There is no activity, no matter how creative and suitable for someone it is, which can replace a conversation that is held between a child and their parent –father or mother. Children need to talk to their parents and teachers, so we, parents and teachers, should do our best to satisfy that need, but also further encourage the good habit of conversation. Its benefits are many.
To begin with, the children’s self-confidence increases. They feel that they are respected and paid attention. In the second instance, their critical thinking is cultivated and their oral and written speech is improved. Nowadays, a lot of parents try to create a profitable environment, which contains nice games and activities that are conducive to their children’s mind and body; and they should certainly do so. However, in a parallel manner, they ought to spend time and discuss with their children provided there is high quality and depth in the conversation.
Moreover, a dialogue that is based on reasonable arguments is consistent with the freedom every man has –thus, so does the child. Even if we are 100% sure about an issue and we want children to adopt our view, it is suggested that we try to persuade them through a conversation, instead of imposing it on them. For instance, we want our children to develop the habit of reading good literature. We will not really succeed if we try to compel that habit. Yet, if we support our view with soberness and reasonable arguments, we will make a first step for the achievement of our goal.
A conversation based on reasonable arguments was also Socrates’ favourite method (469 – 399 B.C.). The Athenian philosopher never aimed at imposing an opinion of his. He used to discuss tirelessly with everyone, respecting their personality.
In his book “Papa, my father”, the American professor and writer Leo F. Buscaglia (1924 – 1998) describes the good habit his family had developed after his father had suggested it. Right after lunch, while the family was still sitting around the table, every child should present a new piece of knowledge about any subject they would like –geographical, historical, scientific, anything… After that, a lively debate followed. Buscaglia, while making an assessment of that family tradition after many years, remarked that their father, even he himself being unaware of that, educated them with the deepest and truest meaning of that term, looking at them, listening to them, respecting their opinion, giving them a feeling of dignity. His father was undoubtedly the teacher who influenced them more than everyone else.
Therefore, in any case, the habit of conversation between us, adults, and our children will help us to create a meaningful relationship which will endure and will bring many benefits to everyone.