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#GEP12Days — Day 4 : Having Meaningful Conversations

Sometimes when you ask a child a question, the best you can get from them is a single-word answer, but other times it can be difficult to keep up with their mile-a-minute stream of verbal consciousness. A good conversation has a balance between these two extremes; both people are able to express themselves in a back-and-forth manner. Meaningful conversations are important because healthy brain development depends on stable, responsive relationships with caring adults. So how can you make talking with your kids more productive? Here are a few ideas:

  1. Here are some general tips for having conversations with Pre-K children, along with a video that models a productive conversation between a real adult and preschooler.

  2. PBS’s article “How To Have Better Conversations With Your Children” has ideas for those who are trying to get uncommunicative kids to open up more.

  3. Sometimes picking a theme that your child enjoys can help open conversation. Cox Campus shows how to do this by using animals as a talking point.

  4. At times it can be a struggle just to think of a good question to start off with. Here is a list of 42 conversation starters sorted into five different categories.

Need book recommendations? Drake Community Library has got you covered with a Meaningful Conversations booklist!

  • Are You Listening? Fostering Conversations that Help Young Children Learn by Lisa Burman

  • Come Sit with Me: Making Friends on the Buddy Bench by Tina Gallo

  • What Should Danny Do? by Ganit Levy

  • Words Are Not for Hurting by Elizabeth Verdick

  • Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer

For more titles check out our online catalog at:

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