Communication is at the core of any successful relationship. Families who are able to communicate effectively can express their concerns, needs and desires to one another in an open and honest manner. Effective communication can change a home environment, foster more intimate and trusted relationships, and serve as a foundation for children to grow.

The benefits of effective home communication are numerous. According to Hearing and Speech-Language Services, regular and intentional communication with a child is one of the most effective tools parents and caregivers can use to foster healthy development, paving the way for the child to be an effective communicator as he or she grows and interacts with others. In addition, regular communication can foster a strong sense of self-esteem, improve problem-solving abilities, decrease problem behaviors, and prepare kids for voicing their opinion on important issues.

No topics are off limits when it comes to stimulating family conversation. In fact, the more creative, funny and adventurous the ideas, the more apt children and adults may be to engage in the discussion. These talking points can help get the conversation flowing and require specific answers instead of vague generalities.

• What has been the best part of the week so far?

• Tell me something interesting you learned at school (work) today.

• What is the funniest joke you have ever heard?

• If you could be anyone or anything in the world, what would you be and why?

• If you won a lot of money, what would you spend it on?

• What do you do when you see someone being teased?

• Name a quality of yours that you are most proud of.

• If a genie granted you three wishes, what would they be?

• What is your favorite childhood memory?

• Where in the world would you like to live most?

• Are there things that scare you? If so, what?

• What would your superhero power be?

• If you could fly for a day, where would you go?

These are a handful of interesting conversation starters that can get creative conversation juices flowing at home. Families can customize the questions or turn them into a regular game that everyone can enjoy throughout the week.