As parents, you’re always trying to get information from your kids about their world and school. The problem is, that’s not as easy as it sounds. In fact, a lot of parents struggle when it comes to asking their children about what happened during their school day. So how can you really get an answer other than “fine” when you ask them “how was school?”
Get your kids talking about school with the help of the following tips.
Get specific with your questions
Every parent who has asked the same old question “how was school?” has surely received “fine” as a response from their kid. Why? Because the question doesn’t inspire a good and interesting conversation or prompt a child to talk and share. Instead of sticking to the same old question, you might try alternative and more interesting questions to ask. For example, ask “what was your favorite classroom activity today?” or “what games did you play during your PE time?” When you ask open-ended questions like these, you are encouraging your child to talk and recall the events at school. As they remember the details of their school day, it becomes natural for them to share more information with you, especially if these are the things they enjoy the most.
Be familiar with their school day schedule
Try to be aware of the daily activities and schedules of your child at school. Find out what they do every Monday, Tuesday and the rest of the week. This is the best way to help come up with the right approach and right questions to ask. The information you gather about the things happening at school can be a useful tool for coming up with interesting conversation starters.
Always be ready to listen
When your child gets home, avoid bugging them with questions right away. Give them a chance to have some downtime. Welcome them with warm greetings when they arrive or better yet, prepare a snack for them. When they are eager to talk, make sure they feel that you’re ready to listen. Help them feel that you are always available for them when they need you.
Don’t ignore the signs they’re giving you
Try to notice their mood. If they look like they’ve had a bad day, it could mean that something happened at school that they aren’t comfortable with. You may be worried and interested to find out what happened, but try to wait for the right time. When your child feels better, they will be ready to talk. Then you can ask what’s happening in their lives.
Focus when they’re words
Cherish the time that your kids open up to you and are comfortable sharing with you. Don’t push them away by not giving them your full attention. Put everything else away when your kids want to talk. Show them that you are listening with all your heart. Let cooking or laundry chores wait until later.
Talk about your day, too
To encourage the natural flow of conversation, tell them about your day before you ask about their school day. Share something interesting about your day. Perhaps you can tell them about a funny event that happened at work or where you went for lunch and with whom. This way, your kids will think about what they have to share about their day. Opening the door for them to share about their friends at school, the things they did, and so on.
It’s only natural for parents to be desperate to find out as much information as possible about their kids while they are away. But using the right approach is crucial in getting your child to open up to you.
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