we asked you for your best advice to get someone else’s kids to like you instantly, and you provided us with some keen insight into winning them over. Many people were open to the fact that children are very into bribery. Many of you provided helpful reminders to help kids engage with you when snacks are scarce.
Maybe your friend needs you to babysit. You may need to prove to your date that you “kids love you!” Or maybe you just want validation from all ages. Here are some great tips Lifehacker readers shared with me.
Here’s a secret: You don’t have to be hip to the latest trends in kids shows. Ask them a few questions and let them talk about their favorite YouTuber, dinosaur, game or other topic. Similar to when a friend vents about their job details, the best strategy is to just listen and not speak.
Lifehacker’s own staff writer Sarah Showfety lends some of her expertise as a “proud owner of an almost nine-year-old:”
I’d say: knock knock jokes, weird animal, nature, or history trivia, talking about (or listening to them talk incessantly about) Minecraft, Super Mario or Roblox, fart humor, puns, letting them send memojis or watch YouTube videos on your phone–all will score you instant points.
Commenter digitalsandwich78 adds that it’s enough to “just let them talk about Roblox and nod your head.
Commenter Adds that it’s enough to “just let them talk about Roblox and nod your head.”
Once you’ve got a kid talking, you need to do more than simply nod your head. We could all benefit from practicing being better listeners. As commenter Duke of Kent puts it, “listening is so vitally important when talking with children and adults alike.” To do this, Duke of Kent offered up a great tip: Channel your inner talk show host.
Whenever I have to talk to a child or an adult who I don’t really know very well, I try to act like a talk show host and just guide the other person to topics that they find interesting rather than harping on some preplanned talking points of my own. Begin with an open-ended question, and then move on. I like to ask the child, “What are you currently reading?” and then “What is it about?” Next, ask the child probing questions such as “Why did this character do that?” or “What would your response be if you were in that position?” Finally, go on with the next step.
Consider trying out this “talk show approach” to listening (whether you’re meeting a kid or a fellow grown-up).
Don’t talk down to them3692
There’s a time and place for baby voice, and that time and place is exclusively when you’re talking to a baby, e.g. You can’t talk down to them
. However, once a child is verbal, they want to feel that you are taking them seriously.
Many of you pointed out the fact that talking down to kids won’t be received well. Lifehacker commenter Crafty Noodle puts it nicely, saying you should “talk to them like they’re another person you’re meeting.” A kid’s sense for when you’re being patronizing starts earlier than you think.
This tip is about more than physically crawling on the floor (although hiding under the table with a little kid can be a big hit). Children love it when you feel like you are on their level.
Lifehacker commenter Some Dude says this can mean getting down on the ground physically, but also to “let [kids] direct how you play with them” and for you to “go along with whatever (within reason).”
Twitter user @JamieLeeLardner gives the following tips to help kids feel like you’re on their level: “[Use] eye contact and engage with what they’re doing. Do not try to control the vibe. If they’re building Legos, join in and ask them questions; don’t wave a ball and demand they change activities to catch because that’s what you like.”
Lifehacker’s Sarah Showfety swooped in again with more key insight into winning kids over: Try any sort of game or activity that lets them feel sneaky or covert. Do you remember as a child how it felt to be able to take on the grown-ups?
Ultimately, there’s no one secret trick to get all people to like you. Children are also people. It is important to make your children feel that you are accepting of them as they are. Asking about their passions is a great way to show your authenticity and be authentic with your responses. You shouldn’t underestimate the seven-year old’s ability to spot bullshit.