Why do children tend to share less and less with their parents as they get older?
Parent: “What did you do at school today?”
Average replies of children (aged 7+) are as follows: “nothing”, “Dunno”, “not much”, “can’t remember”
Parent is now feeling frustrated and rejected. Sound familiar?
The way in which a child’s brain develops means they often lose the capacity to express themselves with words or even remember what they did that day (at school).
This is quite normal and shows the maturation of certain brain areas, though often this accompanies the phrase “I forgot” that echoes throughout the adolescence period (it is actually quite a fact!)
So how do you elicit a response that will encourage expansion? Well, You ask an open question.
You might be wondering what one of those is and why use one?
Well, It is a question that generates a ‘thinking moment’ and encourages the frontal part of the brain to work with the lower parts of the brain and put a story to the events of that day. It’s a question that cannot be answered by one-word answers.
To help you think about this some more, consider what they might want to tell you and ask a question around that.
Hereon lies the secret…
Be genuinely interested and ask when you have time to listen to the answer. Children really need to be heard and validated and this is a simple way to begin this process.