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Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Interview your kid(s)


I grew up in a video friendly household where everything from beach trips to holidays were captured on tape. We also did silly skits that may someday come back to haunt me, but I don't think my parents every videotaped one-on-one interviews with us. 

Well, I've decided to start a new birthday tradition after seeing pins on Pinterest. I mean, how hard can it be to interview a three-year-old after a television career of interviewing celebrities, criminals, former Presidents and politicians? I'm not gonna lie, I had butterflies in my stomach anticipating how THIS interview would go.




I was pleasantly surprised! I handed my daughter a lollipop and let her pick a place to interview. She loved it so much, she asked to be interviewed again a few days later!

Tips for Interviewing Children:

1. Have them pick the place to do the interview. When I was a reporter, I would ask kids where they hang out the most because that's where they are comfortable. Usually, you get better interviews if they are familiar with their surroundings. Of course, you may have to adjust lighting if they pick a dark area. 

2. Don't get stressed out if they don't answer correctly. It will be just as fun to watch later in life. Depending on their age, you may have to give them ideas to keep going.

3. Get on their level! You don't want to shoot the interview too high or too low. Make sure the tripod or hand-held camera is at their eye-level. 

4. Print out a list of possible questions (keep a copy on your computer so you can print out every year), but don't be too strict because answers can lead to a different question. Try to ask the questions in a conversational way -- kids do better with having a conversation rather than reading a list of questions off a piece of paper.

5. Don't ask yes or no questions. Instead of asking, "Do you like carrots?" ... ask "What foods do you like?"

6. Ask non-question questions. Sometimes, you don't even need to ask a question. For instance, if your child says, "Mommy and Daddy are my best friends." Instead of asking a question, you could say, "That's nice and sweet. Your Mommy and Daddy love you very much." ... stop talking and pause for a bit. That may result with kids saying more.

7. Make sure your interview area is quiet (turn off cell phones...etc). Interruption could lead to a ruined interview!

8. At the end of the interview, ask them if there is anything to add. You might be surprised!

9. Write down the answers. Once the interview is over, go back and type the answers into a word document. One day, it might be nice to make a photo book for each year with answers and pictures from that birthday! Now, wouldn't that be a nice wedding gift? 

Questions:


1. What is your name?
2. How old are you?
3. What is your Mom’s name?
4. What does your Mom do during the day?
5. What is your Dad’s name?
6. What does your Dad do during the day?
7. What is your favorite color?
8. What do you like to eat? (What don’t you like to eat?)
9. Who is your best friend? Why?
10. What is your favorite song?  Can you sing it for me? (Depending on their age, they could even show you a dance or play music ... etc)
11. What is your favorite animal? 
12. What is your favorite place to go?
13. What is your favorite thing to do?
14. What do you like about your Mommy?
15. What do you like about your Daddy?
16. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? 
17. What is your favorite book or toy?
18. What kind of birthday party are you having?
19. What have you learned lately?
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?
21. Is there anything else you want to say about turning (#)?

(And, of course, you could add the question, "Why?" after any of these questions if you want them to explain a little more.)

I had so much fun doing the interview with my daughter. 

Here are some cute highlights from my interview:

*How old are you? She holds up three fingers and says, "Fifteen!"

* What does your Mom do during the day? She does stuff all day, just like me.

* What is your favorite place to go? To houses. This one and that one (she pointed out the window to houses in the neighborhood). 

* What do you want to be when you grow up? Um, probably that piggy we rode on that train. (she was talking about the famous Pink Pig in Atlanta).

* Who is your best friend? Mommy and Daddy. I said, "Awe, you're my best friend and I love you!" She added, "Awe." I said, "I love you so much." and she said, "I love you too!" 

At some point, maybe as a high school graduation gift, I will edit the answers to each question from year to year to show how much she's grown and how her personality has changed!


Enjoy!

Feel free to pin!

Kathryn


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