I do A LOT of schlepping for my kids’ sports. With upwards of 15-17 soccer, basketball and water polo practices, multiple times a week, we are in the car ALL THE TIME! Okay, yes … sometimes I do feel like a super sports Mom Taxi, but as it turns out, being in the car gives me an awesome and unique opportunity to talk to and connect with my kids. If you create the right environment, ask a few good questions, and really listen, you’ll be surprised how much you can bond with your kids on the way to sports practice.
I’ll share with you a few journalism 101 interviewing secrets to help get your kids to open up:
- Ask open-ended questions. “Tell me the best part of your day” as opposed to “did you have a good day?” which often leads to a single-word, yes or no answer.
- If you listen, you can ask follow-up questions, which is one of the keys to having good and meaningful conversations.
- And most importantly, resist giving critiques or advice.
Here are some questions to help you get started … let us know how it goes.
#1 WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF YOUR PRACTICE or DAY? It’s interesting how putting this dark twist on it really gets them pumped up to talk about it. Next, you can follow up with “what was the best part of practice today?”
#2 WHAT DID (Insert a classmate’s name here) DO IN SCHOOL TODAY? This works especially well with younger kids. It’s easier for children to describe what their friends did because they saw it, it wasn’t an intrinsic event and it doesn’t force them to observe themselves. Often, they did the same thing anyways and this can lead to further discussions.
#3 Pick an age-appropriate current event and ask them their opinions. If you have more than one child in the car, getting them to choose sides and make points for and against the topic is also a great way to get the gab going.
#4 Tell them something unusual or interesting about your day. I always forget the power this has. Just like with grownups, opening up to your kids will often generate a similar response and they will in turn tell you about something personal that happened to them.
We’d love to know what questions get the conversations flowing in your car! Please share them with us below!