As a new school year starts, life inevitably gets busier. Spending time talking with your kids is something that unfortunately can get pushed to the wayside. I encourage you to push back. Spending an hour 4 to 5 times a week talking with your children greatly impacts them.

Talking with your children teaches them how to listen and how to express their own opinions. It gives your child an active voice. Conversation increases vocabulary and encourages reading ability growth.

Use conversation to express interest in your family’s daily life. Talk about current events in appropriate ways for your family. Take turns talking. Be an active listener and model listening for your child. Encourage your children to engage in conversation. Frequent conversations with family members has a positive impact on children’s values, motivation, personal identity, and self-esteem. Children who talk with their parents are more likely to understand, acknowledge, and follow the boundaries and expectations of their parents.

So, take some time around the table, in the car, or on a walk and talk.