20 Tips for Effectively Talking with Kids

Do your attempts to converse with the kids in your group or class get met with awkward silence? 

Do you have a hard time making new kids feel welcome in your ministry?

Here's 20 tips that will improve your kid communication skills and help you become a pro at one-on-one kid conversations.

1. Ask, "What was the best thing that happened this week for you?"

2. Ask, "What was the worst thing that happened this week for you?"

3. Ask, "What makes you happy?"

4. Ask, "Who would you like to meet that you've never met before?"

5.  Get on their eye level.  Remember you're bigger than they are.  Imagine what it would feel like if you had to look up at someone every time you were talking with them.  When you get on their eye level, it shows you care about them and want to connect on their level.

6. Speak as simple as possible.  It's not the time to use the latest medical term you've learned.

7. Avoid leading questions like, "Don't you want to be a part of that small group?"

8. Avoid general questions like, "How was your week?" or "Did you have a good visit to your grandmother's house?"  These will normally lead to one-word answers, such as, "good," "bad" or "okay."

9. Listen. Really listen.

10. If a child complains about something, ask what they would like to see happen or want to change.  This will validate their feelings and help them focus on a solution.

11. Ask what their favorite movie is?

12. Ask what their favorite video game is?

13. Don't talk down to them.  Baby talk is okay in the nursery, but no where else.

14. Ask what they like to do for fun?

15. Ask, "If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?"

16. Ask what their favorite flavor of ice cream is?

17. Ask them to tell you a joke and then share one with them.

18. If you are leading a group, ask the kids to listen to the person who is talking.  Let them know they will be shown the same respect when it's their turn to talk.

19. Ask if they have a pet? If they don't, ask what their favorite animal is.

20. Ask about their family. 

Remember...kids don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.  When you connect with them, it opens their heart to receive what God wants to do in their life through you.