New year, new answers. I’m Getting My Kids to Talk Beyond “I Don’t Know” Answers this year, with a little help from #TalkEarly. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Getting My Kids to Talk Beyond “I Don’t Know” Answers with This Brilliant Response
How was school today?
“I don’t know.”
What did you learn in class?
“I. Don’t. Know.”
Did you do anything that was fun or exciting?
“I DON’T KNOW!!!”
Sigh. Parenting isn’t always easy. And when my son started preschool, these were the answers I would receive every flipping day. He was always the shy kid, and every response required prying and prying and PRYING for something other than those 3 dreaded words. It took a long time to get him to open up about any part of his day – to earn his trust, be patient, and honestly listen to his words.
Now at 10-years old, I can feel my son starting to slip through my fingers with the same pattern, different age. A foreshadowing to the pre-teen years, panic mode has begun to set in. I don’t want my son to grow up thinking that I don’t know is an acceptable answer…like ever.
And he’s not the only one dishing out the I don’t know answers these days. Someone else in our family is listening too. My 6-year old daughter, who absolutely adores her big brother, is starting to mimic the I don’t know answers. And I have ZERO tolerance for that. I’ve had enough of the I don’t know answers in this house. Here’s how we’re putting an end to I don’t know answers this year.
Because mama ain’t got no time for vagueness.
It All Comes Full Circle – Sorry, Mom!
I am scared to death to raise a pre-teen. I was a horrible teenager (Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, I’m SO sorry.). And I know personally what it was like to respond with “I don’t know” all of the time. Fear, shyness and embarrassment kept me from really talking to my parents about important things growing up. And now raising my own kids, I don’t want to ever feel like they can’t talk to me about the difficult life stuff, no matter how hard it can be.
How to Get Your Kids to Talk Beyond ‘I Don’t Know’ Answers
And it’s moments like these when I feel like I’m failing my kids. I don’t want every day to be a struggle for an answer beyond ‘I don’t know.’ I don’t want my kids to think that they can’t talk to me about the little things, the big things, and everything in between because of they fear how I will react. I want them to always know how much I love and support them, even during the hard times. And that I’m always here to listen.
So how am I changing up the I don’t know answer game this year? It starts with building my kids’ confidence and this brilliant response I recently read:
“If you did know, what would you say?“
Is it a trick question? Maybe. But removing the pressure and the emotions and even my children from the situation, it gives my kids a boost of confidence to answer in a hypothetical way. And I LOVE this. Opening a door to possibility outside of I don’t know, it allows my kids to explore other options without fear. Even if it’s a “Maybe I’d….” or “Probably it’s…” you have an open door to then ask more questions like “what ideas do you have” or “what possibilities could there be” or “what else could we…” and get into deeper conversations with our kids.
And with pre-teen years on the horizon, I will take any open door, window, doggie door to my kids’ lives I can get.
Why I’m Choosing to #TalkEarly Now
Having deep conversations with my kids is my passion as their mom. I want to know everything inside of those amazing brains of theirs, and for them to not be afraid to talk to me about the difficult life decisions ahead. And while not always easy, it’s so important to take time, make time, and sometimes slow time down to help my kids grow up to be the best possible people they can be: honest, open, and loving. And that means the hard tackling conversations ahead – like alcohol – with answers much deeper than ‘I don’t know.’
That’s why I’m so excited to partner with Responsibility.org for 2019 and their amazing #TalkEarly movement. This nonprofit program provides parents with tools, tips and knowledge to empower us to make confident decisions regarding alcohol, while also providing a foundation of a lifetime of conversations with our kids on alcohol responsibility within our families. This is more than just topic starters and cute infographics, this is a foundation for putting our family first – with deep meaningful conversations with our kids early (as young as 6-years old) and often (all the way through college years). Because we don’t want those difficult conversations to stop with I don’t know answers.
And I get that it’s more than just conversations. We as parents have to model good behavior too. With January underway and health on the brain, there’s a lot of folks considering change towards healthy habits, including myself. Health for me in 2019 is beyond the pounds and the mom pooch. If you’ve been watching my Instagram stories, you know that I’ve been on a huge exercise kick. But more than just getting my body healthy, eating better, saying no to that glass of wine, I’m doing this for my mental health. By giving myself a more positive well-being, I can be a better mom to my kids. I can be a better role model for them. I can lead a happier life – the life I want them to live. So whether you’re considering a “Dry January,” or just trying to live better in the new year, know that your kids look up to you and are watching your actions all of the time.
It’s never too early to start talking about the hard stuff. It’s never too early to help instill those healthy habits for our kids now, right now. And “I don’t know” isn’t going to be an answer for us anymore. Ready to change the conversations with your kids? Head over to the #TalkEarly website for more information. I’m so excited for this new partnership for 2019. It’s going to be a great year of parenting with a purpose.
How are you getting your kids to stop responding with ‘I don’t know’ answers?
I’ve been compensated as a #TalkEarly blogging ambassador for Responsibility.org for 2019. Even though this post is sponsored, I love the mission. All opinions are my own. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more parenting tips, easy family recipes, kids crafts and travel.