This is a sponsored post brought to you by Real Mom Media. The opinions are completely my own based on my personal experience with the product and using it with my teen.
“How do I get my tween to talk to me?”
That’s one of the most common questions asked by parents of tweens and teens.
As our kids become middle and high schoolers, they are more likely to spend time in their rooms with the doors shut. They’re also really focused on their devices, and known to give one word answers to questions.
Just when kids reach an age where connecting with them seems (and is) hugely important, doing so gets a whole lot harder. It’s one of the paradoxes of parenting.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. A different approach can make all the difference. The desire for face-to-face connecting with her kids is what led mom Kat Rowan to try a new approach and create TiffinTalk.
TiffinTalk is a box of questions to share with your kid that facilitate conversation and get some really good discussions going.
The tag line of TiffinTalk is “Tech off. Talk on.” That’s a mission parents can get behind.
TiffinTalk is a box set of conversation cards that have been thoughtfully designed with expert input to get your kids talking. These were a bit different than other conversation starters I’ve seen. I really liked that they were designed to go in a lunch or backpack and then be discussed later. It relieved the pressure for either of us to formulate an answer on the spot. Unsurprisingly, time to think about the question led to more thoughtful answers.
Another plus is that there is room to write a note or draw a silly picture for your kid. That extra bit of connection meant a lot to me, and made it more personal to my child.
I knew that TiffinTalk was about asking questions, but one fun surprise for me was that the cards also have “tiffin tidbits” – fun facts – on the back. If you’ve been around here for a while, you may know that my family and I love fun facts. Hence why there’s a whole section of this blog dedicated to them.
There are 13 weeks’ worth of questions in the box, and each week has a theme. The themes covered a variety of topics, from poetry to friendship to how things work. Each week has a summary card that contains conversation hints. I appreciated that the kids weren’t expected to like everything and that opinions of all kinds are encouraged. As the notes for the Artists to know theme week says, “Talking about what your child liked (and why) is great, but may not be nearly as much fun as talking about the artists whom they didn’t like.”
One of our themes was “Puzzlers” and I confess that I was a little worried that it wouldn’t be up my daughter’s alley. I was wrong. She got really into it and had fun not only doing the puzzles but also showing me how they worked. (Yes, I needed some help.)
Some of the cards are serious, and others are less so. The card with the proverb “A white-washed crow won’t stay white for long” sparked a really interesting discussion. The one that involved conjecturing on how a toilet works elicited some giggles. Others asked about how the definition of friend varies online and off, whether tomorrow is more important than today, and feelings about different colors (and what should be green that is not).
While talking at dinner time works for many families, try a few different times to see if your child is chattier at different points in the day. Or try in the car. When you’re looking at the road and not them, kids are more likely to get conversational. The where and when doesn’t matter so much, what matter is that you’re taking and connecting, and that’s something that’s great for both you and your kids.
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