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

Great podcasts for parents and carers

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?

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