Mindful Conversation Starters, by EVOLvED Trainer Amy Nucera

Connecting with our kids on a meaningful level and being able to gauge how they’re doing mentally and emotionally is as important as it is difficult. How many of us have been on both ends of the following conversations? 

Person 1: How was your day/work/school?
Person 2: Fine.

Person 1: What did you do today at school/work/camp?
Person 2: Nothing.

If you’re trying to start an ongoing dialogue, these types of questions set you up for failure because they beg for one-word answers (or, in the case of my tween, half-hearted shrugs.) 

Here are a few tips and tools to take the pressure off and help spark real conversations.

  1. Eat together. People and food go together like…well…peanut butter and jelly. We naturally gather around food to talk, laugh, celebrate our joys, and ease the burden of our sorrows. Commit to sitting down to at least one meal together each day where you put away devices, turn off screens, and just be together.
  2. Don’t only focus on the good stuff. Having a positive attitude is important, but it doesn’t mean ignoring anything negative or unpleasant. It’s important to talk about hard things and tough emotions they’re experiencing during, or as a result of, their school day. If you can normalize sharing the small things now, they’re more likely to share the big things later.
  3. Use open-ended questions. Instead of “how was your day?” try “tell me about something that was easy/hard/fun” for you today.”  If you need some ideas, download the Mindful Conversation Starter printables* below. Keep them handy in a jar, old tissue box, or other recycled containers, and pick a few each night at dinner, or whenever you want to talk or check-in. (PS – These questions aren’t just for the kids – make sure you share your answers too!)

Download Mindful Conversation Starters page 1 (PDF)

Download Mindful Conversation Starters page 2 (PDF)

Want to learn more about sharing yoga + mindfulness practices with students? Join me for one of two upcoming EVOLvED Heart-Centered, Mindful Education 8-hour teacher trainings. 

Dates: August 25 & 27, September 1 & 3 (four 2-hour sessions)
Schedule: Sundays 11am-3pm EDT (Sundays 8am-12pm PDT)
Click here for more info & to register!

Dates: September 6 & 13, 2020 (two 4-hour sessions)
Schedule: Sundays 11am-3pm EDT (Sundays 8am-12pm PDT)
Click here for more info & to register!

Written by: Amy Nucera
Next Generation Yoga Teacher & EVOLvED Trainer
Ambler, PA (greater Philadelphia area)

Amy began her career in early childhood education where she specialized in imaginative play and creative movement. Years later she found NGY was able to combine her loves of yoga and education by contributing to curriculum, training, teaching, and providing support to Team NGY. With yoga + mindfulness as her main focus, she is thrilled to be able to share techniques and tools with children and educators that help cultivate a positive & healthy school environment, manage stress and reduce anxiety for students and teachers, and promote empathy & tolerance towards others. Learn more about Amy here.


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