of playing – let them teach you. Then use the game as a springboard to talk about healthy lifestyle choices and the importance of avoiding underage drinking.
As a parent, there are a number of important conversations to have. I know that I personally feel overwhelmed with the prospect of holding many of these knowing full well that I don’t have all the answers. That I won’t know all the variables. As a veteran middle school teacher, this is something that I have faced on a daily basis for years. But what I have learned as a teacher, and what I am learning as a parent, is that there are tools out there to help us.
The tools and games on responsibility.org can be used as conversation jump starters, or simply fun screen time for kids.
Modern day kids get exposed to a lot of information online, in books, movies, and conversations, and sometimes the questions they want to have, that they want to ask, they don’t know how to bring that conversation up. And sometimes, maybe even often, we parents don’t know how to facilitate those conversations without them sounding like a lecture.
Perhaps by using tools, like games, we will open ourselves and our kids up to be able to have these talks. Tools may simply be the keys to an important conversation.