Volvo 2017 xc60 leaderboard 728x90

How to get your kids talking back (in a good way)

Part of the Kinderling Conversation for parents. Weekdays 12pm-1pm.

Thu 15 September 2016

9 mins

Brian Nankervis is one person whose made a career out of communication in different forms. He might be known as the face of the music trivia game show, RocKwiz, but the father of three, a comedian, writer, TV and film producer, also hosted an e-learning course by Kidsmatter about effective communication within families.

Turns out Brian’s love of quizzes is a lifelong passion that involved the whole family. Even the friends of his kids liked coming to their house because they’d get to play trivia games, and these days he runs quiz questions past his family first - before they make it on-air.

Tips for more meaningful family conversations

  • Conversations don’t have to be around the dinner table. They could take place in the car going to and from extra-curricular activities, while kicking a ball around, or taking the dog for a walk.
  • Instead of the usual “how was your day?” Brian’s suggestion is to ask each person for a highlight and a lowlight of their day. You might be surprised at the conversations that ensue and what you’ll learn from your 4 year old. 
  • Have a family quiz where each person has to make up a question for the next person.
  • Honesty, a willingness to listen, and cultivating an atmosphere of safety and respect where anything can be discussed, is fundamental to healthy communication within families.
  • The ability to maintain a sense of humour in every day life is a wonderful gift - especially in terms of de-escalating tense or stressful situations.
  • Encourage lively discussions, debate and feedback – without taking offence.
  • Rather than stewing on anger or hurt, talk about feelings and situations. Be in the present and learn how to let things go.

What kinds of things do you talk about in your family? What communication tips do you have?

More Screen Free Challenge features

Why colouring in is a timeless activity for the whole family

How do you create moments of peace with your kids Kylie Johnson is an artist and mother who has created a beautiful book for adults and children to colour in…
5 mins

How different is childhood today, and what impact is technology having on our kids?

Jean Twenge is a Professor of Psychology at San Diego University and the author of iGen, Why today’s super-connected kids are growing up less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy and
18 mins

Is it time to have a family digital detox?

How much time do you and your kids spend on screens? Perhaps you’re ready for a bit of screen-free time If that’s the case Dr Kristy Goodwin has some great…
11 mins

Mum, I’m bored! How to explain to kids why that’s a good thing

You'd be forgiven for wondeirng how we parented smartphones. It can seem like the only reason we can keep everyone on time, relatively clean, and mostly alive is because of…
16 mins

A small Aussie business making great off-screen activities for kids

Want an easy way to have some screen free time Tiger Tribe is a small Mum and Dad business that designs beautiful and fun craft gifts for kids. They take…
13 mins

Why your screen time matters too

We may want our kids to get off their screens, but are we providing them the example to follow? Leading digital parenting expert and children’s technology researcher, Dr Kristy Goodwin
15 mins