Episode 35 - A Guide to Talking with Children with Rebecca Rolland, EdD

Episode Summary

Rebecca Rolland, EdD, speech language pathologist and author of The Art of Talking with Children, joins the READ Podcast to share her expertise in cultivating high quality conversations with children. Dr. Rolland explains the science and art to high quality conversations, which can be used to build better relationships with our kids.  She identifies skills adults can use to bring mindfulness, curiosity, and playfulness into daily conversation and offers tools and strategies for both the summer and school year. At the end of the conversation, Dr. Rolland and Danielle play a “True and False” game. The READ Podcast invites any family (kids included) to tune in to this episode, as it benefits any adult with a caring relationship with a child.

Top READ Bookmarks
Each episode, host Danielle Scorrano identifies key takeaways or “READ bookmarks.”

1. The ABC’s of Rich Talk
Episode bookmark: Listen to 6:24 – 8:27 of the conversation to learn more.

Rich talk between adults in children are:

  • Adaptive
  • Back and Forth
  • Child Driven

2. The House of Rich Conversations
Episode bookmark: Listen to 10:33 – 13:00 of the conversation to learn more.

Dr. Rolland explains that cultivating rich conversations is like building a house. 

  • Construct the foundation: Establishing the temperament and approaches of conversations by setting the norms of discourse, showing conversational readiness and a learning mindset, and modeling active listening and openness
  • Building the walls: Guiding the back and forth of the conversations with questions and comments, expanding upon language, and maintaining flexibility, curiosity, and reflection

3. The Three E’s of Rich Talk
Episode bookmark: Listen to 13:40 – 16:07 of the conversation to learn more.

  • Expand: providing and modeling language to increase specificity and broaden the scope of the conversation
  • Explore: connecting temporal markers (i.e., past, present, and future), integrating concrete and abstract aspects of the discourse
  • Evaluate: modeling and encouraging self-awareness, assessing what worked and didn’t work about the conversation, using conversations as a tool for learning

4. Dr. Rolland and Danielle play a game of True and False!
Episode bookmark: Listen to 34:00 – 40:00 to join the game.

Danielle asks Dr. Rolland “True and False” questions about high-quality conversations. Listen to minutes 34:00 – 40:00 to join the game and learn the answers of the following statements.

True or False?
1. High quality conversations are embedded in relationships.
2. High quality conversations are about learning cognitive skills only.
3. You need to wait until your child is school aged for high quality conversations.
4. Most high-quality conversations are intentionally planned and scheduled, such as around prepared around dinner time.
5. As parents/ guardians, we need to stress about having really good questions or interrogate our children to spark conversation. 


Learn more from Dr. Rebecca Rolland

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READ Podcast is produced by The Windward School and The Windward Institute. READ is hosted by Danielle Scorrano.

About READ: READ, the Research Education ADvocacy Podcast connects you with prominent researchers, thought leaders, and educators who share their work, insights, and expertise about current research and best practices in fields of education and child development.

Note: All information and insights shared demonstrate the expertise and views of our guests and does not constitute an endorsement by The Windward Institute or The Windward School.