Talking to kids is harder than it may appear, especially when the kids don’t know you that well. For many adults, a discussion with kids is unavoidable, which means that they’ll have to deal with daily difficulties until they learn how to talk to kids.
Learning how to talk to kids is not as difficult as you might think. For individuals who are faced with impending discussion with kids, we have tips below for how to talk to kids and have successful conversations.
To learn how to talk to kids, you must learn about them and what they like to talk about, especially in relation to their age groups. Check out the topic suggestions below for each age group and find out why reading this article is a good choice for you.
How to talk to kids aged 3-5 years old
Cartoons and kids’ programming tend to be popular with kids aged between the ages of three and five.
You need to make sure to ask the kid which cartoon or program is her/his favorite. You can also ask him/her which character is the best in her/his eyes.
You cannot go wrong with cartoons because most kids of this age watch and love them. They’ll always have some knowledge about at least one cartoon.
It’s the kind of topic that is a conversation-starter, and it’s one that you can use to segue into other topics.
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Talking about best friends is danger-proof regardless of the kid’s age. For kids aged three to five years old, you can ask warmly about the child’s best friend and why he/she likes this person.
You can ask the kid if he/she hangs out with his/her best friend a lot. If the kid is still tightlipped, you can talk about your own best friend.
Kids of this age tend to be mature enough to have best friends. Everyone likes talking about good friends and the fun stuff they do together.
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The best way to guarantee a conversation with kids aged between three and five years old is by asking them which foods they love, like, hate, or don’t like. You can also ask them about their favorite snacks, such as ice cream or chocolate.
Many kids open up when the topic of conversation is something they love. Food is universally adored, so you’ll find minimum resistance in getting responses from him or her.
04Siblings or lack thereof
You can guarantee a sensible conversation with a kid when you turn the topic to the child’s siblings (if any exist). You can ask the kid if he/she has any siblings. You can also ask whether the child would like a sibling or not.
Kids of this age love to talk about themselves. Additionally, the shyest of them will likely open up about topics that matter the most to them.
Siblings are a topic almost all kids care about, so you will be able to create a little conversation.
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Toys make for perfect conversation topics for kids aged three to five. You can ask them what the toys they have, which ones are their favorites, and why. You can also talk about your own “toys” back home.
Kids aged three to five are usually still very interested in their toys, and they tend to have a favorite out of all of them. A conversation about toys will provide comfort to the child and get rid of any awkwardness they may have felt.
Since kids love talking about themselves and their toys, you’ll be sure to create a conversation lasting for hours.
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How to talk to children aged 6-10 years old
06Parents – their jobs, names, etc.
You can ask the child what their parents do professionally, if they enjoy their jobs, and where they work.
You can make it personal, especially if you want to guarantee that you have the child’s attention, by talking about your own parents.
Kids of this age can still talk to strangers about their parents without becoming too suspicious. They love talking about their parents, especially when they have a good situation at home. Still, divorced parents can create healthy situations for children too.
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07Superheroes, villains, and princesses
Do they ever dress up as Spiderman for Halloween? Do they ever wish that they were Sleeping Beauty from the fairytale? Who is their favorite superhero and why? These are the kinds of questions that you can ask kids.
This is a good topic for kids of this age because they start understanding and idolizing fictional characters like superheroes and princesses.
Besides, they think that these characters are interesting, so it’s OK to talk about them with kids.
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You can start your discussion by asking about their pets, and they are likely going to talk for a moment. You can go further by asking about their pet(s) and how they care for it. If they say that they don’t have a pet, you can ask if they’d like to have one.
The average American child aged six to 10 has a pet or understands the concept, so you’ll be on the same page.
Additionally, kids love talking about their animals because they love them. For this reason, the conversation will likely go smoothly.
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09Nature and how it came about
There’s no better conversation starter than asking about the earth’s creation. You can ask the kid about nature and talk about examples of it, such as lakes, forests, or mountains. Using questions with the format “Did you know…” also work well here with kids.
Kids of this age are just getting started with their learning, and they don’t have a lot of knowledge about the earth, so they tend to have varying, interesting answers on the subject. It also opens up longer conversations on nature and other issues.
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10Favorite subject in school
Start your conversation by asking the kid if he/she likes a particular subject. Then, you can ask about the kid’s favorite subject inside or outside of school.
