Encouraging Kids to Share Their Daily Lives: Tips for Parents of Talkative and Quiet Children


Encouraging Kids to Share Their Daily Lives: Tips for Parents of Talkative and Quiet Children

Evita Beāte Spīķe, Preschool Teacher at “CreaKids”

When a child starts preschool or goes to summer camp, it is crucial for parents to know how their child’s day went. Parents want to understand what their day was like, what positive or not-so-positive moments occurred, and how their child is feeling. Getting answers to these questions is important, but it’s also essential to ask questions in a way that encourages the child to express themselves without imposing the parent’s views. It’s important to recognize that there are talkative children who can describe their day in great detail and those who respond very briefly.

Give the Child Time to Answer

One common mistake when asking children about their day is including the answer within the question. Asking, “How was your day, did anyone bother you?” essentially directs the child towards a negative response. Even if nothing bad happened during the day, this question can prompt a negative answer. Similarly, when asking “How was your day?” and receiving a “good” response, we shouldn’t assume the conversation is over, as “good” can mean different things to different people. Working with five- and six-year-olds, I’ve noticed that asking them to name one thing that made them happy, one thing that surprised them, and one thing that made them sad can help them share their feelings. It’s important to give the child time to think and come up with answers, even if it takes a while.

Talking About Daily Activities Enhances Memory

Questions about daily activities can be framed in the same way, such as not just asking if they ate lunch and what they ate, but also encouraging them to describe the vegetables they ate and their colours. This not only informs about their daily routines but also helps train their memory. Moreover, talking about meals can reveal that a child eats foods at preschool that they don’t eat at home. It often happens that a child is more open to trying new tastes when eating with other children at preschool, including vegetables they might not eat at home. In such cases, it’s important not to say, “You didn’t like that, did you really eat it?” as this could discourage them from trying new flavours in the future.

Questions About Feelings

When a child starts preschool, many parents worry about naptime, especially if their child is reluctant to sleep during the day. At our preschool, no child is forced to sleep; instead, we organize rest periods where children can relax their legs, eyes, and minds, and often they fall asleep naturally during this time. This happens very spontaneously. To get a better understanding of a child’s feelings, instead of asking, “Did you sleep today?” you can ask, “How did you feel after resting or napping?” or “Did you feel different than before?

Motivating Through Play

If a child is quiet and responds briefly to questions, you shouldn’t force them to talk or criticize them for being quiet. This can make them withdraw even more. While waiting for the child to express themselves, we often start formulating answers for them. It’s important to remember that young children don’t yet understand what’s important and what’s not, and they often agree with their parents automatically, which can lead to misunderstandings. To motivate a child to express themselves in a friendly and creative way, you can use game elements, such as creating dice with pictures of different foods or preschool activities (games, morning circle, breakfast, walk, etc.). You can roll the dice with the child and ask them to describe the picture in a few words. This kind of game helps improve their storytelling skills and reduces anxiety about speaking. Introducing such a game as a daily routine will help the child get used to sharing their feelings and daily activities, which will be beneficial later on when they are older.

Helping to Formulate Thoughts

There are also very talkative children who are ready to share their daily activities in great detail. In this case, it’s important not to suppress their desire to share and not to tell them they talk too much. One of the daily elements in “CreaKids” preschool is the morning circle, where each child has the opportunity to speak. Since there are both talkative and less talkative children, we usually ask them to name three or five important things they want to talk about. This motivates the less talkative ones, while helping the more talkative ones to formulate their thoughts and decide what was really important. Additionally, this also helps maintain their counting skills.

Sharing as Much Information as Possible

Starting preschool is a new experience for both children and parents, so it’s very important for all parties involved to cooperate. If mom and dad, when dropping off the child at preschool, say it will be fun, there will be new friends and interesting activities, the child will also be positively inclined. If parents feel confident, the child will also feel more secure. At the same time, parents’ worries and anxieties are completely normal, so we try to alleviate all concerns, allowing them to get to know the preschool, the teachers, and the daily routine before starting school. We believe that the task of teachers is to share as much information as possible – every time we meet with parents, we talk about the child’s daily activities, as we know that even the nuances are important to parents.

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