How to Start a Conversation With Kids

Kids are constantly going through a variety of emotions. How do you continue to know what they are going through? How do you build relationships so that they come to you?

By starting conversations – and keeping them going. Having conversations is crucial to healthy growth and development. And the more you practice, the more you can build your confidence to tackle life’s tough subjects with your kids, such as mental health concerns, racism and tragedy. Our resources can guide you in getting started and giving advice, along with how to talk about difficult topics.


Get Started

HOW-TO GUIDES
Ariana Hoet

Step 1: Starting the Conversation with Kids

Talking to children about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences is a necessary part of their healthy growth and development. Check out three tips for starting conversations – and what to do if they don’t want to talk.

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Step 2: Keeping the Conversation Going

Once you’ve started important conversations about thoughts, feelings and experiences, how do you keep kids talking and create an atmosphere where they’ll keep coming back to you with future problems or worries? How did you make that experience rewarding – and pleasant – for kids? 

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Step 3: Problem Solving and Giving Advice to Kids

Your child has opened up during a conversation and has told what you what’s going on. But you have questions, concerns or you want to provide advice. How do you react? What do you do?

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Talking to Kids About Their Mental Health

What do you do when you are worried about your child’s mental health? It’s a difficult subject, but the earlier we have these conversations, the better you can respond and get help. See our expert tips.

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Setting Limits and Rules in a Positive Way

Kids have their own thoughts, opinions and goals. And our conversations with them can sometimes wind up in arguments or frustration. Learn how you can set limits and rules while continuing to have a positive relationship with your child, despite having tough conversations.

Operation Conversation

Operation: Conversation

What is Operation: Conversation? It’s a check-in on kids' mental health. When we start simple habits of conversations, we can learn about concerns or problems kids are dealing with, help them problem solve, and build their confidence for life's difficult moments.

Join us from Mental Health Month in May through World Mental Health Day on October 10 for Operation: Conversation. Together, we can start important conversations - and keep them going.

More Conversation Starters

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Questions to Ask Kids at the Dinner Table

With busy schedules and activities, it's sometimes challenging to start conversations with our little ones or teenagers. Sitting down together at the dinner table is the perfect opportunity. Here are some questions to help get the conversation going.

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Talking to Kids About Racism

Every family, no matter their background, should be having conversations about race and racism. If you are unsure how to start the conversation with your kids, use these resources to help guide you -- from setting an example to asking the right questions.

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Talking to Kids About Current Events

Kids often become aware of current events due to conversations with peers at school or through social media. Our experts have ways to start a conversation so kids are getting correct information and have an opportunity to share how they are feeling.

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Talking to Kids About Politics

Talking about politics is always tricky. A frequent question we’re asked is, "How can we navigate talking about politics with our children?"


Additional Resources