“Get To Know Your Kid.” What an idea huh? I read somewhere recently that we shouldn’t be so caught up in “doing” things with and for our child, but should be more concerned with developing a relationship with them. I mean honestly, how often do we spend actually talking to (NOT at) our children? Do we take the time to listen to what they’re saying? Do we talk to them like they are people? (May sound like a funny question, but I know I’ve been guilty of spending a day simply communicating orders and handing out tasks, rather than simply TALKING with my kids.) Talking with our children, and truly getting to know who they are as people is one of the most important things we can do as a parent. This notion sparked author Shana Connell Noyes new book, “Get To Know Your Kid,” put out by Abrams Books.

The book, “Get To Know Your Kid,” is comprised of 100 questions specifically designed to spark conversation between you and your child. Each page features a new question, with plenty of space to record your child’s answer. You will LOVE coming back to this book for years to come, and reflecting on who your child was at that point in their life. Each page also has a spot for you to record the date the child gave their answer. If your children are older, you may find you need the whole page to record answers, and may want to work through the book together over a shorter period of time. However, if you are doing this book with a younger child, (I am working through it with my five year old), you may find that you will be able to go through the book several times. Rather than using the date marker at the top of the page, I have been recording my daughter’s answers (typically just a sentence or two), and writing the date next to her response. I find that I have plenty of room to go back and either work through this with her again in a few years, and see how her answers have changed and developed, or work through the book with my two other children as well. No matter where your kids are at in their development, this book will work for you….lots of options and ways to use this book!

I can see this book being an incredibly fun way to begin communicating at the dinner table. Why not try out a question after each meal? What a fun way to get your family talking (and growing closer together!) Throw the book in your purse or in the glove box, and pull it out whenever you find yourself waiting…in the waiting room at the dentist, in the carpool lane waiting for a sibling, etc. Use the little opportunities we are given in a day to TALK to your child! Find out who they are and what they think. What do they believe? What do they love? Dream about? Feel? Find out! I have had so much fun listening to my daughter as she answers the questions, and can’t wait until my boys are old enough to work through this with them! How fun will it be to pull this book out as they age and smile at who they were?!

The questions range from things such as “Do you have secret abilities that no one knows about?” to “If you found a kitten on your doorstep what would you do?,” to “Describe a perfect day.” You will be delighted to find out what your child really thinks and how they really view their world. For example, my daughter feels she has the secret ability to win board games “I don’ think Daddy knows about that, or he’d never play with me, ‘cuz I win every time!” I also learned she thinks marriage is “When you kiss someone,and then you marry, and then you dance a lot.” You will laugh as your child may give you very sincere answers that are hysterical, such as “If you could give one person a gift and not have to pay for it, what would it be,” and they answer, “I’d give someone a pillowcase.” =) I also found it amusing that in response to , “Who is the funniest person you know,” my child answered without hesitation, “Hannah (herself)! (Then she made a funny face.) See, I do this!” I loved it! Spending even a few minutes each day really taking the time to listen to her and get to know her better was rewarding and an experience I’m grateful for!

If you have kids between the ages of 4-13, I highly recommend picking up a copy of “Get To Know Your Kid,” by Shana Connel Noyes. You can find this book on the publisher’s website HERE, or on MANY online retailers, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, etc. Pick up a copy and get to know your kid!!