Have you ever wondered how to get your children to talk to you? We were really struggling to find out what our son had been doing at nursery, and, more importantly, when he has been upset but unwilling to talk to us. We both tried to talk to him, gently, quietly, asking questions but not wanting to put words into his mouth. Then my mum suggested that we get a toy to 'ask' him the questions.
When she first suggested it, I laughed. I have to admit that I didn't try it straight off, I dismissed it as an idea which wouldn't work. However, when we were still struggling to get information out of him, I tried it again and it totally worked! Who would have thought it!
Ever since then, whenever we have been having trouble finding out what is upsetting, or troubling him, we get a toy to ask him. Two nights ago he cried out every 30 minutes from 3am - 5am. When we went in to him he wouldn't tell us what was wrong. I ended up putting him in the spare room so that at least his sister, who shares his room, could sleep. The next morning, he still wouldn't tell us what the problem was.
At teatime, I suddenly remembered about the toy. I picked La La off the table and said, in a silly voice, "why were you upset last night?". He paused. Looked at La La and said, "There was a pirate and a witch in my bedroom." He paused again. "They were hiding and scaring me.". Finally, an answer! One we could do something about! That night, the pair of us looked everywhere in the bedroom and confirmed there were no witches or pirates hiding anywhere. We then left a giraffe on the table next to his bed and gave the giraffe strict instructions to look after the boy. He slept. All night.
So, if you are struggling to get your child to talk to you, pick up a stuffed toy, put on a silly voice, and get them to ask your little one. You might scoff or be sceptical, but give it a go before you dismiss it out of hand!