27 Sep, 2019
Today, why don’t you touch the sky
And move the clouds about.
Perhaps you’ll try to squeeze just one
And let some rain fall out.
What if the folks around the world
could feel like family?
They’d help each other solve their needs
And live more happily.
So many grand, amazing things
Are stored in every mind.
If only I would ‘tease them out,’
There might be more to find.
How many ‘What Ifs’ have you saved
And kept them in your head?
I wish you’d tell a few of them
And share with me instead.
I bet that almost 100 percent of you would raise your hand if I asked this question: Does (or did) your toddler ever stop talking? The answer is probably “No, never!” (Or that’s how it may have seemed). And it may have driven you a bit crazy, while at the same time it was a bit endearing, right? They were curious about their world. They wanted to know what kind of place they lived in, how it worked, what everything meant. They asked questions, they vocalized their observations, and most importantly, they talked.
As the last paragraph from the above passage from Reading Is Fun! Imagine That! suggests, “Share with me instead!”
This passage is intended to encourage children to open up as they get older and words aren’t so easy to come by. Because even if words aren’t coming out of your child’s mouth, they’re in their mind. They’re stirring around, waiting to come out, wanting to be expressed. We all have those moments of “What if?” We all have those desires to express the stored thoughts in our heads.
As much as we want our children to continue talking with us about anything and everything as they get older, the truth (as those of you with older children know) is that they become quieter (in most cases) the older they get. They become more “in their head,” and without some serious prompting, they keep to themselves. We don’t want to pry, right? We don’t want to push them away with too many questions and too many expectations that they tell us everything.
What we want to do is keep an open dialogue from the time they’re little so that conversations can keep happening, organically. What’s the best way to do that? Keep them talking!
They start when they’re little, as toddlers, with those millions of questions and endless verbally expressed thoughts. Let’s not let them go quiet. Let’s keep the conversations going into their teens and adult years. There’s really no better way to establish a good connection with your child than to start when they’re young.
I hope you’ll read the rest of the story-poem called “What If” to read some more conversation starters with your child.
Ruth A. RadmoreBack
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