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Scientific Studies Explain the Best Ways to Talk to Children
"When the children are older, they've learned not to take close-ended questions as literally as younger children do. They are closer to adults, who understand close-ended questions as invitations to tell a narrative. But for most children, close-ended questions will elicit the shortest answer possible. More than that, close-ended questions may even get a child to tell you things they know aren't true. They feel pressured to answer close-ended questions."



"When talking with kids, stay away asking about time. Chances are that they won't be able to tell you when something happened."



"Other Things You Can Do To Make a Child Talk (And Things Not To Do!)

Here are a few other things that studies have shown encourage a child to speak:

• Using the child's name (Hershkowitz, 2009)

• "Back-channel" facilitators like "Uh-huh" and "Oh" (Cautilli et al., 2005)

And a few things not to do:

• unclear invitations like just saying "Tell me more" (Hershkowitz, 2011) or even "Tell me more about that" (Walker, 1993)

• Invitations as questions. This is a huge one for those of us from California. The invitations "You said X. Tell me more about X." can become "You said X?" with the right inflection. That turns it into a yes/no question and will pretty much stop a kid's narrative. (Evans & Roberts, 2009; Evans et al., 2010)"
time  children  interviewing  interviews  taching  parenting  communication  conversation  2013  openended  open-ended 
june 2013 by robertogreco

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