How to Start a Conversation With Your Introverted Kid

“Hey, bud—how was school today?”


“Anything interesting happen?”

“Ugh, I don’t want to talk about it!”

It was kindergarten, and my husband and I were starting to worry that our son wasn’t enjoying school. Whenever we tried to talk about it on the way home, he got upset; it seemed like he just wanted to stare out the car window in silence. When conference time rolled around, we were relieved to hear that he was excelling and could always be counted on to participate in class, but what was going on during our drives home?

Dr. Michele Borba explains that it may not be reasonable to expect introverted kids to be at their best right after a busy school day. Letting them have that time to decompress and waiting till later in the evening can make a huge difference. Make sure your tone is interested, not interrogatory. Finally, if your child doesn’t respond right away, just wait—give them that time to think instead of insisting on a fast answer!

We noticed that our son consistently wanted to talk after lights-out, so we moved bedtime earlier to give him more time for it, and we stopped asking questions right after school. Now he knows we respect his needs as well as our wants–and he’s a little chatterbox every night!

Key Takeaways:

—Ask interesting, open-ended questions. Boring questions get boring answers!

—Don’t pile the pressure on for fast responses; let your child think about the answer.

—Begin conversations at the time when your child is most relaxed, instead of insisting on the ride home or the dinner table.


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