When I was growing up, my mom would bring up important conversations while we were in the car together. Her reasoning was that I was a captive audience and she couldn’t see me roll my eyes. While I have used this trick several times with my kids, I think I have recently uncovered the modern version.
A few weeks ago, my 9-year-old son and I had a complete conversation about something that was bothering him through email. The funniest part is we were sitting in the same room while writing back and forth. But I am positive that he shared much more with me because he didn't have to talk aloud.
My 11-year-old daughter and I have also had meaningful Skype conversations recently while she is sitting in another part of the house. At first it seemed just as absurd as my husband calling me on my cellphone from three rooms away, but then I realized that using technology encourages her to talk longer and more in-depth about her day than she would if we were sitting across the kitchen table.
While I prefer face-to-face communication, I am starting to realize that anything that helps my tweens talk to me is worth pursuing, even if it's not my first choice. So next time I need to talk about something important, I think I will log into Skype, send them an email or start an instant message conversation.
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And I have to admit, it is nice to not have to see them roll their eyes.