My son can’t wait for this text to arrive each week. He asks if I have it, and it has transformed our dinner conversations. I subscribed to this weekly text message from Parents Together, called Q4KIDS last year when I was driving our children home from pre-school and I was having trouble getting my older son to talk to me. The text message has an open-ended question for each day of the week. Tonight we discussed a playground made out of a material of each person’s choice. Josiah, my oldest son, decided he would create his playground out of marshmallows. He explained how he could throw them at people and no one would get hurt, and when he was hungry, he could just chew on his playground. I don’t know a lot about the Parents Together organization, but so far the questions have proved to be engaging, non-controversial, and able to get my five-year-old, my husband, and my parents to have some both wacky and meaningful conversations.
The text messages have been a great guide for facilitating imaginative and creative conversation as well as leading us to discuss big things in life like friendship, kindness, the environment, government, and many other ideas. As a side note, Parents Together website states that they are “a national non-profit organization that provides resources, connections, and community that help all kids and parents thrive. As we unite parents together, we are creating a force for change on issues affecting kids and families.”
One thing I’ve noticed since I started teaching gifted students is that everything tends to take a bit longer because the student conversations are always so good! How can a teacher interrupt students who are having outstanding, rigorous conversations? We can’t! So we often fall a bit behind schedule.
My co-teachers often ask me, “Why does everything take so much longer in my gifted section?” I honestly think it is because of the fantastic dialogue the students in these classes have with one another, their thoughtful interaction with the text, and their inquisitive nature. It is my hope that by sharing this resource, you will have another way to engage your thinkers in conversation. I am sure for many of them, these prompts are unnecessary, but could prove to be fun as you drive to sports, horseback riding lessons, or over dinner.
As noted on the Parents Together Q4KIDZ webpage, “subscribing to the text messages and providing your mobile number, you are agreeing to receive text messages from Parents Together Foundation and Parents Together Action with Q4KIDZ questions and info on important issues affecting families. Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to end and HELP for help. U.S. only.” I encourage you to give the weekly questions a try!