Ask an open ended question and … listen.
You know what kids really, really want? They want to be heard. They want to be listened to, recognized, admired and adored. You hear them all day (whew, everyday … ), their rants and raves, their requests, demands, and questions. You hear, but do you listen? It’s all they want. Try it, it can be enlightening. Here’s a question to ask. For bonus points, think to yourself what the answer might be. It’s not a test to see if you know your child, but just for fun, what do you think they might say based on what you know of them … which is hopefully quite a bit seeing that they’re your child and all. But the results can be surprising.
In our testing, this open-ended question let the child’s imagination run wild and was often quite surprising for the parents. Ready?
[quote]If you could have any magical power, what would it be?[/quote]
That’s it. Ask clearly then be quiet and listen. No need to elaborate, they know what the question is. Their only challenge is usually processing the 412 magical options going through their brains to bring out the one that makes the biggest appearance right here and right now.
Want double bonus brownie points (more on this later … ): write (or just make up a bed time story on the fly) a tiny story using a character who has that magical power. The story could be one minute long, it doesn’t matter. You’re showing, proving even, to your child that you listened, paid attention and now even used what you heard by creating a character with something he or she created. Created from his or her own imagination.
- Possible: hear
- Impossible: listen
- Repossible: create