Saturday, March 17, 2012

20 Activities to Help Your Child to Open Up

At times connecting with your children can be difficult. Sometimes we don't know what to do, how to do it or even what to say. Sometimes talking to kids directly about tough issues is intimidating, and they often respond by shutting down. Playing games with children can bring their guard down, and provide them the time they need to get comfortable in order to open up.  Reading a book that talks about what they are going through can help facilitate conversation as well.  You can ask them questions in a gentle manor like, “Have you ever felt that way? Tell me about it.” The most important key to getting kids to open up is spending quality face-to-face time with them.  

Activities great for opening up:
1. play a board game
2. do a puzzle
3. go for a walk
4. play in the sand
5. make things with clay or play doh
6. paint (brushes or finger paint) 
7. read books
8. camp
9.  go fishing
10. hike
11. canoe
12. cook together
13. go on a jog together
14. go on road trip
15. build something
16. work on a project together (like fixing a car if older)
17. go exploring
18. go shopping
19. catch frogs or bugs
20. find a hobby to do together

What is unique about the activities I picked for this list is that you can easily talk while doing these things. Also if the conversation lulls, you can focus on the activity. This helps make both people more comfortable. The more comfortable some one is, the more likely it is that they will open up. Whatever your child is going through, it is beneficial for them to feel safe talking to you. They need to know with your actions that you are available and you care. Remember it is not a kid's job to pursue you. That is the parent's job. Time invested in a child is never wasted. 

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