Listening is the important first step to helping kids to open up. This means you’ve got to stop talking and listen. You may have a lot to say, and you may have little time, but we’re looking for long term benefits here.
Usually there’s silence at first. That’s ok. Be patient, things will change.
When they finally talk, restate what they’re saying so they know you’ve understood.
…then be quiet so they can talk some more….
If they don’t keep talking, you can ask another question, but keep your tone friendly, this isn’t an interrogation.
It sounds easy, but being a parent means you may have alot of wisdom to share and it’s right that you want to share it. But to share, you need to build trust. That means listening.