Why does talking time matter?

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TRANSCRIPT

[Brent]
Welcome to the Intentional Family Moment. Take a moment with us as we discuss our thoughts on your family questions, then join us in our weekly challenge as we work together to be more intentional in our families.
This is episode 7, hosted by married Coriaria founders Brent and Michelle. This episode is brought to you by My Mindful Mat – Your intentional parenting tool. Learn more at MyMindfulMat.com
[Michelle]
Today’s question is “Why does talking time matter?”
[Brent]
Let’s talk about what “talking time” is as a definition. Talking time is taking time with kids before they go to bed to talk with them about their day and to generally have a conversation to help them unwind at the end of the day. There are a lot of different benefits from it. Michelle has had a lot of experiences with that both from her upbringing as well as in our own family. Do you want to talk about some of the reasons that you think talking time is great?
[Michelle]
There are a lot of reasons. It’s one of the best times to really connect with your child because you are helping them decompress from their day. You get some of the more sincere aspects of their personality and their concerns. You mentioned that my mom did this with us. I have some vivid memories of being able to process some emotions. I have a vivid memory of talking with my mom about why I didn’t have a sister. I didn’t understand the adult side of that. We didn’t go into a lot of detail, but I was able to talk with her about the situation and process my feelings and desires. I connected with my mom. It’s not always that deep of a conversation. It became that deep of a conversation because my mom had made it a habit. I knew she was going to spend time with us in the evening as often as she could to talk with us about anything. Whatever the day is. It could be light, it could be deep. Making sure that was a habit helped me to open up with her even as a young child.
[Brent]
Absolutely. For me, growing up my parents didn’t extend talking time to me as a formal ritual but it was more of an open invitation to talk with them – especially when I had things to talk about. I took advantage of that a lot, especially as I got older as a teenager. I had a lot of conversations with them about things that were challenging for me in a variety of different ways.
You really nailed that on the head about making it a consistent ritual, a consistent practice. Making it consistent makes it normal, it makes it something the child is used to, they have practice having the conversation. Even when it’s on benign things, like that they had fun going to the playground today, or what they experienced at school or with friends, or in other activities. By normalizing that with the day-to-day, mundane things, it creates an opportunity for the more significant moments, the more pivotal moments. Like the moment for you when you were trying to process the feelings of wanting to have a sister, and the significance that that was for you. It created that platform you to have that conversation.
[Michelle]
Something I’ve noticed is that people in our facebook group have started this at a very young age. We’ve done this with our toddler, we get to learn a lot about our toddler. We get a lot of what we wouldn’t during the day because during the day a toddler is running around and busy, they’re climbing things, they’re always doing an activity. Right before they are going to bed, you get to see more of what’s going on inside of their head, and what things they are afraid of, what they love, and what’s on their mind before they sleep.
[Brent]
I suspect that it might even help with sleep routine as well, because when we sleep it gives us a chance to unload. We end up dreaming frequently about the things that are on our mind. When we are able to verbally process things that are on our mind, it may place us in a more reflective state that may be more conducive to sleep as well. Certainly I think that it’s helpful. Many people journal, for instance, at the end of the day in a similar practice trying to unload their mental state. For a toddler, or for children, or anyone to be able to have conversations before going to bed is a very natural thing to help people come to a good position for sleep.
[Michelle]
Let alone the fact that you are bonding with your child. It’s important to strengthen that relationship. A lot of times we learn things. Not only is it a great time for some teaching opportunities, but we learn a lot from our kids as you talk to them in the evening.
[Brent]
The beginner’s mind that a child brings to the world, of necessity, is a great benefit to their parents.
[Michelle]
A little plug – not only is it great for kids, it’s important for us too. Pillow talk is some of the greatest time that we have when bonding with each other. Even with ourselves in that process – when we talk late at night, we get to know our own souls. We are having to formulate it into a conversation. When we take the time to go to bed early enough to really have conversations in the evening, are some of our best nights.
[Brent]
Absolutely. One of the things that definitely comes to mind with that as well is the benefits of vulnerability and being able to have open and clear communication that is received in a non-judgmental way from your spouse. The benefits that come from keeping that dialog open and having that conversation are profound.
When it comes to challenges this week for our listeners – I think extending the challenge to try talking time with a member of your family. Whether that’s a spouse, a friend, or someone that you feel comfortable talking to, certainly with children would be a primary focus for a challenge like this. Then, let us know how it goes or on our social media pages.
[Michelle]
And, if this is something that you already do, I think if we take an extra ten minutes to make sure that there’s a quality amount of time – adding that extra ten minutes – can make a big difference.
[Brent]
For sure. Making sure that that ten minutes is a part of the regular routine is just as important as brushing your teeth and getting ready for bed in general, taking that time to have that conversation.
[Brent]
Thank you for joining us, now go home and change the world by being more intentional with your family.

Challenge: Do ten more minutes of talking time each night

For some ideas on how to talk the conversation, check out our free printable bedtime conversation PDF.

For ideas on expressing appreciation through love languages, check out this blog post.

If you have a question you would like us to discuss in a future episode, submit themĀ here.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Talking Time (Free Bedtime Conversation Starter Printable) - Coriaria

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