Small Talk: How to Get Your Kid to Chat About Her Day

Conversation Stopper: Short Memory

At this age, your child is actively increasing his "working memory" -- the process used for temporarily storing and manipulating information. He has limited ability to recall the day's events at a later time. Working memory grows over time, faster for some than for others.

Talking Points: Chat up other parents and stay in contact with your kid's teacher so you'll be able to offer prompts such as: "Who was the mystery reader today?" Asking questions -- even if you already know the answer -- will help teach the art of the recap. Also, your child may not yet have a finely tuned emotional language, so opening up about things he felt during the day can be difficult. "Children usually respond to their feelings through action, because they can't always identify the feeling," says Michelle Maidenberg, PhD, the clinical director of Westchester Group Works, a center for group therapy. You can help build his emotional vocabulary by using words like excitement, anger, fatigue, worry, or frustration when you're talking about his behavior so he begins to see that there's a connection.

Parents Are Talking

Add a Comment