This afternoon I was walking home with my eldest daughter Sydney and her friend K and I decided to take a step back from talking to them and discussing their day and instead listen to them talk to each other while they walked.
I was absolutely fascinated at what they spoke about and how the conversation progressed into a new topic. As we were crossing the road K yelled out “you can’t run across the road cos you could fall and a car might hit you and you will die”. For a few minutes both girls were discussing how when you die you go to heaven which is some place in the sky.
What had me even more fascinated was how K described how you ‘get up into the sky’. Her theory is that another part of you comes to take you to the sky. Both girls were adamant that when they die they will still be best friends in heaven and will even go to each others house to play.
The conversation was followed by how people they have never met or met once when they were babies are now ‘up in the sky’. After a few minutes I was shocked when one child yelled out “can we stop talking about death? It’s boring!”. There are a few questions running through my head at this point. How do they know death is boring? How often do they talk about death?
Seconds after stopping the death talk they spot a garden and look at it’s features. There was a ceramic shoe which fascinated both girls, just as much as the flowers they picked from it. They each hold a flower and explain how they are going to plant the flower in the garden when they get home and watch it grow. I love how children have the general knowledge of how things work. This is where parents and other members of the community come forward and extend the children’s knowledge.
I could have interrupted and had a discussion about death and how the basic principles of planting a flower, but once again I decided it best to just walk with them and listen. There were a few arguments on the way home, but how are these girls who say they are best friends going to resolve issues if I keep stepping in to settle things down? Would you believe they sorted their issues out and were fine when we got back to the house.
I believe that sometimes it’s best to not ask questions about your child’s day and instead step back and listen to what they talk about to their friends or siblings. I have always been amazed at how much I information I can get out of my children if I let them initiate the conversation. By doing this I am teaching my children communication skills, social skills, problem solving and showing them I am always their when they are ready to talk.
Until next time