So many times I have watched Sammi sitting quietly and just wondered what on earth was going through her head. I think that is the great mystery for parents about their children. You watch your child grow, you know their likes and interests. You can even guess the reactions they’ll have to different situations or food or challenges, but in the end, when they sit quietly (which rarely happens) we are left wondering what is running through their heads.
Are they complex, problem solving, abstract thoughts or simple thoughts about their immediate environment? How can we get at that information without affecting the content of what’s shared? I can figure out a lot when I watch Sammi play. She often recreates experiences she’s recently had and then manipulated them to change outcomes. But sometimes there are no leads to go from.
We had the opportunity today to use Cherish Bound‘s Child Chat cards to start conversations that gave us some interesting insight into Sammi’s thoughts. Each card contains a question to prompt a child to talk about a particular topic. The Child Chat cards contain questions that come from a variety of aspects of a child’s life: school, about me, my family. My mom fanned the deck of cards out and let Sammi choose any card she wanted. Then we asked her the question and she answered. Some questions brought back memories for me that I shared with my mom and we were able to tell Sammi some fun stories.
Sammi’s Cute Answers
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
S: A big girl
Q: What is your favorite TV show and why?
S: Curious George because it’s fun.
Q:On rainy, snowy or extra hot days, what does your family do for fun inside?
S: Build tree houses.
Q: What is a lesson that you learned from your teacher this year?
S: To be nice.
Q: Describe something that was really hard for you and now is easy.
One of the cards asked what happens in your family when you lose a tooth. This hasn’t happened yet for our children and isn’t something we’ve ever talked about. I almost moved on after reading the question, but at the last moment it dawned on me that this had opened a door to talk about the tooth fairy in a context where Sammi was ready to understand the concept. This worked because Sammi was really engaged in the activity of reading the questions and answering them.
After we had moved on from the cards, we found Sammi playing the card game on her own. She was making up questions for her pretend friends and stuffed animals to answer. She also loved it so much she wanted to do it with her daddy when he came home. I was worried that the cards might be above what she could understand or what she’d be interested in doing. I’m glad I was wrong! I learned a lot about Sammi and what she thinks about.
As part of the Fall Fling giveaway, Cherish Bound is providing one winner with a set of Child Chat cards. They are also giving away the Fall Story Starter book to another winner. If you haven’t entered yet, the deadline has been extended to Wednesday, Sept 30. Winners will be announced Thursday Oct 1. Leave a comment on the Join the Fall Fling! post to enter. Leave a comment on this post for an extra entry. I’d love to hear what your child is thinking and how you figured it out.