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12 Foolproof Ways to Trick Your Kids Into Talking to You

Photograph by Twenty20

Are you still asking your children "How was your day?" after school? No wonder you never get a good answer from them. You're not even trying. Here are some foolproof ways to get your kid to—finally!—talk to you. (Incidentally, while a lot of these are jokes, some of them don't seem like bad ideas, especially the one at the end, which I totally do.)

RELATED: How I Got My Little One Talking

1. Burst into the middle of his room late at night while he's sleeping.

Turn on all the lights and wake him up abruptly and say, "HOW WAS YOUR DAY?!?"

2. During her shower, flush the toilet each time she says "fine" or "good" in response to a question.

3. Threaten to pick them up at school every day wearing a rainbow clown wig if they don't give you at least 10 minutes of actual conversation.

4. Remove all the toys from her room.

Have her earn them back one by one for each time she tells you a factual thing that happened during her day that you did not see for yourself.

5. Ask him a series of unrelated rapid-fire easy questions and trick him into telling you the truth.

"Is your name Harper? Are you 4 years old? Do you love ice cream? What did you learn at school today?"

6. This is a tough economy. Pay her a nickel per anecdote, a dime per story, a quarter per rumor and a dollar per actual lesson learned.

7. Take them tile shopping until they break.

8. Sit him down and show him, in one hand, an embarrassing baby photo.

In your other hand show your cell phone. Say matter of factly that it would be easy to text it to all his friends ... unless you were distracted by a juicy story.

9. Make him eat that disgusting salmon you made for every meal until he talks.

10. Bedtime gets postponed for one minute per each minute of actual face-to-face non-device two-sided conversation that occurs beforehand.

RELATED: A Parents' Guide to Exactly How Mandatory Each School Event Is

11. Get a bunch of trusted friends to send their children to the same school.

Pay them each to pick up their children or "drop something off" several times a day. Have them submit their reports to you on an hourly basis.

12. In desperation, just promise your kid a cookie if he talks to you.

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