Getting Kids Talking Giveaway with Mary DeMuth

In my post earlier this week, we chatted a bit about raising kids who are passionate, not perfect.

Another goal I’ve had as a mom is to raise kids who will confide in us. Communication is key to any healthy relationship but sometimes getting kids to open up isn’t the easiest task to accomplish.

Enter my friend Mary DeMuth.

Mary is a writer, speaker, wife, mother, writing mentor and worshipper. A prolific southern fiction writer, she also has two fabulous books for helping parents raise kids who are confident, courageous Christ-followers. I’m including a copy of each in today’s giveaway. It includes:

~ A copy of 150 Quick Questions to Get Your Kids Talking

~ A copy of You Can Raise Courageous & Confident Kids; Preparing Your Children for the World They Live In

~ Some Orville Redenbacher’s movie theatre butter popcorn to munch on while you talk with your kids

Hear Mary’s heart on a few elements brought forth in her books:

Mary, what prompted you to write 150 Quick Questions?

I wrote the questions because I grew tired of just doing “What was your high & low point of today?” around the dinner table. I wanted to delve more deeply into my kids’ hearts.

So I wrote up 150 questions, printed them, cut them into strips and put them in a basket in the middle of our kitchen table. The kids took turns taking them out. So we tested all of these before they ever became a book. In fact, it was a few years before Harvest House published them.


Why do you feel engaging kids in conversations is more valuable than issuing ultimatums?

Engaging kids in chatter is a great way to our kids’ hearts. They’re more likely to entrust us with their secrets, fears, and wishes if they feel we’re listening. They will naturally confide if they feel safe. It’s always better to go for relationship, because good behavior flows out of good relationship.

What is the best piece of parenting advice you’ve ever been given?

Best piece of advice: Look into your kids’ eyes. Stop and pay special attention to them when you’re talking to them. Make them feel like they’re the most important person in the room.

Okay friends, if you would like a chance to receive this helpful book bundle, leave us a comment telling us either the best piece of parenting advice you’ve been given or your favorite way to connect with your kids—a game, tradition or simple activity. Winner announced Friday.


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  1. Teaching my child how to pray and praying with him – at any time – after he’s been hurt, when we see a helicopter/fire truck/ambulance, before meals/bed, etc.

  2. We started a tradition when each child started kindergarden, that the family would go visit the place where mom went to kindergarden,. It was a day trip to which included a few of my favorite parks, the places where the kids great-grandparents are buried, and the houses I lived in growing up. This gives me a specific day to share the memories and experiences I had growing up with my kids. We’ve added new places each time we went on the “family adventure” so that after four children, it takes a full day to see everything. With the youngest being in third grade, and the oldest a sophomore, all of them asked to do it agoin this year. It touched my heart, that they still wanted to go hang with mom.

  3. My daughter is a little shy about looking right at me when she needs to share ‘tough stuff’. I found that if she can avoid that she is more likely to open up. So, I am careful to make sure we have time to connect after lights out at bedtime. She is lying flat, I rub her back and she chatters on and on. I will admit that sometimes I wish she didn’t have so much to share so I can get on to other things, but I am grateful that she still wants to spend this time opening her world to me because I sincerely want to hear her heart.

  4. Having devotions with them. My grown son just brought this up the other week at breakfast out. Good memories of the times we talked afterwards. We used a children devotional book that had short stories and at the end it would ask, Were you listening? Questions followed and they did well in answering them!!

  5. We either go for walks or I lie down with them at bedtime.. They love the quiet and one on one time together with mom and it seems to relax them

  6. Interesting your are talking about getting your children talking – I used to tell my husband to listen to our girls all the time. Even when they are just blabbering and chattering, because one day they will be saying something you need to here.

  7. For me I’ve learned that to connect with my kids best I do not need an activity or planned out day of entertainment. I just need to be there. Available to them and focused on them and sitting in the grass in the front yard can become their favorite thing we did all day!

