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Thursday Thirteen #79: Thirteen Ways to Get Your Kids to Talk

February 7th, 2007

My favorite spam I’ve ever received:

“You A Winner!”

No, YOU a winner!

I, I am NOT a winner for “Share the Love.” Dammit. Terrible Mother, you rock.

Back to my list: To my kids, everyday I say, “You’re the best.” For my Thursday Thirteen, here are “Thirteen Other Ways I Get Them Talkin'”:

May I start by saying, if you ever meet us in person, you’ll be thinking a better question is, “How do I get them to stop talking?” Nonetheless, I’ve heard that some of you have kids who clam up. Even Wacky Girl, for example, has been known to tell her father, Hockey God, “Ask mom, I already told her,” when he asks, “How was school?”

13. I ask, in a monotone, “How. Was. Your. Day?” as my kids are mimicking me, “How was your day, honey?” or saying, flatly, “I know. Now you’re going to want to know how my day was.”

12. I change my tone of voice, I scream, “HOW WAS YOUR DAY?” or I whisper, “how was your day? Did you hear me? Your day. How was it?

11. I ask them, “What happened today that was exciting? Boring? Gross?” Then I rethink this — do I want to know about the gross? Yeah, if it means they’re talking with me.

10. We talk about their art (Wacky Boy, mostly) and their homework (Wacky Girl, mostly)

9: Lunch: Always Scintillating. “And then she was eating sardines! With their heads on! And we all went ‘ewwwwwwww…'” (True story.)

8. P.E. and Recess: Why They’re the Best Part of the Day.

7. Who was there?

6. Who has lice?

5. Who has a crush on whom? (This topic can carry on for hours. After awhile, you become numb and wish for a social life that was half as exciting.)

4. “Did you get hurt? No? Great! Who did?”

3. Sometimes I ask about class time. Sometimes I quiz them: Do they know the next holiday that’s coming up? The year? Who the president is? “Who would be the best president?” “MOMMY!” Yes, I would.

2. I say (and mean it when I say it), “Yes, I do want to know” when they mutter, “You don’t want to know.”

1. I am relentless. (You may have already guessed this.) I have threatened to dance, sing in public or keep asking them questions until they give me some information. Keep those lines of communication open, people.

And now, a story by Wacky Boy:

A Swamp Frog Named Bob

Chapter One

There was a frog. His name was Bob. He liked swamps. He goed to one one day. His whole family liked swamps. He wanted to meet a crocodile and he did. The crocodile’s name was Crocodile Snack.


  1. Caryle says

    Cute list! My mother had the opposite problem with me when I was growing up. I was a latch key kid, so I practically talked her ear off when she walked in the door. :)

    February 7th, 2007 | #

  2. Eric says

    Ahhh…a parent. You just got to do what you have to do to keep ’em talking and keep those lines open and you have some very unique ideas! I will have to remember them when Darling Daughter (14 months today) hits those wonderful teen years.

    February 7th, 2007 | #

  3. Wendy Ann Edwina D'Cunha e Pereira says

    okay I might have to use some of this in future or will the methods change by the time I have to use them…. hoe not… Right now all line of communication are open… with both my 3 yr old & 5 yr old… am not sure of the future though…

    February 8th, 2007 | #

  4. Jane says

    What a hoot! I remember those days. It used to drive me crazy when I would ask my boys how school was and they would just say: “Fine”. I love it that you are relentless.
    Thanks for stopping by my T13.

    February 8th, 2007 | #

  5. Raggedy says

    I am going to have to try some of these on my kids.
    Great list!
    Terrific Thursday Thirteen!
    My TT is posted.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Happy TT’ing!
    (“)_ (“)Š

    February 8th, 2007 | #

  6. John Masters (JAM) says

    Great list, nothing quite scares a kid like impending embarrassment by a parent. It’s the surest way to get them to cooperate.

    When my oldest daughter volunteered at our local hopspital one summer, every day when I picked her up I would ask her, “Well, any two headed babies or gunshot wounds today?”

    The answer was always no, but she would launch into what she did encounter.

    February 8th, 2007 | #

  7. christieo says

    great job! you’re so right, always keep those communication lines open. right now, we’re still babbling back and forth, but i hope to do the same one day! happy tt!

    February 8th, 2007 | #

  8. Christine says

    Kids are so funny! The food at lunch is always a good topic for an ice breaker. My daughter’s 13 now, so now I get to hear all the teenage drama. I agree with you, it’s not so much what happened at school, but just how their day was.
    Very creative idea for a TT!

    BTW!Cute story by your son!

    February 9th, 2007 | #

  9. Jill says

    I know about the crush thing, and the little boyfriend/girlfriend thing!!! One of my friends’daughter keep informing on every crush and little boyfriend she had!!!(We don’t need to help her talk, we wish she could stop sometimes!!)

    February 10th, 2007 | #

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