Ask Specific Questions
Avoid yes or no questions. Instead of asking, “Did you have a good day?” which will nearly always yield a one-word answer, ask your child a specific question like, “What was your favorite part of recess today?” or “What did you make in art class today?” If specific questions still elicit “I don't know” answers, then talk about interesting parts of your day and follow-up with related questions, such as “What should I give my boss for her birthday?”
Share Family History
Tell funny or fascinating stories about when you were your child’s age or about your parents or extended family. If your child doesn’t chime in, ask him/her a question periodically, such as, “If you were Grandma Smith, what would you have done?” After a dinner full of memories, pull out family photo albums or family keepsakes to continue the conversation.
No one wants to communicate with someone who isn’t listening. Give your children your undivided attention and make direct eye contact with them. Let them finish their thoughts and don’t interrupt. Ask follow up questions like, “So what did you do next?” to show your interest and extend the conversation.
Cook with your Kids
Designate at least one night a week when the whole family cooks together. Make the experience enjoyable and pressure-free by playing music everyone loves. During dinner, discuss the experience and the delicious food everyone prepared. Plan future family cooking nights and menus by asking for your kids’ input.