  8. I always tell my boys if there is a word that they hear at school they don’t understand to ask and they wont get in trouble if it is an “bad” word. We explain the word or concept to them so they know if it is alright to use the word again. I think knowing that they wont get in trouble for communicating to you is important!

  9. We ALWAYS have supper together as a family and that’s where most of our talking is done. Even at 13 and 16 they know the importance of meal time as family. But raising teenagers is a very hard task these days….I feel so unprepared.

  10. My favorite connect time with my 15 year old daughter is bedtime. We have always spent time right befor eben snuggling and talking about the day. My greatest moment is when she comes to me and still wants our night time moments together, even over texting and TV! I know these moments will not last forever, so I cherish every one.

  11. My aunt and my mother both told me to ask open-ended questions (ones that require more than a yes or a no answer) to draw my son out more.

  12. The best ways for me to communicate is a car ride. We have 3 girls 16, 12 and 8 and two boys 4 and 1. If I want to chat with someone, they can run an errand with me. Just us in the car no sisters or brothers or television to get away from me. I also will go play with them if my 4 year is playingin his room with his toys I wl go lay on the carpet and play too, if the girls are in there room, I wil go and ingage myself in their conversation. We also eat dinner as a family each night and share our high and lows of the day

  13. Best piece of advice: be willing to say you’re sorry when you’ve messed. Your kids will learn from you –the good and the bad.

  14. Best advice that I’m putting into practice now is to create a home that feels safe and comforting. Ive tried to stop fighting my son over cleaning his room and now that Im home and unemployed, it’s a pleasure to me to fix up his room while he’s ar school and make his breakfast and lunch as he’s leaving in the morning. He faces the world our there daily bur home is his safe and sacred space where he can always return. :)

  15. The best advice? Listen…stop what you are doing and give them your full attention. That isn’t always easy in this techno age. I also like to leave a simple note in a lunch box. Eating together with the TV off is another way we connect. The kids all try to talk at once. They have so much to say when you take the time to listen. Remember, what may seem trivial to us may seem like the end of the world to them. Their life experiences are limited. Empathize with them and work together to solve the issue.

  16. My boys and I (11 and 8) love to sit together and read The Marvel Encyclopedia. If superheroes is what they want to talk about when we have time together, that’s what we’ll talk about. I have come to love Thor and Iron Man! ;)

  17. Best advice – Put God first and the rest will follow.

    Favorite connecting time – snuggling in at bedtime, with the lights out, just listening to what’s on their hearts.

  18. My favorite time to connect is at bedtime when we read books and say prayers. However, I find the best way to connect is when they get to choose something they like to participate in then they talk more when they are doing something they like and they choose to do. I like Mary’s idea of putting the questions into a bowl. I am always open to new ideas and new ways to connecct.

  19. When my son was born and we were told he would be deaf and blind, an older member of my church came up to me and looked at me with bright eyes. She simply said, “God has given you a gift and it is up to you to accept him and love him as he does.” We began talking and she re-assured me that all of our kids have been perfectly molded as Christ wants them. There will be hard times, fun times, sad times and happy times. Love them just the way they are and love all of their individualities.

  20. The best piece of parenting advice I ever received was from my mother. I had called her up on the phone on my very first day completely alone with my newborn daughter. I was terrified and just sobbing that I was afriad I wouldn’t know what she needed when she cried. Mom said: “always do what seems natural to you”. Her meaning behind this was: “don’t worry about what other people say you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T be doing just do what seems natural to YOU”. Best advice ever! I actually have a nother great piece of advice that I don’t remember who or where it came from, but I live by it also. When you children hug you….let them be the first to let go of the hug. These two pieces of advice have been my most proved and effetive partenting tools. 18 years later, I still abide by these two pieces of advice.

  21. Be authentic! Treat your children the exact same behind closed doors as you would in front of the people you want to impress the most.

    Take them seriously! Your children’s thoughts and feelings are very serious to them, treat them that way. They are the most important, relevant, things in their lives and are just as serious as the things in our, adult, lives.

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