Getting our talk on

May 12, 2014 in family

When the kids get home from school or picked up from school, they aren’t very chatty. They aren’t ready to talk about the day yet as they are still processing everything. And I don’t push. Nothing is worse then being grilled and asked a million questions (“what’s for dinner, mom!”) when you aren’t wanting to have a conversation.

So, we let them wait until they are ready. Sometimes that means they start telling us things as the day builds on. Other times they need a little prompting at dinner time when they are typically ready to talk. It also helps when daddy gets home. For some reason, they just talk more about their day with him. Daddy can ask the exact same question and get a response when I get nothing!

Conversation starters

We tried to go beyond the basic “what did you learn today?” or “how was school?” because they didn’t elicit the responses/conversations we were looking for. And, they weren’t things that were easy to apply to the adults (yes, we try to learn everyday, but making it relatable to the kiddos isn’t always easy).

However, after some lessons at Sunday school and conversations with friends, we came up with a couple conversations initiators.

We like to call it high point/low point. And there are a few rules.

  • Everybody has to have at least one high point and one low point.
  • A high point is anything you deemed good or positive in the day that applies to you.
  • A low point is anything you deemed bad or negative or just didn’t like that applies to you (after some discussion, we added the “you” part because we weren’t interested in hearing about what “Bobby” did on the outside playground.”
  • You can have more than one high point or low point, but you have to have an equal number of both of them. (So, if you have 2 low points, you have to have 2 high points. If you have 3 high points, you have to have 3 low points to bring to the conversation.)

We’ve found that this brings out way more conversation than just the basic and typical questions. Plus, it involves everybody in the family and we all get to share about our very different days (I even help the 2 year old, E with hers!)

Then, after attending the Mom 2.0 Summit and hearing @DrRobyn during the keynote session sponsored by Dove, we added another question.


What has your beautiful body done for you?

Dr. Robyn discussed with us that we are overly emphasizing physical features and that all of all of our bodies are beautiful. We need to focus on what out body did for us and how it allowed us to achieve our goals for the day.

How do you initiate conversation in your family?

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Kayla @ TheEclecticElement May 13, 2014 at 8:56 pm

I really like the high point/low point conversation starter, especially that there has to be an equal amount of both :) It’s also nice that you don’t push your kids until they’re ready to talk. I think that makes the conversation more easy and truthful if it comes at their own pace :)
Kayla @ TheEclecticElement´s last blog post ..Happy Mother’s Day 2014!

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Amanda Her May 13, 2014 at 9:21 pm

I love the high/low point idea! I’m going to try this concept with my own family.
Amanda Her´s last blog post ..Huntley, IL: Deicke Park is Worth the Drive

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Adrienne May 13, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Never thought about children decompressing. Well, that would explain a lot! LOL! But I always ask my children how was their day. If they say good, they know to explain how it was good. I don’t do one word answers. Great tips though. Will have to incorporate! Thanks for sharing!
Adrienne´s last blog post ..Graduation Pearls of Wisdom

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Veronica May 13, 2014 at 11:42 pm

I remember that when my kids were younger they were a lot chattier on the way home from school. They are 17 and 12 now and they usually aren’t so chatty. My daughter will come back later and tell me stuff, my son really doesn’t say much about school. I usually get some chatter when watching TV with him. thanks for the great ideas to get them talking
Veronica´s last blog post ..Tip For Tuesday: Mix Your Dining Room Seating

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valmg @ Mom Knows It All May 14, 2014 at 12:14 am

I just ask. What happens if there was no low point in a day? It can happen.
valmg @ Mom Knows It All´s last blog post ..Build-A-Bear Huggable Heroes And USO Events In NY, IL, DC, CA And MO #babwUSOthanks

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Krystyn May 14, 2014 at 7:59 am

We all always manage to come up with something….it usually is something quite trivial. It just makes us really think back on our day. Sometimes it’s something as silly as “my apple had a brown spot at lunch today.”

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Jenn @ The Rebel Chick May 14, 2014 at 12:15 am

Talking side by side in the car is less intimidating for some since they don’t have to maintain eye to eye contact, so it’s good for tough topics.
Jenn @ The Rebel Chick´s last blog post ..Celebrate Summer with a Simple Strawberry Tart Recipe

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Krystyn May 14, 2014 at 8:09 am

Totally makes sense. I always have to remind myself that the whole “look at my eyes thing” isn’t good for most kids and intimidates them.

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Christie May 14, 2014 at 8:05 am

Dinner time is a definite for us. We catch up on our days at work and school.
Christie´s last blog post ..Farberware Cookware Set Giveaway

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Melinda
Twitter: lkwhtmomfound
May 14, 2014 at 8:08 am

mine took me walking for an hour. It wasn’t the most brisk walk because i was talking to a friend but it was moving
Melinda´s last blog post ..Pediped Footwear for Kids Review

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Amanda May 14, 2014 at 9:12 am

We call the high and low part of our day peaks and pits. My son has Autism so having prompts at dinner have really helped with him being able to start conversations.
Amanda´s last blog post ..Today’s Free Ebooks

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Dina May 14, 2014 at 11:24 am

I love the high point and low point so they don’t always say a negative. Great tips.

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Liz Mays May 14, 2014 at 11:43 am

We used to do a similar thing at dinner and it was always so interesting to hear the goods and bads in a day. I’m all for lots of conversation at dinner time!
Liz Mays´s last blog post ..These Squishy Little Shoes #Skyscape

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Krystal May 14, 2014 at 12:11 pm

I really like the high and low point. That is a great way to find out how their day REALLY went. :D
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StacieinAtlanta
Twitter: StacieinAtlanta
May 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm

I do something very similar. Really the only difference is that we have the conversation in the car after I pick them up. They all know, when they get in the car I will want to know about the best and worst part of their day.
StacieinAtlanta´s last blog post ..Join the @Arbys #BrisketIsBack Twitter Party 5/15 8-9 PM EST

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Rosey May 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm

It does sound like a great way to generate conversation. You girls go, getting your talk on! :)

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Tracey May 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

The high point/low point idea is fantastic! This is a really great post, thanks for all the tips!
Tracey´s last blog post ..WTF Wednesday

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Kat May 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm

I think we have to opposite problem. The kids come bursting in through the door and don’t STOP talking. It takes me FOREVER to try and get them to sit down and start their homework. And then at the dinner table they are STILL talking about their day. They talk so much their food gets cold.
But they weren’t always like this. I think when they were younger it was harder for them to express every part of their day. Now they express it and then some. ;)
Kat´s last blog post ..I Pray

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Amanda May 14, 2014 at 5:36 pm

These are such great tips. My kids are still young but sometimes it’s hard to even get them to talk about they day at preschool!
Amanda´s last blog post ..The Washington Monument, Earthquakes, and Me!

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Toni May 14, 2014 at 7:17 pm

I love the high/low idea. It’s so important to sit and talk together as a family.
Toni´s last blog post ..Laura’s Journey to the Stars App Review

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noelle d May 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I love this hi/lo thing..
Will have to try this with B soon :)
noelle d´s last blog post ..I am a Baseball Mom

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Mommy2jam May 17, 2014 at 2:53 am

I really love all these rules. I love how you get your talk on.
Mommy2jam´s last blog post ..When your idea was on fire, literally

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