Don’t forget, you can ask about the kid’s teachers and the reasons for his/her likes/dislikes.
Unless the child is not in school, which is rare, he/she will likely have a favorite subject, so this topic always works when you’re wondering how to talk to kids.
The trick is to get the kid talking about something he/she loves, which will always trigger a conversation.
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How to talk to kids aged 11-14 years old
Is there anything better to ask about than school? You can ask the kid about the coming or ongoing school year.
You can ask about his/her schedule in terms of which subjects he/she is studying and how he/she is enjoying the whole experience.
This is essentially asking a kid about his/her life, so he/she will definitely have answers to your questions. If you ask them correctly, you will build the rapport that you are looking to build.
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You can start by asking if the kids believe in aliens and other extraterrestrial creatures. If they do, you can go further by asking what fascinates them the most about aliens.
Kids of this age are usually still fascinated by UFOs, aliens, and other unusual forces or events, so it’s a topic that can work.
It’s also not very invasive because you’re not asking about the kid’s personal life, so children with issues at home will not feel uncomfortable to participate in the conversation.
You can ask the kids about their favorite games, their top scores, and if applicable, their current rankings online through leaderboards.
Video games are a good topic for kids of this age because many of them develop an infatuation with video games around this age. You also come off as an ally that knows what she/he is talking about, and that can build trust.
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14Celebs, bands, and more
You can ask the kids what they are listening to (if they are currently listening to something) and build on that. You can ask about their current favorite bands, their celebrity crushes, and the famous people they follow online.
This is the age when emotional behavior starts showing up. It’s also the time that band mania and obsessions with celebrities start to develop.
Conversations on these issues are also easy to start because they aren’t too technical or scientific.
Basing on what the kids look like, you can maybe guess their hobbies and have them agree or disagree on certain ideas. You can ask them about their hobbies and incorporate information about the hobbies you know about.
This is another classic example of a topic that lets kids talk about things that they like doing. These types of topics always have a high chance of leading into longer, more interesting conversations.
They are perfect for anyone who is wondering how to talk kids without coming off as boring to the kids.
How to talk to kids aged 15-17 years old
If the kids have the physique to play sports, you can ask them about their favorite sports or extra-curricular activities.
If their physique doesn’t suggest athleticism, you can still ask about their activities. They might be involved in other activities like drama club, music class, or cross-country sports.
The average American student takes pride in his/her high school extra-curricular activities, especially if it’s soccer or football. This makes sports a good topic because it’s not invasive, nosy, or creepy to ask about.
17College and university choices
If you’re with young adults, you can ask a few questions about where they would want to study for college, why they made that choice, and if they think that they’ll make the cut. These ideas should set you up nicely for an interesting conversation.
This is a good topic for conversation because it can prove very helpful to teenagers. Most of them are usually seeking advice and guidance about their choices for college anyway, so they are very likely to take charge of the conversation with questions for you later on.
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18Future career plans
You can start by assuming that they are interested in a career. You should avoid making judgements based on stereotypes. Then, you can ask them what they think about the career that interests them.
Between 15 and 17 years old is a time at which students start mapping out career plans, so they cannot dodge the question easily.
They also tend to enjoy getting advice from older people (like you), so it’s the ideal conversation topic if you’re just learning how to talk to kids or young adults.
You can ask these young adults about their preparation for the SATs because they might be coming soon.
You can ask them if they feel ready for these exams. You can talk about your experience with SATs back in your day and how you performed.
The SATs/ACTs are another topic that American teenagers between 15 and 17years old are thinking about constantly.
When handled well, it can trigger a conversation that will be long enough to build a rapport between the two of you.
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Are they going to prom this year? Do they have dates? Do they need help with asking their potential dates? Do they still do [insert action from your high school days] at prom these days? These are the questions to ask in order to start a non-creepy conversation with teenagers between 15 and 17 years old.
It’s hard to find a “kid” of this age that is not interested in prom, so he/she will be enticed to respond.
Kids love to talk to someone else about their hopes and fears about the prom, especially when it’s an adult who has lived through it.
Talking to kids is no easy task, especially if you are older and out of touch with their world.
If you are one of those people whose job or life involves kids, you’ll have to grasp how to talk to kids without being swatted off, ignored, or laughed at.
We hope that the topic ideas described in this article will help you the next time you need to talk to kids.