Ten Ways to Connect With Kids

31 03 2011
  1. Observe. Notice habits, nuances, personality. Watch how they relate and play. Learn what they think about and their tendencies. Get to know the child.
  2. Culture. Be a student of kid culture. Read Toys R Us, watch their shows (and enjoy them!), play with their toys and games.
  3. Ask. Ask lots of questions! Who, what, where, when, why, how? What’s your favourite…? What would you do if…? How do you feel when…?
  4. Listen. Practice active listening. Engage your eyes and ears. Restate what they say in your own words. Give non-verbal cues like raising your eyebrows, laughing or touch to show that you are interested in them.
  5. Stories. Use the power of story to connect and teach. Read, tell or create fanciful stories. Try the “What If” game. For example, ask, “What would you do if it snowed 100 hundred feet of snow?” Make links to real life decisions and attitudes.
  6. Repetition. With younger children, repeat things often–they love to be ‘in-the-know’! Play the same game for a week or once a week for a month. Tell the same stories over and over with genuine enthusiasm.
  7. Unpredictable. With older children, use the unpredictable. Surprise them, change your approaches. Throw them off by creating a different story ending.
  8. Build trust. Be there for them over and over. Admit your failures. Grow with them. Be a genuine friend.
  9. Play. Play often, play long, laugh loud, get creative, get dirty–whatever your kid enjoys, do it with them. Explore new possibilities to find new things you enjoy doing together.
  10. Pray. Seek God for new ways to connect. He is always seeking to connect with those who want Him. Model that and ask Him to show you how he’s working and how you can also ride that wave.

How do you connect with the kids in your world?

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